Everything Happens for a Reason

Katherine - Williamsburg, Michigan
Entered on June 4, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: family, purpose
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Everything Happens for a Reason

On October 17, 2005 Guan Yu-Hong became Elizabeth Rose Yu-Hong Kirby, my sister. Elle is from Kunming, China and was three-years-old when my family traveled to China to adopt her. She has a bilateral cleft lip and palate – this is probably the reason she was left in a public park a few days after she was born. That, and she is a girl. The bilateral cleft lip and palate is in the process of being fixed, with a major bone graft and final surgery scheduled for 2009, when Elle is nine-years-old. Elle is a very busy little girl; she goes to kindergarten, plays the violin, does gymnastics, dances, goes to speech therapy four times a week and rides her horse, Toby. As I write th is, Elle is practicing for her dance recital in her neon pink tutu. As I look at her, I know, beyond all doubt, that she was meant to be my sister.

Although I believe Elle was meant to be my sister, she was not the first little girl we were originally supposed to adopt. Five years ago, my family made the decision to adopt a little girl, possibly with special needs. Being the only girl in the family with three brothers, I had always wished for a sister and was ecstatic at the idea of adoption. About a year after contacting the adoption agency, we were placed with a one-year-old girl born in Hong Kong. She was originally diagnosed with delays in all areas with possible Cerebral Palsy. After we were placed, we let ourselves get excited. We gave her the English name Annabelle (Annie for short), began to tell friends and family and made plans for decorating her room. A few months later, however, the adoption agency called and gave us terrible news. Annie was diagnosed with Microcephaly, a disease in which the size of her head was significantly smaller than it should have been in proportion to her body – she was only expected to live a few more years. My family was devastated and struggled for months with the idea of starting the adoption process over again. Luckily, we decided to begin the search for another little girl, and Elle became my sister.

I believe wholeheartedly that Elle was meant to be my sister. Although we began the search with Annie, Elle was supposed to be the end to the search. I have faith that what is meant to happen will come to be, and this gives me comfort and confidence in all things. This belief helps me through the hard times, as major as the adoption of my sister and the college I attend, or as minor as a falling-out with a friend. I believe that everything that happens to me is meant to happen – the good and the bad. Every experience that I go through makes me a stronger, better person and what I learn from these experiences will aid me sometime in my ilfe, whether I know it or not. I believe that absolutely everything happens for a reason.