Sunday, December 29, 2013

The gift of friendship

My little one has a best friend. At the tender age of 3. Last August, when we were visiting her child care center, another 2 year old little girl had just started. I watched as the teachers tenderly picked up Julia, speaking to her in both English and her native Portuguese, telling her that her mom would be back, and that she was safe. I think Yaoyao was watching too. And I think she felt compassion for this little one who felt sad that her mother had to work. Yaoyao knows how it feels to miss a mother. She understood Julia. I think that is when their connection started.
When Yaoyao started child care in September, I watched as she and Julia would look for each other at arrival time. When I would pick up, they would often be chasing each other and laughing. They were fast becoming friends.
It wasn't soon before the teachers would tell me that the two were inseparable. The teacher said they were best friends. They were always asking for each other. It was not to the exclusion of the other kids; others would easily join in on their play, but they clearly preferred each other.
Today, Julia turned 3. Her mother had told me that Yaoyao had to be at the party. Julia's party was at a splash park, and watching my sweet girl with her friend was something I won't easily forget. Yaoyao knows how to love and receive love. I have seen that over the past 6 months that she has been home. But, what I realized today, is that she knows how to FIND love. In the big world. At the age of 3.
Yaoyao watched her friend at all times. Her friend watched her. She would move away to be near her. At times, no words were even needed. The two just seemed to understand each other. I watched as Julia gently took Yaoyao's hand to guide her. And I watched as Yaoyao would smile at Julia as if there were some unsaid joke between just the two of them. I watched them squeal in excitement at seeing each other after spending the last week apart.
One of the most tender moments I witnessed between the two of them was as several children were eating some chocolate covered strawberries. Some of the chocolate fell off of Julia's strawberry, onto both her chin and shirt. Julia didn't seem to notice, but Yaoyao did. She reached over to her little friend, and gently wiped the chocolate off her chin using her fingers. She then took the piece that fell onto Julia's shirt and brought it to the trash. Julia looked into Yaoyao's eyes and smiled. I watched my sweet girl lovingly take care of her little friend. They understand each other. They cherish each other. They are best friends. What a gift.


  1. She is so precious ! Glad that I have found your blog. I have a granddaughter, Gracie, from China and love to follow adoption blogs. Blessings

  2. Good afternoon,

    I am a single mama in process of adopting my first little boy from China. I have been reading your blog and so enjoyed it. I was wondering if you have an email you wouldn't mind sharing as I'd love to invite you to a facebook group I am starting for single adoptive mamas. Just so you can see who is sending you this random message: my blog is You can also find me on facebook under my name. I would love to hear more about your experiences!

    I’m so looking forward to connecting with other single mamas!
    Amber Ratliff