There are times when I may give you a hard time and push you to be someone you don’t want to be. It was not so long ago that I stood there at the airport waiting for you and dad to walk off the plane. It is as if it was yesterday. You may have not known a word of English, but that bright orange jacket just made those goofy cute glasses look even better with those blue eyes and a smile so wide. Freedom to America. You couldn’t speak, yet you did in a different way. Your smile said it all. I may have been scared when you came in my life but from that day, it seems you have been there forever. You are not just one who came from another country, but you are my brother and you are a part of me; it's as if you have been here forever. I wouldn’t be where I am without you.
You didn't speak the language, yet your smile said it all.
You have taught me how to love with deep sincerity. The moment I saw you walk off the plane holding dad’s hand, I knew my life had forever changed. I was no longer the only child in the house but a 14-year-old in awe of the eight-and-a-half, almost nine-year-old brother. The life I had known for so long was now different and full of change; something I thought was prepared for but learned quickly I wasn’t. I am so incredibly grateful that you opened my eyes, allowing me to take off the rose colored glasses and see a whole new world. Watching you grow has been one of the most powerful things I have witnessed in my lifetime. Every day has not been easy, seeing the kid running around the neighborhood with the American Flag, crawling out of the window because you were afraid. Yet, seeing your vulnerability to rescue the little bird and sleep with it as if your life depended on it; to care so much for someone you stopped whatever you were doing to serve them—I am incredibly proud to be your sister. Yes, it's been a journey and it's not always full of laughs and giggles of one throwing pillows, putting flowers in their mouths, going on late night food runs, watching movies into the wee hours of the morning, but you have brought so much courage and strength into my life. Thank you for opening my eyes and heart to a culture and language that I have come to love. Thank you for teaching me to be myself and to live resourcefully. Thank you for helping me tear down walls I didn't know existed. You haven’t had it easy. I've watched you hurt and be so distraught from friends being injured to being so incredibly frustrated by not knowing why things happen, the cultural frustrations, the language barrier, or not getting something your way. You are at a point of transition, as if every single part of your life is coming together, and you don’t know where to go. I promise you, dear one, that there is hope and joy in the morning.
There is joy in the morning.
As I look back on the past several years as I have left the house and grown, now it is my turn to return the favor to you. Never let others get in the way of your dreams. When someone asks you to do something even on your laziest days, go for it. The world is bright, dear one, and there is so much to see. Life may be full of different challenges and joys, but you have a family who loves and supports you and an army of friends and community to encourage you to go the distant. You have a roof over your head and a family that loves you. Even if we do not think we are doing the right things in life, life is full of challenges. It's okay to not be perfect all the time because we learn from our mistakes. It’s an honor to watch you grow and take the journey of life, but most of all, it’s an honor to be your sister. Being around you is such an adventure and a life lesson, thank you, brother. I am your number one fan-- don’t forget that--and I will cheer you on the sidelines no matter where I am.I love you,