Two years ago today, Peter, my sister Alicia and I met Anya Rashi for the first time! It was 70 degrees in Kolkata, which felt balmy to these Wisconsin natives, who had left below-zero temps to fly off to India. On that day, we showered, made a few nervous phone calls to the baby home, and prepared gifts for the Ayahs. Then we piled into the car with our driver Nayeem and drove off to a changed life.
My most powerful memories of our visit to the baby home are that the ayahs cared very much about the children (especially one very young woman who teared up watching us hold the baby she had cared for over the past 12 months). I was afraid I wouldn't be able to pick out our daughter's face among the other babies . . . but there she was, and I knew her instantly.
Anya Rashi was not entirely happy to meet us, however! I knelt down beside the crib she stood in, and talked softly to her so she could see that we were safe people. Peter and I took turns holding her, and the ayahs gave her a bottle to soothe her. Then, we tearfully thanked the staff who watched over her. I had purposely learned how to say "thank you" in Bengali, but my wits left me, and I completely forgot in the emotion of the moment.
Then we packed ourselves back into the car, and she fell asleep on my chest. What a lovely feeling that was. It's hard to believe that tentative little baby is the noisy, joyful, busy little almost-three year old wandering through my kitchen right now. Happy two years together, Anya Rashi!