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Adoption – the Advantages and Disadvantages of a New Family

(Leah Sine and sister Jessica Sine pictured.)

by Rebecca Raub

Having the support of a loving and close family as you grow up can make the experiences of childhood and teenage years a lot more bearable. Seniors Julia O’Connell and Leah Sine were fortunate to grow up with supportive families, but as long as they can remember they’ve known something was different. They were each adopted by families at a very young age and have lived with them ever since. I interviewed both of these girls and asked them about their experience.

O’Connell was born in Vietnam as Nga. She was adopted by the O’Connell family at two years old and goes by the name of Julia. When asked about how she found out, O’Connell says “I’ve always known and my parents knew that so they never really sat down and [had] a formal talk with me about it.” O’Connell lives with her parents, three step brothers, and one adopted brother.

Sine, who was born in China, and says she also has known her whole life, and “…never really had an epiphany.” Sine has a sister who is a year younger than her. Jessica Sine, Leah’s sister was not adopted, so she is the only member of her family that was adopted.

O’Connell says there are definitely perks of being adopted such as “feel[ing] special”, and “Getting to live a life that wouldn’t be possible if she was not adopted”. Sine agrees with O’Connell’s statements.

However, there are some struggles that come with being adopted. Sine says that “certain forms are hard to fill out because I don’t know of any family diseases.”

O’Connell says “It’s annoying having two names; on papers I have to write Nga, but I grew up with everyone calling me Julia.” Both girls agree that is annoying sometimes to not have things in common with their family, such as height and not feeling included sometimes at family events.

According to O’Connell, “People sometimes make fun of the fact that I’m adopted, but they don’t do it to be mean.” Sine agrees.