Field Guide to Twiblings: Introduction

Twiblings - noun.  Two or more children, not biologically related, who belong to the same family and are very close in age so that they experience life much like twins.  i.e.: Gus and Lula are twiblings.   
{term & definition stolen from another adoptive family with twiblings}

Our twiblings
Every time we go anywhere, at least half a dozen people will ask if Gus and Lula are twins.  This has proved to be a tricky question.  

When we first got home I would stammer around and say no or say something about them being adopted.  This opened us up to all kinds of questions about things that are very personal to us as a family: Were they abandoned?  Do they have "real" siblings?  Did they ever live with their "real" parents?  All from complete strangers.

Finally, I learned that the best answer is a simple "yes".  While it may not be completely truthful in answering what the person is really asking, it is the best way to let people know how we view them - as brother and sister who happen to be almost the same age.  Twins with different birthdays.  For a complete stranger, this is enough information.  And a simple "yes" allows us to avoid many uncomfortable situations and to move on with our errands.

That said, I don't mind sharing part of our story with a complete stranger under certain circumstances (if the person seems to have an interest in adoption, for example).  We have been so blessed by our adoption experience and would love to see others inspired to adopt, so if sharing part of our story might accomplish that, then we will always be willing to share and discuss.  It's a fine line though, between protecting our children and our privacy on the one hand, and encouraging people by sharing the awesome story of how we became a family on the other.  By God's grace, we are continually learning how to walk this line and respond to questions about our sweet twiblings.  

{By the way, while I won't discuss everything about Gus and Lula's stories here, I wanted to make it clear that I don't consider my readers to be strangers.  Y'all have been so supportive and encouraging throughout the adoption process and I feel that when you ask a question, it's generally done in a spirit of harmless curiosity.  I'll be addressing some of the most common questions I get about having twiblings (how we handle feeding, bathing, traveling, etc.), so if there's something you're dying to know, ask away!} 
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Shmonae said... Best Blogger Tips

I was referred to your site yesterday by a dear friend-cousin for obvious reasons. I also have an amazing adoption story and have loved your one post I read :) I cam rate with twiblings... I have 5 biological, 1 step, and 1 adopted (the only boy of seven!!) I blog about it at punk-moss.com I can't wIt to read more of your journey!

Caroline said... Best Blogger Tips

I love that term "twiblings" but if you don't mind my 2 cents, I think you should answer strangers with a truthful but vague answer such as "Not exactly twins, they are X months apart." or "Almost." Period. You don't have to explain anything else. And if people do get nosey and start asking silly questions, a simple "Oh, why do you ask?" usually turns people away and makes them realize they crossed a line or if they are genuine in knowing about adoption they you'll know. Then again, I'm a New Yorker so I'd probably say something rude like "Why, were you abandoned?"!! lol!

E Small said... Best Blogger Tips

Britt, I just came across your blog and am so glad that I did my husband and I are just beginning the process of adoption and Ethiopia is a very high likelihood. I would love to hear more about your story and any tips. Your babies are beautiful! I will scour the blog looking for all the details. Enjoy every minute with your precious gifts and thanks for writing!

Britt said... Best Blogger Tips

Thanks for weighing in. I do realize that we'll probably have to work on our response as the kids get older. I do want to model honesty to them, but right now I just don't have the "perfect" response or the backbone to let people know they're pushing it. I'm hoping eventually it will come to me and I'll know exactly what to say. Thanks for the comment!

maya scape said... Best Blogger Tips


I totally agree! Once you say twins, you're opening a whole new bag of questions and it could get even trickier. I've got 10 y/o fraternal twin girls and you wouldn't believe some of the questions and comments I've heard over the last 10 years!

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