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I’m standing outside the little coffee shop on the corner of the street, trying to convince myself to walk through the glass door and meet my long lost other half. As I stare at my dull reflection in the window, my mind begins to wander to the recent past.
A month ago, I was flipping through the stack of papers in my parent’s filing cabinet, looking for my birth certificate for a school project. On the top of the pile was my certificate labeled with my name “Lily Brown” and my biological parents names, “Jennifer Brown” and “Chad Brown.” I continued looking through the secretive papers out of curiosity and found my adoption papers, which legally changed my name to Lily Carson, and some other miscellaneous papers. At the bottom of the pile, I found a printed email from when I was two years old.
It stated, “Hello Mr. and Mrs. Carson. We are about to have a second daughter, but we are not financially prepared to take on another mouth to feed. For these reasons, we are also putting her up for adoption. We are contacting you to see if you are interested in adopting a second child, as you have our first born. Please email us back if you are interested. Thank you, Jennifer and Chad Brown.”
After reading that I have a biological sister and that she was put up for adoption by our biological parents as well, I quickly put all the papers back into the pile and filing cabinet and rushed out of the room, scared someone would find me snooping and would reprimand me.
It took me a few days to wrap my head around what I had read, but once I fully understood it, I took out my computer. I began doing research on my mystery sister because I wanted to find her and talk to her and be there for her and be a real sister to her. One day, two weeks later, after having scrolled through about a hundred “Chads” and “Jennifers,” I found the records that proved I was one of their children and that there was another child that came about two years after me. In a dark black print, I saw her name right next to mine and read it with tears in my eyes: Amanda Brown.
Once I found her name, I needed to take a break. I decided to go down stairs and grab a snack. I walked out of my room and into the hallway where my obnoxious brother was just walking out of his room. Zack has always thought that I was the worst thing to have ever happened to his perfect little family. He is only a year older than me, at 17, but to him, I’ve been apart of this family for 16 years too long.
“Lily!” he had said.
“What do you want Zack?”
“I want you to leave,” he snapped back, sharply.
“Too bad, so sad.”
He pushed me with his hip and ran down the stairs as if he was 5 years old again. Pushing me has always been his thing, but I just rolled my eyes and had continued walking down the stairs. I began daydreaming of my sister and what kind of life she had. I hoped it was nothing like mine. My house is a rainbow of gray, brown, and black with minimal windows which kept the bright light out. The sun never reaches into my house, besides through the spaces where the closed curtains don’t reach the windows. My parents speak monotone and basically ignore me.
As I sat down at the counter, I thought about how if her situation was as bad as mine, then I needed to save her. I then grabbed a bag of plain chips and dashed back upstairs to continue my research in the only room in the house that didn’t make me hate my family or living situation: my room.
I started scrolling through websites on many different Amanda Browns, attempting to find some sort of lead on where my sister might be or how I could find her. Another two days had passed before I had found anything on my actual sister. I had found an address, not far from my own, that lead to an Amanda Brown that had been adopted within a year of her birth. I wrote a letter to her. It explained how I managed to find out I had a biological sister and how I wanted to meet her. Once I sent her the letter, I sat anxious, in my more than boring house, for days. I finally received a response within the week.
It said, “Hi, Lily. My adoptive parents have always been very open with me, but I did not know that I had a biological sister. I would love to see and hear about you in person. Let’s talk some more! Amanda.”
I had read the response with tears of joy in my eyes. I needed someone in my life that I could truly connect with. And I had found just the person. I sent another email with an address to a small coffee shop that was a good meeting point for both of us.
And now that day had come, and I’m standing outside that coffee shop waiting for my whole life to change. I walked towards the brightly lit shop, covered in windows reflecting the blues, greens, and purples of the coffee shop’s walls. I pushed back my shoulders and lifted my chin and walked through the door – more confident than I had ever been in my entire life. I stepped into the little shop and scanned the room. I saw her. I saw her brown hair – slightly darker than my own- and her baby blue eyes and her familiar face. She looked up as I found her across the room and she wore a smile identical to my own. I had found my true family.