The girls have an older sister, Genet, who they have never mentioned until this week. Now she is all they want to talk about. We cannot fill in any of the blanks for the girls because we know nothing about Genet, we did not meet her when we travelled, and we have no photos of her. So Genet is this big open canvas that the girls invent and reinvent as the days go by. Some days Genet wears a dress, other days pants, long hair, short hair, braided, not braided, etc. etc. .
The girls include Genet in their playtime now. For example, when they are playing kitchen or tea party, they make a meal for Genet or they set a place for her at the table. It is both heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time.
Colleen and I make up little sing song rhymes about the girls, and now the girls sing the songs about Genet. For example:
I know a girl named Genet
She is a beautiful girl
She has a beautiful smile and
She has beautiful curls.
laaa lala laalaalaa
I think the message here to parents adopting older kids is - you never know when the next layer of the onion is going to peel back. Our girls have never mentioned Genet and we were certain they had either never known Genet or had totally forgotten her. Now, 21 months into the adoption and over two years after being relinquished to the orphanage, Genet is alive and well in their minds and imaginations.