The strangest thing happened this weekend.
I took Emma and Caleb to visit grandparents. Grandpa has been sick, so before we left they made him a card. They got out some construction paper and carefully folded it in half. Caleb determined what he wanted it to say and Emma helped him spell the hard words. They used markers and tape and pictures. It was cheesy and cute.
When we arrived, Caleb ran right in like he owned the place. He proudly presented the card and then he and Emma played with the puppy while I chatted with Grandpa about baseball and his garden. Then Grandma got home from the grocery store and we all met her outside and helped her carry in her bags. We visited in the kitchen and she told me about her pretty new wall hanging.
It didn’t take long for Caleb to start showing off. He does a pretty cool trick where he walks on his hands. Impressive, yes; but not for inside. So, we moved the group out to the front yard. Caleb showed off until his audience got bored and then the kids played volleyball with cousins.
It is August and although it wasn’t as hot as it has been, it only took a few minutes of running around for Emma to get hot. She came over to me, fanning her face and asking for a hair tie to put her hair up. I checked my pockets and had nothing for her. Aunt B offered one off her wrist and I helped Em wrangle her hair into a sweaty pony tail.
Caleb quickly tired of their structured play (he is much more of a free play kinda guy) and wound up on the porch swing with Grandma. We all sat out there for quite a while, talking about school and teachers and the Olympics and family and church and life.
When it was time to go, Grandpa sent us with 2 jars of his fresh, homemade salsa.
Seems completely normal, right? That is what makes this scenario strange and wonderful.
The strange part is how very normal it was. The strange part is how I came to be a part of this family. I wasn’t born into it. I didn’t marry into it. I was (kind of) adopted into it. This is Caleb’s birth family and they have embraced all of us in a pretty incredible way. They have been kind and patient and understanding.
We adopted one of theirs and they adopted all of us.
Strange. Unique. And really, really beautiful.