Our trip to Denver to celebrate my parents' 50th anniversary, allowed Daria, Alexander and Oksana to see their grandparents' homes for the first time following their adoption from Russia last November.
Our first destination was Grandma and Aunt Jean's. After happy hugs on the front porch...
...it was time to enter their house.
I was walking alongside Daria; all the others went in ahead of us. Daria seemed to sense the impact of the moment. Was she truly welcome in their home? Would she be accepted in the same way as her siblings who'd been here so many times before? Would she feel comfortable here?
Daria hesitated briefly before the front door, said in her broken English, "I go in now," and causiously put her foot over the threshhold.
After Daria had surveyed the living room into which she'd stepped, she gave close attention to a framed photo collection. As she studied the pictures, she began to let her guard down. She'd discovered a sign of welcome...a beacon of belonging. Amidst Grandma's eighteen grandchildren, she was there! Grandma and Aunt Jean's home would be a place of inclusion. She was family here in Denver, too, not just in Iowa.