Saturday, November 21, 2009

ONE YEAR "GOTCHA DAY" ANNIVERSARY

In the adoption world, "Gotcha Day" is a very special day ... one that is anticipated and prayed about for months, and perhaps even years, in advance. I'm not quite sure how this special day was christened as "gotcha day" - but it refers to the day your adopted children are officially in your care 24/7.

For us, we met our sons for the very first time on November 30. And then they left the orphanage/transition home for the last time on December 1, and have been in our family ever since. We will be celebrating "Gotcha Day" with our good friends, the Hutchinson's (who adopted 2 little girls from Ethiopia at the same time we adopted our 2 little boys) tomorrow evening.

As coincidence would have it ... I will be in Ethiopia exactly one year from "Gotcha Day", working with Children's Hopechest to develop child sponsorship programs with 8 different orphanages. Seeking to make a difference for hundreds of orphaned children affected by disease and poverty in Ethiopia.

It has been a year of tumultous change and remarkable transformation ... as two little boys came into our lives as strangers, and just 12 months later, they are firmly and solidly enveloped into the love and fabric of our family. A few years ago, in my wildest dreams, I never imagined we would be considering adoption ... let alone adoption from Ethiopia. But here we are one year later and I can't imagine any other path more rewarding ... and more stressful ... and more joyful.

We could have missed out on all of this ... a few different choices, a satisfaction with the status quo, a preoccupation with the busy-ness of our lives with two pre-teen daughters (school ,work, basketball, soccer and other activities too numerous to list). It would have been so easy and so normal to stay on the current path. I so vividly remember another adoptive parent saying to us "what are you guys thinking?!?! You had it made with 2 kids almost independent ... and you're adopting two little boys?!?! What are you thinking?!?!?" And I remember how those words jolted me for a moment as I realized what we were giving up. But at the same time ... I knew what we would be gaining.

I knew the road would be difficult for awhile (I didn't realize then HOW difficult things would be for awhile, when your entire life is thrown into upheaval). But here we are ONE YEAR LATER and what started out as a blessing for two little orphaned boys on the other side of the world ... has turned out to be a blessing for us. And to think ... we could have missed this !!!!!




Meeting our sons for the very first time. A pendulum of itense emotion ... from fear to joy to relief and everything in between. My first words were ... "Oh my gosh, they are so tiny!"





Spending a little time with Tariku (now named Wesley), we noticed his absence of expression and minimal eye contact. What a difference today as Wesley is an exhuberantly affectionate little boy!



Dagmawi (now named Jayden after his daddy, Jay) was immediately mesmerized by his Daddy. Immediate attachment and very possessive. Of course this caused many issues at home as he would physically push the girls away from Jay and insert himself between them. Today, he adores his daddy and his sisters equally.






Leaving the transition home for the last time ...



WE COULD HAVE MISSED THIS ...






3 comments:

KLT said...

Thank you for sharing your celebration with us. As we follow behind you, we are encouraged by your testimony and inspired to praise the God who works such things together in such a wondrous and satisfying way!

Renee' said...

I can't believe it's been a year! AMAZING. Thank you so much for the wonderful stories you shared about our sweet kids and all the great pics we got of their first moments at the transition home. What a blessing to us!

Dietrich & Amy Lusse said...

How sad!! I read & replied yesterday, but now it's not there for some reason! Sorry!
I had tears streaming down as I read it. God is just so amazing! I still have video for you of when we gave your letter to them...I promise that we will put it on a DVD for you...one day! :D
congrats!!
Love, Amy
Still feels like we should've been in ET at the same time getting our kids!