The end of a long day of work, and I'm tired. Headache. Dinner with friends to celebrate the "family day" for their 3-year-old from Ethiopia. Before cutting the cake, speeches are made, the first by the 6-year-old big sister who quietly says something about being glad she has a little sister. Everyone claps. My right eye won't tear but my left eye is shooting them from the inside corner, running down the side of my nose. The kids in the room take turns making speeches, which are all amazingly appropriate for the occasion.
Later as the boys wrestle, I watch the speech-giving big sister and her good friend, another adoptee from Ethiopia, a little girl Bee's age. These two are the same height. They organize a game of hide-and-seek. I imagine another little girl in this mix and hope they will be friends.
I stand in the kitchen for a few moments to say goodbye to the host. Another mom comes in and gives her own little speech about how she looks around at these kids and knows that, though their road to parenthood wasn't what they expected, they feel so lucky that these are the kids they get to raise. The tears start, again running down the left side of my nose.
As I go to gather Abe, the big sister's friend from Ethiopia, the one who reminded me two weekends ago that one of the best parts about having a little girl will be (hopefully) someone to brush and put little clips and braids in my hair, ran crashing into the back of my legs, hugging me tightly. She almost knocked me over. I turned around and picked her up and told her that those kinds of hugs are my favorite kind. She asked why. I told her, "because all you can do is just stand there and take it."