With the presents unwrapped and the cake eaten, tonight I can only think about a family on the other side of the world who are likely remembering that this day nine years ago they left their newborn daughter.
Someone -- mother, father, grandmother, we will likely never know -- left her, from everything that I know and believe to be true, somewhere safe, somewhere she would soon be found. But she was left, and they have no way of knowing that tiny infant, less than a day old the last time her mother saw her face, is now so loved, safe and warm, snuggled in bed asleep between her sister and her giant panda pillow.
That baby girl waited 27 months from that first day until she had a family again, and despite that this amazing, complicated, resilient, remarkable child has a smile that lights up the world. A smile her first mother has never seen.
Thank you, unknown family, for the daughter we share.