Thoughts from a Big Sister: Life is a Gift to be Shared

February 17, 2016 Down syndrome, Family Stories, February 2016 Feature - Siblings, sibling perspective, siblings 13 Comments

Almost three years ago, a little stranger came into my life. And then six months ago, another one joined her: Pearl and Molly, our spicy Hunan girls. It’s so hard to think that they once were strangers to us, to our love, to our family.


Sometimes I wonder what my life would be like without those two. First of all, there would be no cheeky smiles, no six thirty wake-ups, no finger painted masterpieces, no snuggly hugs. Quite frankly, I can’t imagine my life without my little strangers. It’s like taking the fizz from my pop, like expecting me to sing with no song in my heart. They truly have changed my life.

Ever since Pearl and Molly entered my life, it’s been… different. Pearl was a little girl with a lot of baggage. It took six months for her to actually cry, a year for her to truly accept her new home and us as her family, and now, almost three years later, we still are trying to work through some things.

Molly is definitely the happy-go-lucky kid of the bunch. But she had her challenges too; she joined our family, but only after being taken from her foster parents, who had loved her as their own since she was six months old. She also had to deal with a very bossy Pearl. Oh, and did I mention they both have Down syndrome?

So yes, my life has changed a lot. Before Pearl or Molly came to us, I was the oldest child in an average family, with two younger brothers and one younger sister. Everything was, in my eyes, perfect. Then mom and dad dropped the bomb and told us that a little girl on the opposite side of the globe needed a family, and guess what? That family was us.

At first, I was honestly upset and did not like the idea. Why did we need to change? I didn’t want someone I’d never met to just join our family! But, as God He would have it, the idea of a little sister started to grow on me, even to the point of me writing letters to her in my journal. I truly loved her long before I ever held her hand or kissed her cheek. And so when she finally joined our family, my love for her just grew stronger and deeper.


Who cares that we have different biological parents, or that we were born on the other side of the continent? She is my sister, my sister who God planned to be part of our family long before we were even an idea in our mother’s heart. Life was hard, but God gave my family a love for Pearl that encouraged and held us up on the hardest days.

So when my parents told me about Molly, two years after Pearl came to us, I think you can guess how excited I was! The year we waited for the papers to criss-cross the globe flew by, and now she is part of our family… I can’t imagine our family without her or Pearl!


Even though I’m only fourteen (and a half), Pearl and Molly’s adoptions and their joining our family have deeply affected my life, my faith, and how I look at life. I shared how it changed my life; now I’ll share how it changed, well, everything else!

First, my faith. God indeed works in mysterious ways. Adoption and all that has come with it has taught me so much about God’s unconditional love, about true family, about being strong and not losing faith.

I now understand things that some people twice my age haven’t yet figured out; and for that, I am truly thankful. I now know that family is not defined as people with the same blood and the same DNA; love is all a family needs to be a true family. I now know that God works through pain, and we come out of hard times stronger and closer.


Adoption has also changed how I look at life and how I live it. Life is a gift, a gift to be shared.

Why shouldn’t we, then, live life to its fullest?
Why shouldn’t we love like God?
Why shouldn’t we love those who need it the most, the orphans and widows?

Asking myself these questions, I try and answer them the way I know God wants me to.

One last thing I now realize is how much I love a big family. I love always having something going on, someone singing or yelling or talking or giggling… just one more thing I wouldn’t have realized if Pearl and Molly had not come into our lives and family!

– guest post by Anne

13 responses to “Thoughts from a Big Sister: Life is a Gift to be Shared”

  1. LeeAnn says:

    I love everything about this, especially the pictures, and the “why not…why shouldn’t we” questions.

  2. Lianda Garcia says:

    Such beautiful words……. Such a wise , loving young lady…… Am very touched by this ????

  3. Erin Foerch says:

    This was wonderful. Thank you for sharing!!

  4. Jennifer Hoekstra says:

    Anne, you are beautiful and brilliant. Gifted and generous. Selfless and a servant. Wise and witty. Thank you for sharing your beautiful self with the rest of us and teaching us what it’s like to be an instrument in God’s big plan.
    Love, Jen

  5. Carol E. says:

    Anne, that is beautiful. You brought tears to my eyes. Thanks for sharing !

  6. Stephanie says:

    Such precious and beautiful words from a young lady who is wise beyond her years. Thanks for sharing your heart, Anne.

  7. Sherry says:


  8. Sharla says:

    Anne, you have a gift with words!! I hope you never stop writing and sharing your heart. It will open up people’s hearts in ways you cannot imagine. Thank you so much for sharing and for helping us all dig deeper into ourselves and how we can live up to our potential.

  9. Linda Salaam says:

    Anne when I first met you I knew you were destined for greatness. Your story is awesome I am so proud of you n your family for showing so much love to others. May God continue to shower you with his blessings. We serve a mighty God. Well done

  10. Noreen Sulzer says:

    Absolutely beautiful, what a loving and bright young lady.

  11. Diana Heglund says:

    How Beautiful!
    Keep writing and
    You have been given such a

  12. Rick Theule says:

    Anne! Great job. Thank you so much for sharing your perspective and story.

  13. Kristin says:

    You are wise beyond your years! I loved for story about your sis. I wish I was this close to mine. Maybe something I can work on 🙂

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