A Day to Celebrate Elvie's Big Sister

Today marks two years since our Zinashi walked into my arms, and we became a family. There are many names that the adoptive parents have given this day, but we simply call it Family Day. This is the day we honor when Zinashi became part of our family, and Elvie will have a Family Day dedicated to celebrating her entrance into our family as well.

It’s been a beautiful thing to watch Zinashi become a big sister to Elvie. It all started the very first day that Zinashi saw Elvie’s photo with me on the computer. I was cautious, knowing that someone might have already inquired and been a good fit for her, but Zinashi had a lot of questions. She asked me point blank if Elvie had a family to take care of her, and I said no. Zinashi immediately said, “We should be her family.” To her, it was simple. This baby needs a family, and this baby is cute, so why not?

Different families handle child involvement in family expansion decisions in various ways, but for us, it was important that Zinashi understood Elvie’s diagnosis and felt comfortable with it. So Zinashi’s desire to be Elvie’s sister was indeed part of what helped us make the decision to pursue Elvie’s adoption. I felt it would be unfair to both girls if there was discomfort on Zinashi’s part; I didn’t want Elvie to ever feel that any of us didn’t accept her exactly as she is, and I didn’t want Zinashi to be afraid of what would happen to her sister. But there was never any cause to worry. Zinashi has embraced being Elvie’s big sister, and to this day she thinks that it was her desire alone that made us consider Elvie as a member of our family. Someday I’ll break it to her that it was actually Jarod and me that made the final decision, but for now, it’s her Family Day, and I’m going to let her enjoy her delusion.

In honor of this day to celebrate Zinashi, the girl who started it all, I’ve pulled together my favorite pictures of my two girls together. I am so glad that our first girl led to our second, and that we are all now a family.

  • So Happy to Have Her Baby Sister in Her Arms at Last 1 of 12
    So Happy to Have Her Baby Sister in Her Arms at Last
    When we considered if Zinashi should come along for Elvie's adoption, it became clear that the choice was a simple one. Not only did we know she wanted to return to Ethiopia and would do better if she stayed with us, but we very much wanted her to be a part of the moment we became a family of four.
  • image-346 2 of 12
    Zinashi paid close attention for weeks in advance, choosing the same books over and over again so she could memorize them and "read" them to her baby sister.
  • First Time at the Hospital 3 of 12
    First Time at the Hospital
    Zinashi stayed with a friend while we checked Elvie into the hospital, and she was very concerned about where her little sister was and what they were doing to her. She was relieved to see Elvie in her hospital bed and had lots of questions about all the hospital equipment.
  • Kicking Back, Taking Care of the Baby 4 of 12
    Kicking Back, Taking Care of the Baby
    We're pretty sure that Zinashi will be an excellent babysitter. Now if she only had an iPhone so she could text her friends while enjoying a cool beverage and keeping an eye on the baby.
  • So Devoted 5 of 12
    So Devoted
    It really is remarkable how much interest Zinashi took in Elvie's comfort at the hospital. She wanted to help entertain her and make her feel better, and routinely climbed up the side of the crib to visit Elvie.
  • If Zinashi Has It, Elvie Wants It 6 of 12
    If Zinashi Has It, Elvie Wants It
    This is the beginning of what will be a lifelong relationship of Elvie trying to get something that belongs to Zinashi.
  • Morning Enterntainment in the Big Bed 7 of 12
    Morning Enterntainment in the Big Bed
    Nearly every morning, Zinashi puts on a little play for Elvie, using stuffed animals and other various toys.
  • Let’s Dance! 8 of 12
    Let's Dance!
    While we sometimes have to remind Zinashi to be gentle, for the most part, her efforts at helping Elvie be more mobile have been met with smiles.
  • Admiring Her Baby Sister 9 of 12
    Admiring Her Baby Sister
    Zinashi is still fascinated by Elvie and loves to just watch her.
  • Matching Facial Expressions 10 of 12
    Matching Facial Expressions
    I love how everything about them seems to match in this photo. Two peas in a pod.
  • Styling Elvie’s Hair 11 of 12
    Styling Elvie's Hair
    Before I style her own hair, Zinashi insists that she style Elvie's.
  • Elvie is Zinashi’s Biggest Fan 12 of 12
    Elvie is Zinashi's Biggest Fan
    The moment Elvie wakes in the morning, she starts chattering and reaching for Zinashi, trying to wake her up. She loves her big sister, and I love the bond that they already share.

Read more of our family story at Finding Magnolia.
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More of Finding Magnolia on Babble:
Elvie Brings the Chub
What a Difference Two Months Makes
Three Months as Elvie’s Family

Article Posted 4 years Ago
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