My Sister Lauren

by Leslie Richardson, age 10

Have you ever heard of a country called El Salvador I have because my sister Lauren was born there. El Salvador is a very small country in Central America. A lot of wars take place there, and it is very poor. El Salvador is famous for growing coffee and for brightly painted crafts. Our family collects these crafts. Wherever we go we always look for them, and buy them to add our collection.

Lauren was born with a cleft lip and palate which is a hole in the lip and in the roof of her mouth. Our family adopted her when she was three months old. When she arrived she was very sick, because in El Salvador they donít have proper medicine. When she gained weight she had her first operation - she had her lip closed. Lauren has had six other operations and she has a lot more to come. Although Lauren has had all these things happen to her, she is just the same as you and me.

Laurenís favourite things to do are: playing outside, playing with the cars, helping Dad make afire, reading stories - she even likes washing the dishes!!!!!! Laurenís favourite movies are the ďLittle Mermaidí and ďThe Land Before TimeĒ.

We have a book of pictures from her operations, and when anybody comes over she shows it to them. Lauren calls that book her operation book. When we go on an elevator, Lauren tells people she does not even know all about her operations. Boy is that embarrassing! One day last summer we went to a family picnic in Kingston. There we met a lot of children that were adopted from El Salvador too.

In Central America there were an ancient people called the Mayans. They were really smart, and could build all kinds of buildings without the tools we have today. We do not know much about Laurenís birth parents. Sometimes when I look at her, I wonder if they might have been really famous.

Maybe Laurenís great great Grandpa was a brave Mayan leader. Maybe her great great Grandma was a beautiful Queen from Spain. This is something we will never ever know, but it sure is fun to think about. Someday if the war in El Salvador is over, our family might take a trip there so that Lauren could see where she was born.

Maybe some of you have a brother or sister adopted from a foreign country too. If you do, I hope they are as much fun as my sister Lauren, and I hope that you love them, as much as I love her.

From AboutFace Vol 6, No 3