Friends? More Like Siblings.

The photo in this post is my entry for the latest I Heart Faces photo challenge, “Friendship”.

It’s interesting to look back over the last month and see how things have changed since Mayumi and Karin first arrived.Karin is not a shy child so, from the very first moment they stepped off the plane, she seemed comfortable in our house and with our children. But being comfortable and feeling at home are two different things and I think we can now safely say that Karin feels right at home.

This past weekend was the first time that Samuel and Karin really connected. And when I say “connected” I mean fought like siblings. Until now, Thomas and Samuel have kept up their constant bickering but Karin has largely stayed out of it. Now she is right in there with them, sometimes purposefully causing problems between the boys or trying to play on her cuteness. And I see this as a good thing. It means she’s comfortable. It means she can be herself with us, which I love.It means she treats our boys as she would a brother.

The challenge, however, is that the same rules don’t apply with Karin as they do with other children. When Karin takes a toy away, I can’t just ask Samuel to tell her how he feels and ask for it back because she doesn’t understand him. Of course the same is true of Karin – when she is upset she has trouble expressing her feelings in words unless Mayumi is close by to translate. Unfortunately it has resulted in a little more frustration and sometimes they act out that frustration by hitting. Still, I see this as a good lesson in patience (theirs and mine) and communication techniques when words don’t work.

So, where’s Thomas in all this? Well, he’s experiencing his own frustration. He doesn’t like it that the two little ones copy everything he does or when they take things away from him. He’s also having trouble finding his own space which is something we need to work on.

At the end of the day, though, the first thing Thomas and Samuel say when they get home is “where’s Karin?”. And Karin is all smiles the moment they walk in the door and they’re pretty much inseparable from that moment on. Maybe it was just a case of too much time together this weekend. Or maybe we just all need a vacation (coming soon!).

One thing’s for certain though, they are going to miss each other like crazy when Karin and Mayumi head home. Maybe, by then, I’ll manage to get a picture of the three of them together without the funny faces – or maybe this photo is a better reflection of real life right now, just a little bit crazy.

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