Sheena21's picture

Adopted my 10 year old little sister

So my mom died last year. I had been married for just under 2 months. I had just turned 19 years old.I have a much younger sister, in fact shes 10 years my junior.  Her father has never been involved in her life, she had no where to go when my mom passed away. Of course I didnt even think twice, my husband and I immediately started adoption proceedings. So we finalized that, finally!! Shes with us, to stay. I love her dearly, but I just have no idea what I'm doing. She looks to me to fill that "motherly" role for her, and I just cant. Im her sister, she gets on my nerves, like sisters do. And that doesnt seem to be changing. In fact, her and I didnt grow up in the same household, so this is the first time we've ever even lived together. Tim and I don't have any other children, so this whole parenting thing is new to both of us. Shes almost 11 now. Shes beautiful, healthy, active, very very talkitive. Shes doing great in school! Shes polite, really involved in our church and just a sweet girl. I want to be what she needs so badly, but I just feel like her sister, not her mom, not a role model....just her sister. And she drives me nuts.  :)   I've been married close to two year now...and my husband is so ready to have children of our own. But Skylar annoys me so badly, and I feel bad for having those feelings towards her. Im afraid of having children of my own...what if I feel the same way about them? What if I struggle to give them the love and support they need? I just dont think I can risk that....

acitez's picture

When you adopted her, that made her your responsibility, not your child. It didn't magically turn you into her mom. You know that already.
Connect with the parents of some of her friends so you can have a resource, real hands-on parents of other 10 year old girls.
About her being annoying to you. I like 10 year olds. But 7 year olds? They drive me NUTS.

tamz's picture

Tell some of ladies in your church how you are feeling and solicit advice. Connecting with her friends mothers is a great idea too.

You will not feel about your own children the way you do about your sister; none of us do.

Also remember 20/21 is still very young. I am not saying you are immature, but experience helps so much with matters such as this. Give yourself a break from any guilt you have about being "annoyed" and treat your sister with love and fairness. Treat her like you are her older sister and you are in charge.

When you have a child, you will see that it's not the same experience. The good thing is that you will be a little bit more experienced than most first time moms.

Good luck and God bless...

concerned mom's picture
concerned mom

I'm a mom of 2 boys, and I love my children to death, but they drive me nuts too sometimes. It just comes w/ the territory, I guess. There's no real science to being a mom or no book that you can study to become the perfect mom. You learn as you go. Every child is different. From the sound of it, though, you're lucky. Despite all the little annoyances, you seem to have a very happy well adjusted sister. The situation has to be difficult for everyone, not only dealing w/ the loss of your mother, but also adjusting to this new role and unexpected life change. I have to give you a lot of credit. I admire you and your husband for taking on such a responsibility, especially since you've barely had time to start your own life together. It shows that you love your sister dearly, and that of all things, is the greatest gift you can give her. Don't try to be a mom so much to her b/c you're not. Just be there for her and love her the best way you know how. Talk about your mom together, and share those memories. Picture albums are great for that. It's important that you and your sister do that. All things take time, so be patient. Also, don't rush into anything. You're young, and you have plenty of time to have children of your own. Having your sister live w/ you is a wonderful blessing, but w/ that comes a lot of responsibility and stress and sacrifices. My advice to you wld be to wait before having children. Get comfortable w/ your current situation first. The last thing you want is for a new baby to put a strain on your marriage. All children are a blessing, but you need to be realistic about this. If you have any doubts, wait. When you're ready to have children of your own, you'll know. I'm sure you'll make a great mom when the time is right. You're on the right track already. I wish you and your family all the best. You deserve it.

Kara's picture

I also admired you and your husband. And i agree with all the posts people posted here. You are her sister, and both of you know that. and she calls you sister, not mom, right? And feelings between sisters and parent-children are SOOOOOO different. So, believe me, when you have your own children, you will have a totally different feeling toward them!
Don't try to be a mother for your sister, and spend time with her, get to know her better, encourage you to share her feelings and stuff at school with you, her relationships and friends, etc. that will make you closer.
It's great that she lives with you, so when you're ready to have your own babies, she can help you a lot, which is always needed when you have a verrryyy smaaalll babbyy!!

I wish you all the luck and happiness in the world.

clothbottom1's picture

Adoption means taking full responsibility.. No matter what is takes you are now their parents and everything. Thanks

motherspride123's picture

The biggest thing you did was that you adopted her and i appreciate you for that. Now its your responsibility to keep her happy. If you feel that she is your sister then its good thing now just try to become her mother and a good friend. Try to understand her. She is a kid she doesn't know what she is doing. Try to smile and make her smile whenever she is with you. Take her to some good places and enjoy with her. You can be a good Mother i assure you that. I hope this will help you. Take care.

Andrea Brown's picture
Andrea Brown
Hi Sheena, Thank you for keeping your sister in your family. You are to be commended and we are all very proud of you.Here are some ideas to build your relationship: 1. Have one time each week (cheap movie night?) when you two go out and do something together. It can be as simple as going to get a donut together, or as wild as getting a new hair style. Make that your together time. Agree together what would be a neat way to spend time together.
Andrea Brown's picture
Andrea Brown
2. Once in a while, for no reason, get her something small just because you love her. And be sure to tell her that! Small means: silly pink pencils, a pad of sticky notes, new lip gloss or a favourite magazine. I usually make 'small' under $5, but always under $10. Don't do this regularly - keep it special, and fun.
Andrea Brown's picture
Andrea Brown
4. Always stay really close to her. Have heart-to-heart talks with her often, especially because she is entering her teen years. She needs your love and support as her body changes, and as peer pressure increases. Keep giving of yourself to her. 5. Always remember that your sister looks up to you. Younger siblings always do. But she loves you and respects you even more because you adopted her. I read that you are a church-goer and I'm a believer, too. Be encouraged, Sister! God is blessing you in ways that you can't even imagine! Put your heart-aches to your church friends, and more importantly to God. Take care, Sheena!
kimmie_34's picture
your right you are her sister not her mother but you took the responsiblity for her and adopted her so that does make you the mother figure, you are now responsible for everything she does, and it is normal for her to get on your nerves she is your sister. Having children of your own is way different than raising your sister when you give birth to a child you have a bond and it is way different than a sister, so dont let the nerves you have that is cause by your lil sister to ruin it for you of having a child, it is all normal... im sure your mom is proud of you and happy that you took in your sister and oneday your sister is going to be greatful for that and proud of you too. so start your family... your sister might grow up then and not get on your nerves so bad