The Red Thread – Sophie Browner

I was five years old when I met my sister.  I remember my dad picking me up from kindergarten, and telling me that my mom was finally home after two weeks in China with our long anticipated baby girl. I remember cracking open a door and peeking through to see my mom holding a tiny, eleven month old baby who looked nothing like me. An ancient Chinese proverb states that each newborn baby is connected by an invisible red thread to people in their lives. They are bound together by fate, regardless of time and place. The red thread gets shorter as people who are destined to be a part of each other’s lives meet and become close. 
My sister, Lia, went through several different foster homes and orphanages for the first 10 months of her life where she was not always given the care that she needed, and she has struggled to overcome this period ever since. Frequent night terrors and unexplained fits left our family feeling helpless at times, but constantly motivated. It was like putting together the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. Finding ways to make her smile and help her open up not only helped her immensely, but brought our family together as well. With each giggle coming out of her adorable mouth, I felt the red thread tighten.

Having an adopted sister has allowed me to take part in a very special process: healing. Some of the healing has taken place in the mundane everyday interactions that siblings share. At the same time, some of the healing transcends everyday moments and feels more profound. When I see the the resilient, outgoing girl that Lia has become, I know that I have played a part in her reaching that point. While I have been helping her through the years, she has been helping me just as much, possibly even more. Sometimes getting through to people who are hurting seems impossible, but I have learned that with enough persistence and support it can be done. It is incredible to think that there are seven billion people in the world and that I, a girl from Cleveland, Ohio and Lia, a girl from Nanchang, China, were brought together as sisters. I simply cannot picture my red thread tied to anyone else.

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