Originally Posted by mariaz
I always like to pop in on the topic of artificial twinning. I have artificial twins (5 months apart, one adopted one bio) and things have worked out incredibly well. Our son came to us at 7 weeks old, his sister was born 3 months later, and they have always been very close. Our son has some special needs and having his sister in class with him helps tremendously, he often uses her as a model for age appropriate behavior.
I think the issue is often with older kids, and its harder when the kids have already established personalities and a way of doing things, and that way may not mesh well with the other kid. If it turns out well, if they get along it can be GREAT...almost like a built in best friend. If they dont....well, its really awful. Sometimes its awful nearly every minute of the day.
When my adopted son was around 15.5 months old, i was placed with a little girl just shy of 1 yr old. She was very aggressive with my son, and as he had spent almost no time with other kids his age, he wasnt prepared at all for her....he was so upset ALL the time, about everything (about her touching "his" stuff---and in his opinion it was ALL his stuff, even her stuff!--, about having to share me with her, about her coming near him)...she would pull big chunks of hair out of his head, hit him, pinch, BITE...they couldnt really play together as they werent on the same developmental level (she seemed a step behind him and wasnt walking yet), he was too young to really get "sharing" and she wasnt interested in sharing anyway. Add in the fact this was the first time i had to juggle two small kids at once, and i also suspected some mild attachment issues with her....it was hard on all of us. I was somewhat relieved when the girl went to live with relatives and my son was OVERJOYED when she was gone. I think ALOT of the problems we had were due to their close age...had my son been older, yes he would have been annoyed but perhaps able to better understand the situation. Had she been an infant, while she certainly would demand alot of my time, she would not have been in his personal space all.the.time.
That being said, i also think personality is huge....a month after foster daughter left, i was placed with a foster (now soon to be adopted) son. He was 16.5 months old, and just two weeks younger than my son. When he came, he held back alot...was willing to just give in to my son, if my son wanted a toy, he'd give it over...he wasnt really physically aggressive at all (beyond the occasional normal toddler stuff), they could play together and got on really well. (Of course now that he's been here almost a year, he isnt such a giver, but my son knows him well enough to be able to deal with it and no longer thinks of me as only "HIS" mama!)...it was sooooo much better. They were closer in age, in fact foster son is ahead in some areas (like language development, athletic ability), and they really compliment each other well in terms of strenghts/weaknesses.
But...you dont know what you're going to get when a child is placed with you. I wonder sometimes what would have happened had i been able to adopt my foster daughter...i wouldnt have said "no", thats for sure, but there would have been MUCH more of a difficult adjustment...perhaps eventually they would learn to get along, or perhaps they never really would have meshed well and just learned to tolerate each other, who knows.
That being said, i love having "twins"...my oldest was an only child (and essentially still is considering how young the other kids are) and it was AWFUL for him...one of the things i regret most in life is not giving him a near-age sibling. His childhood was pretty lonely despite my best efforts. To see my two little boys running around, playing, always with each other is so great most of the time. I wish i was able to give them more one on one time but as a single mom that doesnt happen much.