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Published Monday June 8th, 2009 at 6:04pm

Original Article by Melissa Nilsen

I went to see my birthdaughter in her first major role in a school production. When Twila and I arrived we saw cars stacked from corner to corner and a mad rush of parents and friends streaming into the gym. We rushed in to find Sandy, Tom and one of Nicole's younger brothers holding down seats and waving their arms at us. We hurried to grab our chairs and just as we did Sandy was waving wildly again and my mom and my grandmother and younger sister Heidi were scooting in behind us. We squeezed-in with the smaller two on our laps.

Many parents stood in crowds at the back and side, where there was standing room only, and snapped photos of the sage and set and the teachers in their strait skits and Sunday slacks taking the sage to announce the beginning of the show. Just as a young thin teacher stepped up to the microphone looking slightly stiff and uncomfortable in her evening wear, Twila caught the sound of kids filing quietly in the back and whirled around in my lap.

In an instant she was out of my lap and down our row of chairs, muttering something about seeing Nicole. She streaked down the aisle and just as the teacher was opening her mouth to welcome the crowd, the silence was split by Twila's shrill voice: "Hi Nicole!"

The teacher froze and the whole crowd laughed and turned to see Twila pelting towards Nicole now kneeling down in a very adult looking pose ready to receive her in her arms. As Twila leaped forward, Nicole wrapped her in her arms and stood in one fluid motion and held her there to her chest. And the two of them rocked back and forth holding each other for whole minutes.

After a long chorus of "Awwwwwwww" parents turned their cameras to the back of the gymnasium and photos clicked and flashed of the two girls holding each other and grinning from ear to ear.

In the car after the performance Twila asked me, "Is Nicole my sister like Heidi is your sister?"
I answered her that Nicole is a kind of sister to her. Just like Twila she grew in my body and was born from me.
"But I'm not her mom like I am your mom."
"Oh, why?"
"Because Sandy is her mom."
"Oh…but why?"
"When Nicole grew in my tummy, I wasn't ready to be a mom, yet. And Sandy really wanted to be a mom but she couldn't have a baby in her tummy. So Sandy and I met and talked and decided that she would be Nicole's mom forever, just like I am your mom forever. Does that make sense?"
"Yeah, but... Nicole is still my sister."
"Right, she's your birth sister because you both grew in my body."
"Yeah, she's my birth sister."