After a rough 2012, 2013 was a rebuilding year for Modern Family star Ariel Winter, who went to live with her older sister, Shanelle Gray, and her brother-in-law, David Gray, after conflicts with her mother.
But in the wake of her personal issues, Winter took to social media over the holidays to express her thanks to her sister, and her family.
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"I am so lucky to be a part of this amazing family. It's been about a year and a half and at the same time, been the best year and a half of my life," Winter, 15, wrote on Instagram alongside a collage of several photos of her with her sister, her brother-in-law, and their two young daughters. "I love them more than I could ever describe and they've shown me more love than I ever thought was possible. They've each given me something incredible to carry with me for the rest of my life. They've taught me how to love unconditionally, how to give, how to forgive, how to find strength, how to comfort others, how to love myself, and how to be a young woman."
Winter was removed from the home of her mother, Crystal Workman, in November 2012 after allegations were made that Workman had been physically and emotionally abusive. Workman subsequently accused Winter of attacking her. After evidence of emotional abuse was found, Winter was placed under the guardianship of her sister, under which she has remained since.
"My sister is my best friend and one day I can only pray to have a family like the one she has created. I hope to be even half of the incredible person she is. She's done so many amazing things with her life and I will always look up to my big sister. I can't thank them enough and hopefully one day I can do something to show them how grateful I am," Winter continued in her post. "So here's to the rest of my life with my spectacular family! Merry Christmas everyone. Please be thankful for the amazing people and things you have in your life this year. I know I am."