Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Two Interesting Things From Last Night

Owen's Belly Button--
Click here for previous post about Owen's Umbilical Hernia. Never has he ever once said or done anything to indicate that he has any self-consciousness whatsoever about it... until last night. At the dinner table last night, truly out of nowhere, completely out of the blue, Owen says (with seriousness and a tone of real sadness), "Mommy, why I don't have an 'innie' belly button? Why I have an 'outie'? I don't want a big outie, I want to have an innie." My mind started racing the second I heard 'innie' because I knew what he was going to be getting at before he even finished his first sentence. The default answer that immediately shot through my head was to tell him "Because that's how God made you! And you're perfect just the way you are!" or some rubbish like that. But, 1) it is a lie-- that is not how "God" made him-- it is the result of human hands, a poorly tied umbilical at birth, a pretty extreme umbilical hernia, and early starvation so that the hernia could not and will not ever be able to totally heal... and 2) to tell him he's 'perfect just the way he is' would sort of be problematic when, sometime relatively soon, we take him for an operation to correct his umbilical hernia and give him an 'innie'... I tried to think quick. I said: "Owen, you don't want the outie belly button?" He said, "No, I don't want it, I want to have an innie just like Kyle and just like you and just like Papi." I said, "O.k.! Guess what? We're going to go to a special doctor at a hospital who will fix your belly button and make it an innie!" He seemed satisfied with that. Now I've got it on my to-do list for today to start the process to set that up. The surgeon we saw about it when the boys first came home said that he wanted to do the surgery at age four. Braydon and I had already been talking about trying to get the operation set up early, hopefully for this winter, so that we can have it out of the way before the baby is due. Now Owen's given me a push to make it happen. But I find it just so interesting that now suddenly Owen has noticed it and is self-conscious of it. Something must have happened at school yesterday or something, but I have no idea what.

Sibling Love--
[Quick note about Baby Sister's name-- we're not making the name public so on the blog we're writing 'Baby Sister' even when K or O actually say 'Baby ___'. They call her by her name almost 100% of the time.] Last night right before bed, the boys were on Braydon's lap in Kyle's room, just like every night, and Braydon had just finished reading them books. I walked over, just like every night, to say prayers with them. Before I sat down --with my belly just at their face level-- I pulled my shirt up so that K & O could kiss the belly and say 'night night' to Baby Sister (they've been doing this since we told them there is a baby in there). They kiss the belly and whisper things (that Braydon and I usually can't make out) to Baby Sister. They were doing this whole routine last night when out of the blue Kyle says very clearly: "Night Nights. I love you Baby Sister." Then Owen said it too: "I love you Baby Sister." We have never prompted them to say 'I love you' to the baby; we've never even insinuated that they should feel 'love' for this abstract soon-to-be member of our family; and we've never talked about feeling love ourselves for the baby. It was totally sweet and cute, but also totally surprising to hear it. Braydon and I were totally taken aback by it. I find it so fascinating that siblings can start to develop a true bond and an organic love for each other even before they meet and/or even before one is born. There is no doubt that K & O feel love for their Baby Sister, despite the fact that she's still so abstract to them and they've never known another sibling but each other/their twin. And the other part that is so amazing is the miracle of adoption--- the fact that Baby Sister won't be a biological sibling to them, but this has absolutely no significance whatsoever (at least not now) for K & O.


Life in Fitzville said...

They are such a great age to be siblings. My kids at that age were so excited when a baby came along. So helpful and sweet and protective!

Tommy woke me up quoting Diego last night... made me think of your boys.

Amy said...

Hi Johnson-McCormick's, that's sweet about the boys loving their sister already. Heather, I hate to break this to you but you're probably going to have an outie soon too. Or at least a "flattie". I'm sure Owen will be interested in that development.

Malia'sMama said...

Good-bye to Owen's "Haitian B.B." and hello to you soon having a fair equivelent! :) When we emailed on the subject before (O's) I always wondered when he'd begin to notice his was different. I am glad there's a procedure to correct it.
As for loving baby sister- those 2 know NOTHING BUT love, so of course it is going to spill out of them even to an "abstract" sister. And, to THEM, she's anything but- I mean she's yellow with dark blue eyes, right? Sounds pretty concrete to me! :)

Laura said...

Heather - That love for their sister is awesome. Just wait until she's old enough to verbalize it to them. It gets even better. Cara wakes up in the morning, and whichever brother she sees first she sits with and tells them she loves them. It's so fun to watch. And to see the caring that pours out of an older brother... wow.

ChatterboxLS. said...

about belly buttons, karleigh came home with an 'outie' at 5m & she'd surgery on it at 6 weeks later & did fabulous! - ruby came home at 2.5y & had it 2 months later & did good too - praying for you all