Tonight, after a long day of no school, carving pumpkins, playing outside, playing inside, and general ruckus-making, the kids had settled down, bathed, and gotten ready for bed. I walked into the kitchen to find Sadie, in her flowered nightgown, wet hair, and brushed teeth sitting with Dea drawing a picture.
As long as we've known him, Dea has loved to draw. He'll draw anything and everything but, honestly, doesn't talk a whole lot about it.
Tonight, as I cleaned the kitchen, swept the floor and folded laundry, I overheard him talking with Sadie about the picture she was busy creating.
"Dea, can you draw me a horse?"
"Sadie, YOU can draw a horse, just imagine what it looks like. Does it have a long neck or a short one? How long is it's mane?"
"My horse has a long neck and a long mane."
"Then draw what you're imagining...that's great, now how does a horse look? Does his body go down straight like ours or sideways?"
"That's right. Now, if the mane is long, it will cover up some of the body so you have to start drawing it here, instead of here. See?"
"Now, is your horse just on a piece of paper or is it somewhere like a street, or a field, or going up a hill to get something to eat at McDonald's?"
"Up a hill to go to McDonald's."
"Great, then draw that. Just like you are imagining it."
He sat with her for probably thirty minutes. Every once in a while he'd answer a text but otherwise, he was listening to her talk and laugh, and then she'd toot and they'd both laugh. He didn't get impatient with her, tell her he had other things he had to do, or take the pencil from her and draw it for her - draw it better. He just answered her questions, asked her what she was thinking about her horse, and encouraged her to put it on paper.
She's a spunky, sweet, red-headed, five year old and he's a black, eighteen year old boy from the hood. Two years ago, they were strangers. Today, their brother and sister.
We get told all the time that we're giving Dea and Darius a chance they might not have otherwise had. What we realize all the time, though - especially in moments like this - is that they are the part of our family that we didn't know was missing until they landed on our door. They found us, and blessed us, and they're giving us a chance we might not have had without them.