Being A Sibling In A Multi-Cultural Family


Being a sibling is a tough job; especially, if you are an older sibling. Not only do you have to love and deal with your siblings, but you also have to set a good example because remember, they look up to you. But then when you bring other cultures into the mix it can seem scary and over-whelming. I remember when my dad and step mom first told me they were going to adopt. I wasn’t excited. How could I ever love and be close to these kids that I had never met before? They are supposed to be my siblings now and I already feel over-whelmed with my biological sisters. What if they don’t like me? What if they won’t come to me because they know that I look different than them? All of these thoughts raced through my mind as we waited for the arrival of our new brothers from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Driving to the airport I remember sitting there with fake excitement but very real anticipation. But then, something strange happened. As my parents came around the corner smiling, almost glowing, I immediately felt the excitement that I should have been feeling all along. I couldn’t wait to hold and cherish these children in need who now were being given a whole new world of opportunities. The moment I got to hold my new brothers I immediately fell in love with these babies. They kept smiling and laughing at me and held my hand as I carried them.

Now that they’ve been a part of the family for awhile I can’t imagine them not being my brothers. All my fears and worries are gone. They love me and I love them just as much as I love my other biological siblings. Culture wasn’t an issue with them, they are babies. However, my fear of not being able to relate almost came true when we went to pick up a little girl from Nicaragua who would be spending a few months with us in the summer. How are we supposed to talk to her? She speaks Spanish, and I am studying French. She’s nine years old already and has only met my parents. What if she doesn’t like us? What if she’s mean and bossy? Or a cry baby? The biggest fear I had was that it would be awkward and I couldn’t even communicate with her.

But as soon as we picked her up from the airport she was amazing. She talked and laughed and joked with us like she had known us her whole life. It was like the language barrier didn’t even exist. She became a part of our family and fit in perfectly. Now the hardest part about Ana’s visit is when she leaves. I miss her tight little hugs and her laughing at me trying to roll my r’s and all the crazy things she does that have given her a place in my heart.

Being a sibling in a multi-cultural family may seem scary, but I can’t imagine having it any other way. Love really does fade color. I love all three of them so much. Sometimes people ask me if it’s hard having African brothers, or a Nicaraguan sister, yet I can’t help but laugh because to me they are just family.

For more information about MLJ Adoptions’ international adoption programs, please click here.

MLJ Adoptions is a Non-Profit, Hague-Accredited adoption service provider located in Indianapolis, Indiana, working in Africa, Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Pacific Isles. We are passionate about serving children in need.