FAMILY. ALWAYS.

Dear Abba,

You are eight years old, strong willed and extremely quiet making your new family unable to know what to make of you.

You’re still going through the motions of dealing with the successive loss of your parents and being uprooted to another corner of the country. You’re away from your brother and all that is familiar for the first time. As you set off on this new path, there are a few things I would like to share; hopefully they make it a little easier:

Don’t compare yourself to your siblings. You are from very different backgrounds and have various special things to offer to the world. Find your special thing.

Loving your new mom isn’t a betrayal to your first one. Don't shut her out; her overwhelming love for you will remain a sure anchor especially when all else is uncertain.

Be cautious but not cowardly.

Take time to learn and love who you are. You keep waiting for it, but you're not going to wake up morphed into another body, however puberty will be very kind.

Children can be cruel but it is rarely a reflection of who they are or even how they see you.

Do not hold grudges over hurtful interactions with your sister. You're both learning how to love and live with one another, it'll take time but you'll figure it out.

Own your story; don’t distance yourself from your past to fit in or make people comfortable. Tell the truth when your schoolmates ask where you, the new sister, has been. It will be such a relief not to live in fear of the truth coming out.

Don't feel guilty for leaving, it wasn't your decision anyway, but  stay in contact with your brother and first family.

Keep reading a lot. It's a healthy getaway when the world becomes overwhelming. It's really too bad that The Help wasn't written earlier, but remember:  'You is kind. You is smart. You is important.' :)

You're twenty five now and still figuring out what You're truly about. The constant however when  asked what's the most important aspect of your life? Family. Always. I can't wait for you to grow in love with them; it's strange but it's almost impossible to remember it being any other way.

Love always,

Abba

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