Cole and Sharon stood in a terminal at the Miami International Airport, patiently waiting for the number of a very special flight to be called. Cole held a homemade, folded up cardboard sign in his hands.
“You ready for this?” Sharon asked as she patted Cole’s arm.
Cole nodded and took a deep breath. “Ready as I’ll ever be.”
“Attention,” came the monotone voice of a female announcer. “Flight 982, inbound from Nairobi, now arriving.”
“Here we go,” Cole said as he unfurled his sign and held it out in front of him. It read, “Mutumbo.”
Moments passed. Passengers headed down a long escalator.
“Do you see him?” Sharon asked.
“Nope,” Cole said.
The couple looked and looked until finally their concentration was broken when a little boy standing at the top of the escalator shouted, “Mr. Cole sir!”
The boy pushed his way down the escalator, past all sorts of weary travelers, until he was on the ground. From there he ran at warp speed towards Cole, practically knocking him over as he grabbed him in a big hug.
“Mutumbo!” Cole shouted.
“Oh, Mr. Cole sir!” Mutumbo cried. “I was the happiest boy in my village when I heard the good news that you and your wife had adopted me!”
Cole tussled Mutumbo’s hair. “I’m just happy, you’re happy, kid.”
“I am so very happy, Mr. Cole sir,” Mutumbo said.
An older, white haired woman made her way down the escalator and huffed and puffed as she handed Cole a clipboard with a form on it. “Mr. Walker?”
“Yes,” Cole said.
“Valerie Bond of the International Adoption Agency. My goodness, little Mutumbo sure is happy to see you.”
“Thank you for bringing him to me,” Cole said.
“That’s what I do,” Valerie said as she handed Cole a pen. “Your signature, please.”
Cole signed on the dotted line and handed the clipboard back to Valerie.
“I must say, Mr. Walker, I have never seen an adoption application processed so quickly before,” Valerie said. “And I have been in this business for thirty years. You must have a friend in a very high place.”
“You could say that,” Cole said.
“Well,” Valerie said as she shook Mutumbo’s hand. “My work here is done. Goodbye Mutumbo. Be good for your new family.”
“Yes, I will be very good for Mr. Cole, sir,” Mutumbo said. “And thank you, Mrs. Valerie, ma’am, for rescuing me from that third world hellhole, a place where I have known nothing but death, destruction, torture and torment since the day I was born and bringing me here to America, where soon, God willing, I will become a typical American child, telling my parents that they have ruined my life for buying me the wrong toy.”
Valerie smiled and walked away. Mutumbo turned his attention to Sharon. “Holy smokes, Mr. Cole, sir, I assumed you were quite a ladies’ man but I had no idea that your new wife was so attractive!”
“Um,” Cole said. “Yeah. Hey buddy, listen…”
Mutumbo grabbed Sharon’s hand and shook it up and down. “Hello Ma’am, I am so very pleased that you married Mr. Cole sir. I have no doubt that your warm smile and statuesque features have helped him cope with the loss of that vile she-devil, Miss Sharon, may shot rot in hell for a thousand years for the foul heartbreak she caused to such a noble and loving man like Mr. Cole sir.”
Cole leaned down and whispered something into Mutumbo’s ear. Mutumbo looked up at Sharon, then grabbed her in a great big hug. “Oh, Miss Sharon, ma’am! A thousand pardons! I had no idea that you came to your senses and came crawling back on all fours like a common, flea bitten dog to the best man in the entire world, that being Mr. Cole sir!”
Sharon hugged Mutumbo back. “I mean, I wouldn’t say I crawled, but ok, it’s nice to meet you little guy.”
Mutumbo grabbed Cole’s hand in his right hand and Sharon’s hand in his left hand. Together, the brand new family walked through the airport.
“Welcome to America, Mutumbo,” Cole said. “What do you want to do first?”
“Oh, the possibilities are endless, Mr. Cole, sir!”
“Hey um,” Cole said as he looked at Sharon and saw a little twinkle in his love’s eye. “We’re going to need you to knock off the ‘Mr. Cole sir’ and “Mrs. Sharon Ma’am’ stuff and just call us Mommy and Daddy, ok?”
“Yes,” Mutumbo said. “You’ve got it, Mr. Daddy Sir and Mrs. Mommy Ma’am!”
“We’ll work on it,” Cole said.
“Come on, Mutumbo,” Sharon said. “The world’s your oyster now. Where to?”
“Well,” Mutumbo said. “If possible, I would like to get one of the delicious American ice cream sundaes I have heard so much about.”
“Oh yeah?” Cole asked.
“Yes,” Mutumbo said. “A missionary came to my village once and when he was shot in the back of the head and drawn and quartered, he dropped a magazine and in that magazine, there was a photograph of the most scrumptious looking ice cream sundae I have ever seen. It had whipped cream, nuts, a cherry, a banana, marshmallows, chocolate sauce, peanut butter fudge, rainbow sprinkles, and seven different flavors of ice cream, including rocky road, double chocolate, mint chocolate chip…”
“Whoa, whoa,” Cole said. “Slow down there, buckaroo. You’re liable to get a tummy ache if a sundae like that is your first decent meal here in the states.”
“Oh Mr. Daddy sir,” Mutumbo said. “If it makes me shit for a week, then so be it.”