This picture depicts last weekend for my daughter. Her feet never hit the ground. Whether it was on the water, on the beach or at the lake house, she was in Heaven.
For the past twenty-nine years of my life, my sister has lived less than 20 miles from me. Always. And while we have always been close, we wasted our time together during those twenty-nine years. Not always. But we did the things that you do when you take stuff for granted; you think it will always be there. My sister and her husband left on November 30th, 2009 for Arizona, it was the day that we got our referral. I thought the distance would dictate the depth of relationship between my kids and their aunt. I couldn't have been more wrong.
Laura and Brian flew home for the first five days we were back from Ethiopia. And my daughter fell in love with her first member of our family. She clung to Laura like her soul depended on it and I cried like I've not cried in years when they left to go back home. So did my little girl.
Alazar is unable to pronounce his "r" and "u" sounds and when he says Laura's name it sounds like "LaLa". In his sweet sing-song voice, even her name sounds like a song. It's one of the most beautiful things I've ever heard.
We Skype all the time. We talk on the phone at least once a week and we have seen each other several times since that first weekend home and yet, at the end of every weekend, there is still something missing. It's our Lala. We tried for a long time to figure out the best way to celebrate Ruta's birthday. She didn't really understand what a birthday was and I didn't want it just to be a showering of gifts. We had a talk about babies and mommies and when the baby comes out that is your birthday. Ruta seemed to really understand. When I asked her what she wanted for her own birthday, she first said she wanted "water, chicken, bread and "baby cakes" (her words for cupcakes). I laughed and said "Ok. That can be your birthday dinner, but what do you want as a gift? What can mommy and daddy give you?" She only had one request: Laura.
When Laura and Brian booked tickets, I didn't tell Ruta she was coming. As we drove to the airport, she immediately asked "Laura?" "Laura?" I told her I didn't think so but that mommy had her gift flown to the airport. She literally stared at her for moments before she comprehended that Laura was here.
We went to the lake. She opened a lot of presents. She had a lot of baby cakes. But what she had for more than seventy-two hours was her favorite person in the world. While there were a lot of tears when she left for all of us, Aunt Laura is perfection in the eyes of my little girl and everyone deserves to be that idolized by someone. It's like having your own song...like having your own LaLa.