20 years. I remember so well going through the metal detector at the federal court build in Indianapolis. The security guy telling me that the world trade center was hit by a plane and we assured each other it was a fluke. A mistake. Then, upstairs to my office and then into a judge’s chambers to watch the second plane hit and the buildings collapse on tv.
I remember trying to wrap my head around the unimaginable in the midst of distress, chaos, sorrow and worry. But a tender memory from that time, in the days and weeks afterwards, midwest friends, neighbors, colleagues and acquaintances, remembered I was from there and asked how I was and how my family and friends were. I had lived in Indiana since 1989, and it was never that easy being from New York. People could be downright mean at times, talking about where I came from as if it was the pit of hell. Not everyone but enough to make David and I shy about that ‘where are you from’ question. During the days and weeks after 9/11, everyone became a New Yorker. Suddenly, I was just like them because they were just like me. I hadn’t expected that and I felt for almost the first time there, that I had community.
Julia was probably a few days shy of 9 months old on that day. Just “probably” because so much of her orphanage file was untrue, there is no reason to believe they had her birthday correct. If there was a way to turn back the clock, I heartily wish that we had been waiting to meet her at the end of 2001 instead of five years later.
Today, Julia is finished with her first week—a 2-day week—at Community Connections. I heard from her Inclusion Facilitator that she resisted some of the group work on Friday, but Julia came home happy and could report on a few things she did during the day. She really enjoyed walking in the community and is looking forward to buying ice cream with her class next week. I don’t know whether the last is what they are planning or what Julia hopes to plan. She had a lot to say to her art tutor when she saw her after program on Friday. And she is drawing a lot—again, a good sign.