I had a friend go to Peru this June and visit the Sagrada Familia orphanage where Carmencita is.
Being fluent in Spanish, she talked to Carmencita and asked her if she remembered her friend, her "amiga" who had come to visit her a few months earlier.
Carmencita's face lit up. "Mi amiga!" she exclaimed. She insisted over and over that, yes, she most definitely remembered.
And when my friend left, Carmencita clung to the fence and looked after her asking, "Mi amiga?" She wanted to know if I was there, if I was coming. My friend insisted that I'd be there next time.
It is amazing the joy that this little story brought me today. It was so good for me to know that I had not imagined the recognition in Carmencita's eyes. Carmencita knows me. "Tori, she loves you," my friend had said.
But it also brought a great longing in my heart. How long before I see her again? At least a year. Will she still remember me? Her amiga?
Merriam Webster describes a friend as someone who is attached to someone else. If that is the truth, then I am most definitely Carmencita's amiga.
I firmly believe that we are attached, Carmencita and I. I believe that we were put into each other's lives for a reason. I believe there's a reason that the hour I spent with her has impacted my life infinitely. I believe that there is a reason that not an hour goes by that I don't think about her.
And I honestly think that God helps her to know that. Because I don't know how else a five-year-old child with special needs who spent one hour with someone, out of many people who visit that orphanage and that baby house, would remember that person so well. Would remember me so well that she would recognize me instantly after nine months.
Carmencita and I are attached. We are friends. We are amigas.
I pray with all of my being that Carmencita will know that I will always be her amiga. That I would fly to Peru in an instant if she needed me. That I love her with all of my heart.
And I pray that God will further our friendship, our attachment. Maybe we don't speak the same language. Maybe we don't live in the same country. Maybe we don't get to see each other very often. But we love each other. Deeply, fully.
Because we are amigas.