On Wednesday, November 30th 2011, an absolutely beautiful baby girl entered the world, thus making me a “gogo” (grandmother). Ryan sent word that my Tenele-Bell had given birth to a stunning baby girl. I was so excited I could hardly contain myself! I called him early in the morning after receiving a text message that woke me up. He said he was with Tenele and that I should call. Despite my time running out before work, I held out as long as I could trying to get through to Swaziland. Finally, I was able to connect and miraculously heard umtfwana wami’s tender voice on the other end. “Make!” I could hear Tenele smile as she heard my unmistakable voice. I asked her how she was feeling and I asked her about the baby. In a soft and deliberate voice she answered, “She’s beauuuutiful!”
The best news was even yet to come. Tenele had mentioned naming the baby after me, but I thought she was joking. However, Ryan told me she literally named her Mary-Kate! “The very first Swazi M-K was born!” he had exclaimed. I wasn’t sure what to feel in the moment. I could hardly make my way out the door to get to school; I was half in a daze, wanting to cry tears of joy and tears of heart-ache for not being able to hold that precious new life. I already love that baby so deeply and have never met her; I won’t be surprised if I try to adopt her when I go this summer. So you shouldn’t be surprised if I decide not to come back.
I cannot wait to meet my Mary-Kate!