Source: Scholastic Literacy Place. Page 1 of 2

The New Addition
by Gina Lewis

Read the memoir below. Use it to complete the next page.

My parents had been talking for months and months about a new and wonderful addition to our family. They showed me pictures of Elena and pictures of where she lived, and they told me what little they knew of Elena's life in Sarajevo.

There was a war going on that had taken the lives of many people and destroyed much of the country. One group of people wanted to gain control of the country. Elena's parents had been killed, and her grandparents had been taking care of her. Her grandparents became sick and couldn't give Elena the attention a five-year-old needs. Elena's grandparents felt that the best chance for her to grow up in a safe place was to give her up for adoption in another country. When our community center agreed to help place orphan children, that's when my parents got involved.

I couldn't help feeling a little angry and depressed. I didn't ask for this "new addition." Now there would be Nina and Elena Davis. I knew my parents would fuss over her. They were already fussing over what food to make for her and what clothes of mine she'd fit into-and she wasn't even here yet! I had just about made up my mind to ignore her.

I'd heard stories on the news about orphans, but they just seemed like made-up stories about made-up people. Then I saw Elena as she arrived at the airport. As I watched her eyes search fearfully through the crowd for a familiar face, I realized she was a real person. I saw a very lonely and frightened little girl. I thought about how Elena had suffered through many things that I would never have to undergo. That one look changed how I thought about her. That was when Elena became my sister!

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