What You Need To Know About My Almost Twins

We finished up at the mall play area and agreed to meet in the parking lot so I could lead the caravan to the park.

My sister-in-law and her family had driven 10 hours to visit us and they chose the highlight of their trip to be Build A Bear. I didn’t ask questions.

I don’t frequent the mall much, if ever, but I did for my cute nieces. With both of my brand new baby boys strapped to my front and back, I picked up the diaper bag and was determined to make sure they didn’t wait long for me. Unloading two babies from my body and into car seats is no simple or smooth task. Briskly and quickly I walked through the long mall corridor trying not to make a scene.


Four stores away from the door I am stopped abruptly by a woman and what appears to be her teenage daughter.


“Those aren’t twins are they?” Her eyebrows were raised and her face read cynical.

“No,” I respond with a smile, “Just close in age.”

“They can’t both be yours then right?” Hands on her hips she spits the question as though she is trying to make a point.

She stares at me with eyebrows raised and her finger pointing, her eyes trying to peer around me to see my firstborn son who is strapped to my back. He is brown-skinned with wiry dark hair while my son being carried in the front is white skinned, blonde hair, blue eyes. They are not quite 5 months apart; we adopted our first son while I was 20 weeks round with our second born.

Not an unusual question for me, I attempt to maneuver around her as I say, “Oh yes, actually they are both mine.”

“Well they don’t look related at all.”

At this point, I’m forcing my smile as I kindly say, “Nope, just close in age,” and once again attempt to move on with my day; I don’t have time to have this conversation for the tenth time this day.

Unwilling to let me have space and peace, she says boldly and loudly, “Well did you BIRTH them both? Because if not, they can’t BOTH be yours.”


Annoyed and angry, my courteous smile no longer has a place here.

I stop trying to move toward the doors out, certain my sister-in-law and her family are already waiting on me, and I say with such confidence: “These boys are both my sons. Equally, they are mine.” And I step aside and keep walking.

As I reach for the door out, I turn to look and she is still watching me as though I have robbed the Victoria’s Secret she was about to shop at.


What I need you to know about my boys is that they are mine.

Still under one year old, they have no idea what you and too many others are asking or saying to us. But soon enough, they will have ears to hear and a head to process all of the harmful and intrusive questions, comments, and assumptions.

My boys may not share blood or DNA, but they share parents and a family. Their parents (me and their dad) love them both fiercely and unconditionally.

What I need you to know about my boys, my almost twins, is that I love them the same and I parent them the same. I need you to know that we are a real family; we are not playing pretend or house. I love them both as though I birthed them both, but also as though I adopted them both.

It is the same fierce and unending mama love.

And to the woman who bluntly said to me that because I “did not birth one or both of my boys, they cannot possibly be mine”: you couldn’t be more wrong. Birth is not what makes a family, love is.

For more from Natalie, check out her book, This Undeserved Life: Uncovering the gifts of grief and the fullness of life.


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What You Need To Know About My Almost Twins

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  • Your family is beautiful, and both your sons are just adorable. Bravo to you for your courage in staring down the bullies and the bigots of the world. I know that you already know this, but as they grow up you may need to revisit the idea that you will “parent them just the same.” Your black son will face a different set of life experiences and challenge than your white son, and he’ll need you to be right there with him.

  • We have an adopted biracial daughter and an unexpected, but lovely surprise son, exactly six months apart. While I’ve never had anyone be quite so rude, I sure get my fair share of questions. Sometimes I just say, “Yep! Twins.” after which I usually hear about my daughter’s amazing “tan”, with questioning glances searching around for her father. [It will never cease to amaze me what society deems fit fit to say to parents]. Other times I do share our story and what is interesting is it always seems to be just the right time (a family that has been considering adopting, etc.) Regardless, I’m with you, they are both equally and unequivocally my children, fiercely so. Keep on keeping on, mama. We’re here for you ❤️

  • People are rude to make comments. I have olive skin and dark hair. My siblings both have blonde hair and light skin. Same parents. People asked me if I was adopted every time I was with my mom who has blonde hair. And I’m not even adopted. Its really no ones concern.

  • My adopted son is 13 days older than my biological daughter. He’s 1/4 black, she’s 1/2 brown. He’s also almost half a head taller than her (sorry kiddo, momma is short). But her language is way beyond his. I can’t leave the house without someone asking me about my “twins”, and I’ve stopped correcting anyone. Yep, they’re twins. What difference is it to them?!

  • Really glad I read this. I don’t yet know what options we will go for next (3 failed cycles now), but I’m glad I read this post. Not only to prepare me for horrible people and questions like you got, but also to see the dignity with which you handled them and ferocity with which you love both children (as if it could be any other way).
    Thank you for sharing this ❤️

  • Wow, this line made me cry, “I love them both as though I birthed them both, but also as though I adopted them both.” Beautifully written. Both your sons are lucky to be in your family!

  • My cousins (8 mos apart; the elder was adopted) dealt with the very same nonsense. You will, unfortunately, have to have a ready response for people’s meddling (and it doesn’t have to be polite). But ultimately, a small price to pay for the enormous gift of your perfectly precious boys.

    • A seriously small price to pay! We encounter weird conversations (and great ones!) daily. I have had a few rough ones as bad as this. But most are fine. Many more people that I expected are shocked that adoption is a real thing and makes a real family.

      Side note! Your cousins…are they adults?! I would be so honored to chat with them and hear from their perspective as virtual twins!

  • My heart breaks for you! I am so sorry you have to endure such ignorance. Keep up the good fight. You’re babes are blessed to have you and with a mom like you on their side, they will be world changers❤️

  • As a 30 year old adoptee with two brothers who were not adopted (one 5 years older and one 22 months younger) you couldn’t be more right. Congrats on your beautiful sons ☺

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