I know my three bio kids pretty well. I carried them, birthed them, have spent hours with them - learning about them, watching how they tick, how they respond to life. I pretty much could tell you how each one of them would respond to having a new little sister, and I have been pretty much dead on with my assessments. We talked to them, prepared them for how hard it could be for a while. Shared with them some of the things that Ribka might go through, how she might respond to them, and to us.
It has been absolutely one of the sweetest things to watch these three kids that I know so well, bring out little pieces of this little girl that I barely know at all. I have fallen in love with all four of them even more by watching them engage with each other. She has been an amazing gift to our family as I wrote about here, but what a sweet gift these three kids are to her as well.
Daniel, my first born. My intense, super energetic, head in the clouds, brainy, empathetic little guy. He is always busy, always plotting out something in his head, or inventing something, or crying over the ants that I killed or some injustice he has come upon. My prediction was that he would be very interested in Ribka for short burst. That he would do drive by interactions on his way to something else. That has been mostly true. But what I didn't expect is that he would dance in front of her for 10 minutes to make her laugh. That he would tear up when he startled her and made her cry. That he would love holding her. That he would flip her over when I put her on her belly and she would fuss about it. It is precious to see him respond to her.
Kate, my second born. My nurturing drama queen. My super perceptive, wordy little mother who likes to control everything. My prediction was that she would be very interested in the "motherly" type activities like changing her diaper, bathing her, feeding her. That has been true. She has helped with baths, has helped with putting on diapers, and picking out hair bows. But what has blessed me to hear and see is the conversations that she has had with her. As she sits in front of her telling her all about girl stuff - hair bows, etc. Listening as Ribka babbles and acting like she is telling her something really important. The questions that she has asked me about the things that Ribka might be feeling. The way her little body starts bouncing and swaying automatically when she holds her. The way that she has WANTED to share our girl time with her. Love Kate's heart for her little sister (and that she wants to dress alike, and put hair bows in her hair, etc.)
And then there is Micah. My rambunctious, highly physical, highly physically affectionate, overt, funny, VERY boy little guy. I said that if Ribka can survive all the "love" Micah will give her she will be one tough little girl. My prediction was that Micah would not be able to keep his hands off of her, and that he would be all in her space most of the time. We practiced gentle hands and quiet voices double time in preparation for a little sister. He is all that...and more! He seriously is so infatuated with her that he sometimes just can not control the excitement that comes out of him when she is around. He has done great with his gentle hands, gentle hugs. He rubs her head, wants to hug her and hold her at every turn, is interested in ALL things that involve her. He is such a sweet little guy and has said numerous times, "I just want to be next to my best friend, I love her so much." His love for her makes me smile!
I am not naive to think that there will always be this much LOVE going on in the house, but it is really sweet for now!