This guest post is by Maya Menon.
The best day of my entire life was the day a six pound, five week old baby from Augusta, Georgia joined my family. On that day 16 years ago, my family was completed.
Since then, that little baby has been my best friend and my sister. My family is just as much, if not more, a family as those who are biologically related.
We made vows to always love one another and my parents promised to raise both of us the best they can.
However, people consistently ask if she’s my real sister, where are her real parents, and if she wants to be with her real family.
This is what I have to say to them:
Yes, she is my real sister. We fight religiously. She steals my clothes and locks me out of the bathroom. We have dance parties and watch TV. We get frozen yogurt and I drive her places.
She sends me funny photos and I tell her things to not tell mom and dad. She’s the one I miss the most when I’m gone to college. She is home and will always be my cheerleader, support system
Yes, our parents are her real parents. No, my mom and dad are not her biological parents.
All that means is she won’t be passed on the genes for early gray hair, have large wrists or have an eye that’s bigger than the other.
Anyone can be a father or a mother, but not anyone can be a mom or dad.
My parents are her real parents because they are the ones who raised her.
My mom does her hair, helps her with her homework and nags her to clean her room. My dad drives her to school, gets her Starbucks on Wednesday mornings and made her teach him how to use his phone.
Being a parent isn’t about biology—it’s about the love and time you promise to give your children forever.
Most importantly, we are her real family. Adoption brings children into families that want them more than anything in the world.
It allows for people to become parents, sisters, brothers, sons and daughters. Adoption gave me the girl who has inspired me from the moment I met her.
She has changed my mom, dad and my life in the best way possible. So yeah, that all sounds pretty real to me.
Without having an adopted sister, I would never know the real meaning of “family”.
Something that cannot be measured by the color of your skin or the genetics you possess.
Family makes you the person you are and always remind you of what you can be, teaches you that unconditional love doesn’t have a rule book or requirements and is always by your side.
Adoption is not easy but so worth it. It isn’t about giving the gift of a family to a child. The greater gift is having them as your child.
Maya Menon is from Seattle, Washington and a sophomore at Wake Forest University. She is studying Elementary Education and Studio Art and plans to go into Public Service.
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