In 2007 we made a long, hard decision to expand our family from three to four. We tried our best to prepare our only child for the profound change to our family dynamic. For four years, he was the center of our world and as a child with special needs he received extra support and attention. So when it came time to introduce a new family member, we thought we had it all figured out. We read all the advice. We bought five books on becoming a big brother. We reminded him of all the fantastic things he could do that a newborn couldn’t. We felt confident and prepared.
In February 2008, our daughter was born full term and healthy. But within a few hours she was quickly admitted to the NICU with breathing problems. It was 10 long days before we could bring her home. And when we did it was hard on all of us, but we were grateful she was home and healthy. But our son seemed sad. He so desperately wanted to bond with his new sister. He tried to talk to her, make her laugh, anything to get her attention. But she had paid none to him. I didn’t have the heart to tell him that she really couldn’t seem very well and probably couldn’t see him. So I wanted to find a way to make him feel noticed.
Looking around the nursery, I spotted a stock of black and white developmental cards we planned to place on the walls. I quickly grabbed some tape and stuck it to our son’s shirt. So even though she could not see the details of his face, she was at least looking in his direction, attracted to the high contrast images. And it made him smile. And he finally felt connected. And so became Looky See Baby t-shirts with the intention of keeping new siblings connected.