The following is the heartfelt wisdom and pathos from my own daughter. She is a beautiful, wonderful person who has had to face the challenges of being a sibling to a brother with special needs and the internal identity struggles of being adopted from China. We are all a work in progress, but her essay below captures in poignant terms her thoughts about her "difference."
Well, if you had to ask, a difference that I have had to overcome was my family. Being adopted kind of bothered me, and my brother has spastic cerebral palsy and epilepsy. I know being unique and different is good, but this to me was VERY unusual. I mean how many people do you know have a family of an adopted daughter from China, and a son with a disability? Just as I thought, I may be the first. As you continue to read you may find yourself asking question about your own family. Just know your family is something you should appreciate and enhance.
As for my brother, he is also another very big difference separating me from my friends. Usually siblings have a special connection between them, but mine is much deeper. I really care about him! I have worries that a lot of kids my age don't worry about for years to come. Two worries I go through a lot is "when I get home will he be at the hospital? What will it be like if I take care of my brother when I'm older?" If you were me, how would you feel knowing that an empty driveway after school could mean my brother is at a hospital? Alarming, perplexed, and/or shocked? Well, this is what exactly happened to me on May 10, 2010. I guess now you can see how my family is different.
All I could think about is my being just like my friends. I overcame my family differences by accepting who I am in life and thats never going to change. The parents I have now love and care for me, and really my biological parents did love and care for me. If they didn't, then I could be starving and working in a factory with low pay. My brother's disability actually brought us closer together. Things that other people don't understand I do. I don't think anybody else will know exactly how I feel, but as I said before, "our relationship is so much deeper." He can still talk and go to school like everyone else (graduated from SHS). To sum it up I know my parents try their best to make my life as "normal" as possible, but sometimes you can't pass by, you need to go through it.