When people think of a nuclear family they think of a mom, a dad, a sibling, and themselves, but people rarely think about the possibility that someone in that nuclear family could be adopted. Yes, I have a sister, Paige, but she is not my biological sister. When I was younger I used to tell her that every chance I got when we happened to be fighting. Now that I am older I have come to realize that there are some very important things I would not have learned without growing up with an older sister who was adopted.
1. Don't judge a book by its cover
I know it sounds cliche, but it's true. I used to think of my sister was weird because she was different than I was, and didn't act like I did. I know part of this falls under "everyone is different", but I judged my sister before I was old enough to truly get to know her. By taking the time to actually get to know my sister I learned she was a very compassionate person with a welcoming demeanor.
2.Be nice to everyone
It's no secret that every little kid has been mean to their sibling every once in a while, but it wasn't until this summer that I learned my sister had spent a little time in a group home when she was a few weeks old before her adoption was finalized. Upon learning this new piece of information I felt extremely bad for all of the times I had been mean to her and it taught me to be nice to everyone because you don't know everyone's story.
3. Anyone can be your friend
As years passed I grew closer to my sister. She was basically my built-in best friend. When we were bored we would play together and make up stories to entertain ourselves. Playing with someone who isn't your blood doesn't really matter in the big picture, because siblings (and other people) don't think about if this person is related or the same race because when there is someone else there for you to be friends with you will end up being friends and I can honestly say my sister was, and still is, my best friend and her being adopted doesn't matter, because she is part of my family/
4. She is still my sister
Kids my age used to ask me how I felt having a sister who was adopted and I used to say, "I don't know. She's not really my sister." but that was the wrong thing to say. Since I am older I now realize that Paige is my sister no matter what. Her birth certificate and mine list the same parents so we are sisters and we will still be sisters for the rest of our lives.
5. I wouldn't change a thing
I love my sister and as much as I would have loved my very own biological sister I didn't get one; I got Paige and I wouldn't change that because my sister is fantastic and lovely and I would not change a thing about her. She is perfect just the way she is.