I have a confession to make, one that may not come as a huge surprise to those of you who have been following the blog for a while. I adore and am hopelessly in love with every single one of our kids. But one little girl has had her tiny fist wrapped around my heart from day one.
|A few months in, still tiny|
|Walking for me on my last day – what a gift!|
Every day after that we got closer. She began to coo for me, then babble, then, slowly to talk, to crawl and, on my last day, to walk. She is a stubborn little goat of a girl, contrary, possessive and protective, but with giggles that light up a room and are all the more beautiful for their rarity. I call her my Zi, my mpenZi (sweetheart), my mbuZi (goat) – she calls my name.
|And at 18 months, toothy and standing!|
|A picture from her first day, courtesy
of Diane, who was volunteering when she
Every kid deserves a birthday. In reality, every kid deserves a family and a home – but for now at least, that’s out of my hands. So, little girl, from now on I will celebrate your birthday on October 17th – a lucky number for me, and my new favorite day of the year. Today I’ll celebrate Zawadi’s birthday, and how far she’s come – from a gaunt, serious little face to a delicious ball of giggles. I plan to move to Tanzania when I’m done with my program and do everything within my power to adopt her – it may or may not be possible given the complexities of adoption law. I will be there for her, though, for every day of the rest of her life, and many, many more birthdays.