I've been writing this post in my head for a week now.
And still, I don't know where to begin.
There's no way to tell this story without telling part of someone else's, someone who is intensely private. Tonight I'm keenly aware that this blog is open to the wide wide world, and though I may sit on my couch writing it, feeling as though you are sitting on the couch next to me, listening, in actuality I am holding a megaphone in a gymnasium, blind-folded. After all, if Yertle can read and email me snide comments (and he did! Can you believe that?! Me too), then who knows what other characters are lurking about.
But it's too good - too important, too much a part of my life - not to share it.
Remember Laurie? Laurie, who I've known for half of her life, and very nearly half of mine? Whose friendship has shaped my perspective on, well, almost everything?
Laurie is joining our family.
She's legally changing her last name to ours. The reason feels complicated and personal, but it's not. In reality, it is the most natural, common, universal reason imaginable. Everyone needs to know where they belong. And the truth is that Laurie has already been a part of our family for a long time - since I met her, really. For fifteen years I have prayed and talked and cried and hoped with her and for her, and it's impossible to overstate how that experience has changed me. We asked her to change her name so that everyone else can know what we have known all along: she belongs with us.
Meet the newest member of the Gates family.
It's a girl.