I am a sister to a Smith-Magenis child. Sierra Nicole Smith was diagnosed with Smith-Magenis Syndrome when she was 11 months old; she is now 11 years old. It was a shock to my parents; most parents never have to go through that when their children are born. It's a mix of confusion, anger, and joy mixed up until it just comes spilling out of you. I was only 2 when Sierra was born and don't remember much except that I knew she wasn't like a normal new born. I am not going to lie or sugar coat it, I have wished a thousand times over that Sierra was normal or she would just learn to be more like the sister I always wanted. But no matter how many times she has made me angry, sad, or embarrassed I've never stopped loving her.

I remember how hard it was to hear one of my friends calling her stupid and foolish. I couldn't contain my anger and I yelled at her, it was the worst day of my life; hearing one of my friends, someone I trusted, talking about my sister like that. There are terrible moments when I wish she would just go away because she had ruined my lap top, ripped or colored on a school book, or just made a mess of my things right after I cleaned them up, however nothing in the world could make me stay mad at her.

SistersMy life is like dominos, stacked up and everything is going perfectly until my hand accidentally brushes against one causing it to topple over, then they all come tumbling down. Sierra is delicate, like a tiny flower fighting the early spring chill; sometimes she makes it till the weather's warmer and sometimes she breaks under the cold. When she pulls through the cold she is usually happy. Sierra breaks and destroys but also pulls her own weight around with her laughter and sense of humor. If it is one of Sierra's good days and I'm in a bad mood I try and go to her. She makes me laugh and her smile is a warming as a summer's breeze. She understands a lot more than people give her credit for. She cracks jokes and makes people laugh, she smiles and people smile back, she says hi to everyone in sight and that brightens people's day a lot more than you would think possible. If I were walking around in a bad mood and I saw a little blond girl with big round doe eyes smiling and waving to everyone who would look I wouldn't be able to stay angry or upset.

When we walk into restaurants or stores in the mall people look at her and ask questions like "How old is she?" Well hardly anyone believes she is 11. Sierra is shorter than most every other 6th grader. When people find out about her SMS they feel bad for her, even I do a lot of the time, but Sierra is tougher than she looks. Sierra is literally the definition of that commercial about "True Beauty." Once you talk to Sierra it is impossible to hate her. She is just filled with joy and does not try and hide who she is. As her sister I know more than anyone that looks can deceive. Like I said Sierra is small and blond with brown doe eyes and could probably pass for a small angel but when she throws her tantrums you'd think there’s a gang fight in her room. She will throw things, yell, and cry. Sierra isn't perfect, no one is, but I think she is an amazing sister who has her heart in the right place. Some people regret, some people move ahead and don't look back; but me, I stay and savor the moments I have with my SMS baby sister!