Sisterhood September 17, 2020A sister can be defined by a blood relation or a close female friend with common ground. I have no blood sisters but I consider two friends as my sisters . Adellia is one of those friends.Adelia Inagaki, an exchange student from Brazil. She was brought up on a rice farm in the interior of the country. She arrived in January of 1974 to begin a six month stay in my hometown of Northville.She was hosted by a family that had younger children. The local parish put an request in the bulletin that an exchange student needed a ride to mass. My parents answered the request and met a 16 year old girl of japanese heritage. Slight with long black hair and glasses that magnified her large brown eyes, she displayed a calm, shy demeanor.My parents fell in love with Adelia and found she had experience very little of the country except going to high school and babysitting for her host family. My parents picked her up on weekends and took her places to visit. Niagara’sFalls, Mackinaw Island, Greenfield village and museum, and Bell Isle in Detroit . They wanted her to have as many experiences that a normal teen would have.This is were I stepped in. When I met Adelia, we were close from the start. She confided that she would like to have a date with an American boy, but there was little chance for that happening at school She was placed in classes that were advanced so she was not with boys her own age.I had a boy friend in the Ann Arbor area and I enlisted his help. He had a friend age 19 that was 5 foot 2’’. He had not dated much so he was happy to be a date for a beautiful Brazilian girl.I don’t remember if the boys picked us or I drove to Ann Arbor. I do remember that we played pinball, walked around Unversity of Michigan’s campus. We ended the day at a restaurant named Bicycle Jims. There we had lunch and shared a pitcher of beer. I didn’t even think of Adelia being underage for drinking in this country.Adelia got her first date and I think her first kiss.Over the passing years we wrote letters to each other with the news and events in our lives. Adelia has returned to visit three more times. Once, she brought her Mother to stay with my parents. Another time She and her husband Todd, stopped ,taking a detour from a longer trip to visit and introduce her husband to my parents. The third trip was to Florida to see my Dad in Tampa. My husband and I went down and drove Adelia and her friend John to where ever they wanted to go. Since my husband was also named John we called Adelia’s friend Brazilian John. We visit the Dali museum, the beach, restaurants and shopping. We picked up several other friends from Brazil from the airport and took them to their hotel. We treated the group to lunch and Brazilian John found thet he loved pancakes. He ordered this every chance he got.Over the years, we have written fewer letters due to the slowness of the mail service in Brazil. We now email more with news and events in our lives. Adelia also posts photos on Facebook ,that my husband shares with me.Tomorrow is Adelia’s birthday. I won’t tell you her age but we have been sisters for over 45 years. So to my Brazilian Sister,” feliz AniversárioSisterhoodMore that blood,dearer that life,We bridged language, cultureTo become more than friendsbut sisters,To my South American sisterBlessings,your North American sisterLove you!copyright 9-17-2020Sent from my iPad

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