Birthday Party

On Sunday, we went to the birthday party of a good friend we met while fostering in Guatemala, the girl we all called “Baby Maya.” Except Baby Maya is now “Big Girl Maya”: seven years old. She and her mom live about 45 minutes north of us, and we do our best to get together a few times a year: birthdays for each child, definitely, and often around Thanksgiving and Fourth of July. I see time passing in Baby Maya, in a way I cannot in my own children. At each new visit, she is bigger, stronger, taller, with longer hair. I notice those things in my own children, of course, but not as dramatically.

My children, especially Olivia, appreciate Maya’s special place in our lives. Because she was five months old when we met her, she is truly Olivia’s oldest friend. So many other people in the lives of our children have, as I call it, “disappeared”: their foster parents and siblings, the people we met when we visited them in Guatemala City. Not to mention, of course, their birth families. Although we communicate as best we can, we live in California and they live in Guatemala. Distance makes it complicated.

But Baby Maya lives less than an hour away, an easy car ride when there’s no traffic. Even if she lived much farther, we would still make the effort to see her. The girls refer to themselves as  “Antigua sisters.” Especially for kids whose families are made through adoption, a long-term connection like ours is worth honoring. Happy birthday, dear Maya. May we celebrate many more, together.


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