It started with a posting on Craigslist, the website where you can buy/sell second hand items for cheap.
I put up a Vacuum cleaner for sale there few days back. It was an old one, but worked perfectly. I put a reasonable price so that I get a buyer soon- just trying to get rid of some clutter at home.
I received just one response by email and eagerly grabbed the opportunity . It was a couple who contacted me. An American couple with kids and pets and they needed to be sure the vacuum cleaner cleans on wooden flooring as well as carpet.
I called the number and heard a soft female voice, ” Hello, this is Lina”
“Hi, I am calling about the Vacuum cleaner you were interested in ? Could you come this evening, after 6:30 PM to take a look?”
“Oh, Hi. Thank you for contacting. This evening is difficult. How about tomorrow early morning?”
“Okay. Can you come around 8:30 AM before I leave for work?”
“Sure. My husband and me will come. I will get my 2.5 year old daughter too”
“Definitely. Bring your daughter. I have a 2.5 year old daughter too”
“Nice. My daughter, she is blind. So, a little behind the milestones. But, she would be happy to meet your daughter “
“Uh….Oh, Ok. Sure”
“See you tomorrow then?”
“See you tomorrow”
The word ‘blind’ came unexpected. And, the fact that she included it in a conversation so smoothly made me feel small. I took being ‘normal’ as granted. Right after the call, I felt blessed to have a child who is able to see. I ran to Paapu and gave her an extra special kiss. I told about the couple and their daughter to the husband by the end of the day and re-iterated how we take things for granted.
The next day, at 8:30 in the morning, we had our visitors. In came a petite woman wearing jeans-Tee and a beautiful smile. She was helping her little girl to guide with the cane. The husband walked in right next to them with a nice smile too.
I could not take my eyes off the little girl.She was wearing a little salwar kameez and did not look American at all. I had to ask -
” Your daughter is beautiful. Is she Asian?”
“Yes. She is from Bangalore, India”
” We got her from an orphange this February. She is just getting used here.I suppose you are from India too?”
“Yes, we are. In fact, I come from a place near Bangalore”
“Wow, really? You know ka-na-da then?”
“ Kannada? Yes, of course I do”
“My daughter, Ana-Swetha*, loves to hear ka-na-da. Can you speak to her in the language?”
I called out to Ana-Swetha and said “Hegidiya?” ( How are you?)
She turned in a sudden jerk and came running in my direction. I kneeled down and opened up my arms to hold her before she tripped on something.
And, then, she hugged me.
The tightest, fondest, most wonderful of hugs I have ever got! She wrapped her legs around my waist and buried her face into my neck. I just sat down and held her…words do not describe the feeling inside me.
After moments passed silently. I noticed a sad streak on Lina’s face , “She misses Ka-na-da. They spoke that language in her orphanage. I am trying to learn a few words actually”
I tried to talk, breaking from the strong embrace, but chocked on my own tears.Finally said,
“Hmm. People like us only keep dreaming of doing such a thing. To adopt. You guys have actually done it. I…I feel touched. “
“Oh, Ana-Shwetha came to us really. We have an elder daughter who is from the same orphanage too. We went to bring her home and could not resist bringing Ana-Shwetha home”
She showed me a picture of her elder daughter, who was not blind, but equally beautiful and spirited.
While the husband showed them the Vacuum cleaner ( which they bought) I made Paapu and Ana-Shwetha drink their morning glass of milk together. Paapu (reluctantly) gave a toy of hers for Ana-Shwetha to take home.
It was time for them to leave and we stood at the door waving them goodbye.
But, this is not the last we’ll meet them I hope. Promises have been made to meet up again. I cannot wait to start a relationship with this wonderful family. A family that showed me there is no limits to sharing love, you only have to open your arms with it.
NOTE: Names have been partially changed to protect identity.
* Ana-Swetha : The birth name is the second half .The first half ”Ana” was added by the new family. It means “favored grace”.