Mary was so tiny and the few pictures I have of her did not prepare me for her smallness. She's almost ten and looks to be all of six years old. I saw her face and knew it was her, but kept asking to make sure.
She was very, very shy at first, with no hint of a smile. But she kept looking at me and watching my every move with the other two girls. After she saw that they were comfortable and even enjoying themselves, I felt her small hand slip into mine as we walked toward the park. Be still my beating heart.....
Roseline was my biggest surprise of all. In each of the pictures I have of her, she almost looks like a boy and seems very rigid and emotionless. I would not have called her "beautiful" if asked to describe her physical appearance.
But Roseline in real life, I found out, is an entirely different girl than my assumptions from a few pictures. She walked towards me and held out her arms as we embraced in what felt like reuniting with with someone I had known for forever. And she was beautiful. Her eyes sparkled and her smile was wide and ever present.
The girls did not know each other before our magical day together, but they obviously bonded quickly and held hands like sisters. I am just blessed to be a part of their world now and to have had the huge privilege of kissing the tops of their heads and looking into their eyes to say, "I love you. You matter. You are beautiful. I am honored to be your friend."