Sunday, September 15, 2013

Remembering While We Wait: May 12, 2012 MOTHER'S DAY !ND!AN STYLE

We felt sure that our children would be home by springtime, but not so. As with all other holidays, our children were on our hearts and minds on Mother's Day. Mother's Day turned out to be a special day. The day before, we found out that the Chief Minister of our children's state was giving a speech live via satellite to 18 U.S. cities on Mother's Day. Atlanta was included in the broadcast. We called the cultural center where it was going to be shown and spoke to one of the leaders of the organization. He invited us to the speech and to a Mother's Day picnic that would be held at a park a few miles from my parents' home. On Mother's Day, we drove to the park to attend the picnic. We drove past the location once or twice staring at the hundreds of Indians and had to build up the courage to walk down the hill to the party... We were the only people that looked like us, and it felt more awkward than being in Kuwait. Ha! Right away, we found Mr. Patel, and he was so gracious. He introduced us to all of the Samaj leadership, gave us a tour of the kitchen, and taught us about the traditional foods of his culture. The president of the Samaj was very welcoming and offered to help us with our adoption by making phone calls to officials or whatever else we needed. Being that we were stuck at the state level at the time, his offer brought me to tears. We ate grilled corn squeezed with lime juice then rolled in Indian spices, drank chai tea, and watched boys playing cricket. We absorbed the culture and dreamed of our children, showing their photos to everyone we met. Most were very receptive of our children and excited about adoption. After the picnic, we left our children with Granddaddy, then drove to Tucker to attend the Chief Minister's speech at the Samaj. We were the only white people again...probably the only ones who have ever stepped foot in the Samaj. We seated ourselves in the back, but they quickly moved us to reserved seats in the front...gracious and hospitable once again. The speech was in Hindi, so we did not understand a word, but it was very interesting to see what a dynamic speaker the Chief Minister is and to observe the reaction of the audience. Afterwards, a couple gave us a synopsis of the speech in English and answered our questions. We were about to leave when we were offered another plate of hot traditional food. They were amazed that we could tolerate the heat of their food! Haha! We've been building up tolerance. The food was AMAZING. As we were finishing up our food, Mr. Patel told us that a news reporter wanted to interview us for TV Asia to get our impression of the speech. He had told the reporter about our adoption, and we were allowed to speak about that on camera. Another door opened to share our story with the was a great ending to Mother's Day.

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