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Thursday, October 6, 2011

What's a Sister Anyway?

My parents tried to conceive for something like 10 years by the time I was adopted.  By the time they would have had money to adopt more, I suspect that it would have been at a time in their lives where they weren't in the baby-phase or expanding the family phase.  Though, they did keep trying to conceive after I was adopted; my mother had a miscarriage when I was four.  I was raised an only child but always wondered if I had brothers or sisters somewhere out there.  I was delighted to find out upon reunion that I have three brothers; two are younger than me, one is older than me.  Then the thought crossed my mind....I have no idea what being a sister really means.

I ran through the relationships that are kind of close:

Cousins: a cousin, to me, was always someone who lived far away.  Who I was related to but didn't know anything about.  We shared the same grandparents.  Our parents were brothers and sisters.  No, my friends who had brothers and sisters seemed closer to their siblings than how I had been with my cousins.

Friends: I have close friends I would do just about anything for.  Our families are close, but as close as siblings?  I'm not sure.  My friends seem closer to their siblings than they are to me.  No, being siblings seems more meaningful on some level than being friends.

Well, I'm a mother but being an older sister isn't really like being a mother.  They have a mother.  We share a mother.  I'm protective of them but I'm not responsible for their care nor am I in charge.

Figuring out how to be a sister is hard stuff.


  1. To me, a sister is someone who is like a friend, but you don't have the option of walking away from. It's someone you can always call and they'll take your side no matter what. A sister is the girl you call for advice and who you know will always have your back. Closer than a cousin, and family more than a friend. I hope that helps.

    My sister and I don't have the best relationship. Our personalities are so very different and adoption issues came in and killed what was left of our relationship last year when I found my first family. Even though I know what it is to be a sister, I'm still worried that I won't be able to be the kind of sister that I should be if I ever get to meet my "other" siblings.

    Good luck!

  2. A post I needed to read. Right on time. I do not have a relationship with any of my sisters. It bothers me all the time, but I have pretty much given up trying to build a relationship. I suppose they never accepted me into their family.

  3. I typed out out a big long response this morning about how I have five sisters, but don't have a relationship with any of them really. Then I decided not to post it because I didn't want you to think that I was playing the "me too, game." But honestly, I grew up in a home with eleven other children - all full blooded siblings of mine - and we *rarely* speak. Like, *ever.* In fact, I have one sister I have not talked with in 17 years. :( She friended me on FB last fall but has never responded to any of my private messages. Even so, my hope is that perhaps things are beginning to thaw.

    Sadly, I logged on to FB (after deleting my original comment here) to discover her long-time partner/boyfriend/love of her life tragically died last night. He was almost the same age as my husband. Just as sad as his passing is the fact that I don't know how to reach out to her to tell her I care and I hurt for her. Would it make her even more upset if I were to say something? If I don't say something, will that ruin even the tenuous relationship we have sort of (not really) built via Facebook? What do I do!!!?????

    So, I guess my point is this: Even those of us who grow up surrounded by siblings don't know how to be sisters sometimes. I have never had a close relationship with any of my living ones and it makes me very sad. It has taken me nine years and three AMAZING sister-in-laws to help me finally understand what it means to be a *real* sister and how they treat each other. Now I just need to figure out how to be that kind of sister to my sister, if that makes sense.



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