So, we went to the park the other day to meet up for a play date with my friend J, who came home from Ethiopia just a few weeks ago with her daughter S.
We had not had the opportunity to meet S yet, and we were pretty excited.
It was also a perfect spring day - windy, as early spring days tend to be in Colorado, but warm and full of the confetti and wafting perfume of Denver's blooming trees, which are especially abundant this year.
Q insisted on bringing a ball with her from home, though that proved an injudicious decision, since by the end of the afternoon the high winds took her ball away down the sloping meadows to the lake.
S. went for the swings right away. I don't know the name of the beautiful little girl who is swinging so high in this shot, but she made friends with us right away and was very eloquent and forthcoming. She even made a point of teaching Q how to swing her legs in order to go high on the swingset, as well as instructing her in the proper form of safe dismount.
Q and S working on their firepole form, and on the zipline, which is a particular favorite for both girls.
The arrival of S has been much anticipated in our circle of local adoption community friends. I met J when we were both in a class at the Chinese adoption agency, trying to learn Mandarin. This was months before our referral, when we were still deep in the two-year wait for our own adoption. It's a difficult phase, when you're in limbo, waiting for a referral, trying to imagine your future child, and having no real concept of how long you'll have to wait. J and her friends ended up very generously inviting me into their local group, which hosts dinners once a month. I was particularly honored to be invited into the group since it was actually a group of single women in the process of waiting for adoption. I was of course not single, so I was very happy to be invited.
And what a group of women they were! Most (all but two or three) were still in the waiting process, and still childless.
Many months later, after we had brought Q home, J switched into the Ethiopian program, and was eventually matched with S. We all watched on pins and needles as she waited to hear whether the courts would approve her to adopt, and after her approval, when she might receive permission to travel to Ethiopia.
So it was with great joy that Q and I went for the first time to have a playdate with J and her new daughter.
S is a beautiful girl, a bit shy and reserved still (but can you imagine, at her age, being handed over to someone you don't know and transported thousands of miles to a place that is totally unlike anything you have ever known? Not to mention the fact that she knew no English, and has had to learn at an accelerated rate) but game, and with a strong sense of humor and a ready smile that emerges at the most unexpected of moments.
S was a bit hesitant with Q at first, but by the end of the afternoon they were chasing eachother around the park and sharing equipment with grace and curiosity.
S also has a wonderful sense of drama, and the most astonishing collection of funny faces.
We had a blast, and are looking forward eagerly to our next playdate.
Q's playsuit: L'atelier de Marie et Rose-Alice
aviator hat: Petit Nord
river sandals: Target