Nolan Crawford anxiously weaved through the crowd.
He craned over the kids, leaned around the adults and searched for a face, the same one he hadn’t seen since leaving an Ethiopian orphanage for Conway a year earlier.
Since that time, Nolan had learned to speak English, to play baseball and to eat Zaxby’s Nuclear wings. You couldn’t find a more American boy at Pee Dee Elementary School.
But he’d never forgotten his past, the days at the orphanage and the handful of boys with whom he’d bonded during soccer games on the cement courtyard. One of them, Mikias, became his best friend.
So on the morning of Sept. 7, Nolan, his adoptive parents and dozens of their friends formed a small crowd at Myrtle Beach International Airport.
After fidgeting and nervously pacing for a few minutes, the 9-year-old settled in front of a yellow banner. It held a message for his newest cousin: “Welcome Home Mikias!”