The Best Friendship

Many times I think destiny must have a sense of humor because of all of the girls who needed a family, it put two of the most opposite humans under the same roof.

If you have read my previous post, you know I am adopted from China. You also know my sister is as well. What you do not know is that she and I are not biologically connected.

If you assumed even the slightest bit but weren’t sure, you are not the only one. It’s a popular inquiry that almost always is asked upon realizing we are both Chinese, were born in China, and were adopted into the same family.

So here’s the answer.

My sister was adopted before me. When my parents realized it would be better for their daughter to have a sister, they went back for another, and that is how I came to be not only a daughter, but also the other half of a sisterhood (kind of like My Sister’s Keeper, but for a much happier reason).

I admit that when we were younger, life was much simpler. We both loved the same shows, played with the same toys, and slept in the same room. My mom even did the mom thing and matched us from our hair to our shoes, confusing even those who know us well. Still, not even the feeling of likeness through our appearance kept us from drifting ever so slightly from one another. Time would unveil the inevitable; our individual and varying traits and characteristics would grow as we did, separating us more and more.

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My sister (left) and me (right) at ages two and three, respectively. Photo by Photography by Lisa.

My sister is the outdoorsy, athletic, and care-free child. On the flip side, I am the introverted, artistically-inclined, perfectionist. In retrospect, there was always one problem with us sharing a room: my organized and clean side was consistently loathing her reappearing pigsty (it was a magic trick I did not enjoy).

There are few commonalities we share such as our ability to cook and bake, as well as our success in academics. But even in these areas lie distinct differences. She is far better at baking and cooking as it comes more naturally for her, and I need steps for understanding the step-by-step instructions on the box. Although my organization and studying helps me in school, it is once again more natural for her to do well because she hardly ever has to use these tools to receive better scores than me.

Our differences have not completely strained our relationship, but they prove time after time to prevent us from feeling the bond we did when we were little. They have kept us from enjoying popular activities together. For instance, she can wander aimlessly through each store of a mall while I would rather be in and out like Flash. Her weekends must consist of at least one outing with her friends while I am content to be at home finding a leisurely activity that does not involve hours of whatever social activity she takes part in. I prefer the comfort of my feet on the soil while she aspires to leap out of a flying machine to be at a bird’s eye view.

Now, I could very easily go on and on about how we are day and night. The thing is…I simply do not want to. Besides, there is one point I must get to, which is that underneath, behind, and amongst our contradictory relationship, there is one piece of information that we can share; one that seals our bond no matter the fray. It is the single piece of history from which we, the very day and night, were united.

My sister and I are both children of the same, unfortunate history that was the result of China’s one-child policy, but we are also both children who were saved by the same hands of the two people we call mom and dad.

We are two, adopted Chinese daughters under the same name. There is a feeling of security in knowing I have a sibling, a sister, who comes from a similar background. Being Chinese is a rarity where my sister and I live, and being adopted on top of it makes us rare. It is also something quite special. The good kind of special. The kind of special that has formed the best friendship.

Mei mei, I am blessed to be one half of this friendship, and even more blessed to have you as the other half.

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone.

until next time,

peace and love,



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