The question seemed completely unnecessary:
“Would you be okay with mom and I adopting a girl your age?”
Of course! Growing up with two older brothers far older than myself, a sister seemed like a dream come true. I craved someone I could giggle, go shopping, and talk about boys with. Little did I know that my polar opposite existed, and that somehow, by a working of God, my parents should choose her as my sister.
“Sister”- the word sounded odd out of my mouth. To tell the truth, I did not really know how to treat a sister. I knew how to treat older brothers: follow them everywhere, listen in on conversations, repeat anything they say or do. But a sister? The concept made no sense to me. Yet, I still longed to experience it, to understand what all my friends meant when they vaguely mentioned their “annoying,” but obviously beloved, sisters.
My desire for a sister quickly vanished once Destani moved in. While I dressed in pastels, she covered herself with layers of black and red. While I stubbornly viewed the word optimistically, she perceived things through a realistic lens. While I naturally excelled in school, she struggled to pass all of her classes. Looking at our traits, I thought that Destani and I diverged too much for our relationship to ever work out.
For the first year or so, our relationship followed a rocky path. Things turned ugly from time to time. There remained a lack of connection between us – it seemed as though we possessed no common ground to build this “sister” relationship on.
I make it sound as though we both added to the animosity, but really I deserve the blame for almost all of the arguments that occurred between us in that first year.
Something happened, though, that changed everything. At church one Sunday, God revealed something to me: I acted like a hypocrite. There I went, going through life talking about the eternal love of God, when I could not even begin to love my sister.
Thus, slowly, I began to open the doors of my heart that I previously kept closed tight against Destani. Her annoying habits, which before I could not stand, I let slip past without a comment. Taking deep breaths became common since I refused to start or continue an argument. This process of opening my heart towards my sister did not prove as quick as I thought, but I kept at it until, finally, love overpowered animosity.
Not too long ago, Destani and I ended up sitting on the kitchen floor, eating ice cream, and giggling about cute boys for a good hour. All it took was an open heart.
Now, I look at Destani and see my sister, not her clothes or opinions or weaknesses. I proudly call her my sister, without audibly stumbling on the word, and I love her. I believe I can love anyone if I simply try to open my heart.