Our neighbor who leaves for Ethiopia October 29th was out in front of our house while our kids played. Several of the neighbors were out. Chatting about whatever. As she starts to walk away to go home, a thought occurs to me. I call her name and she turns around. Her daughter is running towards the street so I run with them. I tell her I have an idea.
I ask how long she'll be in Addis Ababa on her trip. She goes through what she can remember of her itinerary , and it's only a day or so that she thinks she'll be there. I tell her that I'm asking because if we know who our little girl is by then, she might be able to meet her. As soon as I said the words, I burst into tears.
Images of our neighbor meeting this little girl and giving her our picture and maybe a small stuffed animal from Abe and simply hugging her and telling her that she lives down the street from a family who is waiting for her--it's all too much. I was choking back sobs. I love my neighborhood. I love that I am surrounded by people who are going on trips to rural Ethiopia to do pelvic floor surgeries, people who would take the time to hug a little girl who might be her new neighbor through a fog of jetlag and tight schedules.
The image came to my mind of our little girl getting to our home in Oregon and seeing our neighbor again, just down the street. I want to see the look of recognition in our daughter's eyes when she sees this neighbor, when she meets our neighbor's daughter, perhaps the same age as she. Perhaps it's a comfort to her that she is surrounded by kind people who share their time and toys and energy.
Early this morning, my friend Julie called me while I was at work getting ready for a meeting. We hadn't talked on the phone in a few months, so I asked her what was up. She reminded me that I'd called her one morning and then her referral call came later that day, so she just wanted to test to see if the magic would happen this time again. She said, "Isn't it time by now?"
It feels like it. It really does. No call came today. That's fine. It really is. And I'm trying not to get my heart set on it, but come on, to know who this little girl is before our neighbor leaves for Addis? To be able to send something to her through our friend and neighbor? Yes, please. Please?