journey to Washington DC. Her dad and I took delight in the
expressions of pleasure and anticipation as the day of departure
approached. We all held our breath as the never ending North
Carolina winter dumped freezing rain and cancelled school a
mere twenty-four hours ahead of take off time. Our daughter
took great care as she placed each carefully chosen item into a
small suitcase and backpack.
After a 5 am wake up, a little breakfast, and a last bit of
shared contagious excitement, we headed to the school. After
unloading our luggage, we claimed our spots on the big bus.
Knowing that we were facing several hours of sitting, I got out
and walked around. I headed to the restroom and was warmly
greeted with a beautiful smile and a hug. Melissa pronounced
Ma-lee-sa was one of the children in my book buddy group
a few years back. We had a special bond. Over time and as we
read books together each week, she shared some intimate
details of her family’s life and story as Mexican immigrants. On
the morning of the field trip, as we chatted about the exciting
days ahead, she said, “My dad is crying. It is hard for him to
say goodbye.” I hugged her and then walked back toward the
bus. As she connected with her dad one last time, I looked
deep into his eyes and said, “We will take good care of your
daughter.” What was the story behind those teary eyes? What
had he seen and lived to have such emotion around this three
day parting?
As an adoptive mom, I crossed paths with various
family configurations including those with two moms. Such a
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