We stood at the gate waiting for our student. Her flight came in late, Sunday night, and even though we had spoken on the phone, my stomach still fluttered about. What if she didn't like us? What if we are too different? What if....she's wearing a burqa?
I scanned each woman's face as she walked by, looking for recognition. We shifted our Welcome Ayah sign a little higher and waited some more. At last I saw her. We exchanged smiles as she walked towards.
She didn't look exactly like her photo, but I knew her. My heart squeezed in my chest. She was exactly what I hoped she would be, sweet, delicate and just as scared as I was.
Our embrace was that of old, dear friends and I looked at this young woman and saw my own flesh and blood.
I know it sounds trite, but we fit together. We are not so different as the media would have us believe.
Certainly, we have adjustments to make and things to learn about each other. Yet, in the span of just a few hours we have fallen into a fast friendship.
What a grand opportunity. I am humbled to think that this young woman would entrust herself to us and that we would care for and protect her as best we are able. She will not be a guest in our home, but a distant family member who is welcomed after a long journey.