Have you ever loved a person you do not know?
I’m pretty sure most of us have, at least a book character, a singer or a movie star. Because of intense familiarity or a sense of identity, we find ourselves passionate about small characteristics of that one being we almost believe we know.
How about a new person you are about to meet? Could that be? No details yet, just the possibilities.
I feel I am in love with a little girl I have not yet met, who will very soon be a part of our lives. A dear friend and fellow journalist has just adopted this first grader all the way from the Philippines.
For the last several months, almost a year, we have talked extensively about this new young person that is the lucky winner of my friend’s heart.
Our family participation started when this friend, who seems rather shy about emotions, called us announcing a sudden visit. I was then packing for a trip to Brazil and interrupted everything to sit with her for a little visit.
I quietly wondered why she had chosen to come by when she suddenly pulled a picture out of her purse. Suddenly we saw the image of this sweet girl whose story would soon be intertwined with ours.
I loved the news. My two daughters and husband were just as thrilled. I had a quiet moment of missing my friend’s mom, a dear soul who left us while in her 80s, but still a young and vibrant person. I soon learned she had been very much in love with the possibility of a new granddaughter.
In the months to come, we all grew eager to know more about the eight-year-old girl. When would she come, we wondered? E-mails on the subject were many.
My friend had plenty of work in this and I must confess I do not know the details of her many conversations. But one day she seemed really down when she got the news that the little girl from the picture may not be the one she would have.
That didn’t sound good at all to another common friend of ours.
“She must be so sad,” was the comment I heard. “ This may be just like a miscarriage.”
We didn’t talk much about this change of plans. Of and on, I got really close to asking again, but learned to stay quiet and just wait.
One day, not too long ago, I opened an e-mail and there it was: good news at last!
The agency had made a final decision and my friend was actually planning her trip to pick up her daughter!
In two weeks, she would go from being a prospective adoptive mom to being a true mom! I can’t imagine that there are any differences between being an adoptive parent or a natural one. But there are certainly plenty of differences between talking to agents and trying to cut through the red tape of the bureaucracy and actually getting to take your child home.
So, this past week, my friend played the stork. She flew Boston-Detroit-Manila and suddenly wrote me an e-mail that seemed pretty unbelievable after all the wait.
“She is sitting right next to me, watching me type this,” she wrote. “ She is soaking up English words very fast…. She is a brave little girl.“
It was not the first time I had tears in my eyes while staring at my monitor, but it was one of those intense moments.
The next day she wrote again and they were back. My Brazilian blood wanted to run to hug this new little person, but I’m behaving myself, waiting for her to get used to one at a time among the closer friends she will meet.
I know she already fell in love with the dog and seems to be quite interested in the cat as well.
She has met her six-year-old boy cousin and they hit it off, I heard.
As my friend spends some days off work to help her daughter in these first moments of a completely new life, she has taken her to the library and the little one has her own library card now. On a first visit they came home with an armful of videos.
I look forward to helping her feel at home and I hope to learn from her whatever she brings to teach us.
Can’t help but think that this is a moment of peace in a world of discord.
And it seems like a hard thing to believe, but as I was giving this column a last read, somebody knocked at the door.
No kidding. My friend and new friend were there, quietly smiling as I tried to hide my emotions.
My younger daughter has an armful of friends rehearsing for a school dance show and they have all welcomed this small girl with her quiet smile.
Oh, how we love her! And my dear friend deserves a flower.
Well, she’s got one!
Nota da autora: Esse texto foi publicado há 11 anos, em maio de 2002, no jornal Metrowest Daily News.
Hyacinth tem hoje 18 anos e acaba de começar a vida universitária, para alegria e orgulho de sua mãe, Cathy Brauner, que escreveu esta coluna: http://www.wickedlocal.com/wellesley/news/x1655329234/Column-My-daughters-circle