Thursday, August 5, 2021

Sisters?

We were told in China that these two gals, were sisters.
We believed what we were told,
as accurate information.


It was on our third China adoption journey

when we brought them home.

As we continued to bring our children home

 it became more and more apparent that the information 

we received from China was not always accurate. 

So we wondered, 

are they really sisters,

could they be twins, 

or maybe half sisters 

or maybe not even sisters at all?

Here is a little China story about the girls.

The orphanage director decided to split the girls up.

Ellie went to a foster home and Emma stayed in the orphanage.

They had always been together and had never "done life" apart from each other...

They were about 8(Emma) and 6(Ellie) yrs old when this happened.

In this photo they are 10 and 8.

Ellie was so sad without Emma, she would cry everyday 

and ask if Emma could also come and live with the foster family.

She refused to eat and go to school.

Emma would cry at the orphanage and ask for her sister to come back.

Finally the director decided that Emma 

could live with the same foster family.

The girls were so happy and relieved to be back together.

In a way Ellie saved Emma's life.

If this hadn't have happened we would never had known there was a sister.

After that, girls were made adoptable as a "sibling group".

Otherwise, Ellie would have been adopted and 

Emma would have spent her life in the orphanage 

with a very uncertain future.

We have heard that there was another younger sister

but we have no other information.

Their bio parents were divorced and were very poor.


Emma's life in China was very difficult.

The foster family, the orphanage, the school, her peers 

did not understand her "abilities".

After they came home,

we began to understand the girls needs.

Ellie was able to fit in a little better

her challenges were more hidden.


This pic is taken at their apartment complex 
when we went to visit their foster family.
The woman in the magenta dress is their foster mother.
The women in the black and white dress is our guide and translator.
The others are neighbors and friends.


The foster father is trying to talk to Ellie and saying goodbye.


I used to thing this picture was precious and so meaningful...
but now that I know our girls and they have told us about their lives in China...
I am just thankful they are HOME and SAFE with us.

Both girls have said they NEVER want to go back to China.


The foster parents talking to us and the guide on the bus.
They were the ones that told us that the girls had a younger sister.


Emma loved the new toys that she could play with!
She was very misunderstood in China
and acted out in fear and confusion.


We are thankful that our girls had a chance to live with a family
and to be out of the orphanage.
Many of their friends lived in the same large apartment complex.
Sadly, at young ages they were left alone a lot in the apartment
for extended periods of time.

The foster parent were very nice and welcoming to us.
The Mom made delicious food for the girls to bring with them.
Including "chicken feet".
Although, I find it unappetizing
it's very popular in China and the girls were thrilled!


We dressed the girls alike for bonding purposes.
Think about it... they had just met us days ago
and are now expected to trust us with their lives...

That's asking a lot...


Big Sis Katie traveled to China with us!
She was so much fun and eased the tough challenging moments!


These three went to the beauty shop in China and 
got a new fresh haircut!


We did a lot of things for bonding purposes
but true attachment is an on going process with adoption.

If you truly want to help a family (kids and parents) with attachment,
always speak fondly, kindly and supportively about their family and especially their parents.
Don't try to be liked- they will like you no matter what and will quickly get close to you
because you are of no threat to them...
by threat I mean you are not asking for true love and attachment in return (like a parent is).
It's called Mommy shopping and we still have some kids that do that...


Googles, swim suits, cover ups, tubes
we're all new to them.
Everything was a first!

Our time in China was very challenging.
The girls (especially Emma) did not understand what was happening 
Although it had been explained to them many times,
the concept of a new family, American parents, a new country, new language, etc
It was all too much to comprehend. 
She was filled with uncontrollable fear, fleeing, excitement and confusion.
We were very concerned that she might try to flee in an airport.
The long plane ride home was exhausting for the parents...
Dad never let go of Emma's hand.

Once we were home...

her demeanor completely changed...

and she was filled with a sense of peace!

This is my favorite picture.

Look at Emma and Ellie's face!

You are home!

God is so amazing!

And now, 11 years later
I have the pleasure of seeing them all grown up!
Calm, secure, happy, healthy-
it is nothing short of a miracle!


July is their birthday month!
Ellie turned 19!


And we celebrated like other grown ups 
and took this group out to dinner!


We had the best time-
talking, laughing and eating!


HaPpY 19th Birthday,

ELLIE!



And Emma's Birthday was the very next day!


Emma turned 21!
The girls LOVE celebrating their birthdays!
Now that they are young adults we are trying 
to slowly make changes in the way we celebrate.

We gave them a short list of restaurants to choose from 
so we could take them out for dinner!
We aren't able to take everyone out anymore,
so this is a good way to get the experience
and have some amazing quality time with some of our kids!


Emma loved her gifts!
And her sister's loved them too!


She chose an ice cream cake!


And this beautiful group of girls helped us celebrate 
Emma's birthday!

Don't worry about our boys!
Sam's bday is coming up soon
and we already have plans for that!


(Emma)
Thank you Jesus


(Ellie)
for the blessing of our daughters!

So...

6 weeks ago we sent in the girls DNA!

Knowing that much of the information 

we get from China can be inaccurate, 

we wondered what the results may be?

So...

I am so sorry...

to leave you hanging...

but what's your best guess?

Full sisters

Half sisters

no DNA relationship?

I'll post the answer soon

but first I'm wondering

YOUR thoughts!?!


EDIT:

Emma and Ellie are full biological sisters according to their DNA!

China was correct!

However the DNA results read, we know

they are forever sisters in every way. 

Just like they are "REAL" siblings to each other 

and all of the children and young adults in our family!

We are a REAL family!




10 comments:

Starr said...

Full sisters, no matter the results!

Janet said...

Beautiful sisters forever, but biologically?, I'm guessing no. We also have much mis-information from China, on one son in particular.

From the Erben Gang..... said...

Sisters! Abd hopefully one of your kids is related to Kaja so that we can be family 😍

Amy Cantilina said...

Suspense is killing me! Your girls are beautiful, just like you!

Zanmei said...

They don't look very alike, however, they appear to be very bonded, which is the most important thing. Half sisters?

Jennie said...

Cousins?
Regardless, both Emma and Ellie are now sisters in the family.

I had followed your trip to pick up the girls. It was certainly a challenging time for all.
By God's grace, you and Hubby persevered.

Today, by God's grace, you are blessed with 2 beautiful daughters.

alisonsze said...

Lovely post! No hunches from me but eager to hear the results.

Updated by Lila Huggins (grandmother) said...

GREAT 👍

Unknown said...

I have always thought they look so much alike. I'm not at all surprised they are full sisters. -- MayLynne

Christ said...

very interesting , good job and thanks for sharing such a good blog.
Commercial and Residential Heating or Cooling Repair Richmond, Virginia