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Thursday, September 25, 2008

Gotcha!

"They reach out empty arms. Children from another land move into them, and people who waited months or even years for these moments think, "Gotcha!" That memory inspires many of these parents to informally celebrate "Gotcha Day" — the anniversary of their child's arrival, celebrated much like a second birthday."
—Sandra Pesmen, "'Gotcha' for good," Chicago Sun-Times, August 29, 2005
September 2004...Bill and I were in China and it was there, in Chongqing, that we became the parents of a little girl...a shy, frightened,
sad little girl. A stoic child, constantly on the verge of tears, who spoke no English and had never seen a television, an escalator, a McDonald's or a Caucasian. She had arrived in Chongqing, from her rural orphanage, after a 5 hour bus ride. She was exhausted, hungry and scared to death.
We signed the papers in a hot, stuffy, crowded office, the papers that would legally make her our child. While we took care of these very important matters, this small soul sat in a, much too large for her small frame, chair, her body shaking almost uncontrollably. She would not allow us to hug her, hold her hand or touch her in anyway, accepting no comfort, no
affection. Yes, we had chosen this 6 year old angel to be a part of our lives but she had not agreed to this arrangement. It was out of her hands. Her life was taking a dramatic turn and she had no say about it at all.
September 2008...she races back up to her room, the shrine to all things pink and fluffy and Hannah Montana, to grab her jacket. The pink one of course. She stops to hug our cat Henry, then runs back down the steps, breathless with anticipation. "Mom? What time is Kelly coming?" I assure her that Kelly will be here by 6 PM for the long awaited sleep over. Ah, a teacher's in service day is always a cause for delight! No school tomorrow means a long night of giggling and movies and Jonas Brother songs.
As we sat on the stairs this morning, I rubbed her back and listened to the non stop chatter about gym class, which boy was the silliest, Halloween costumes and
ice cream. "There's my bus Mom!" and she flew out the door and bounded down the porch
steps. She stopped, turned and grinned. "I forgot!", she shouted and ran back up to give me a big squeeze. "See ya latah baked potatah!" and she was off again. "I love you...see you after school..."
4 years ago was our "Gotcha Day". The day we could finally say she was ours and we were hers. "Gotcha. Now and forever."

31 comments:

Connie said...

Sweet, sweet story and little munchkin!! You and SHE are very fortunate to have found each other, sweet chick!
Smooches,
Connie

Kathleen Grace said...

What a precuous story and a precious gift of a little girl to love and be loved by:>) Happy Gotcha Day!

Carolyn said...

Ilove it. Happy Gotcha day!

Carolyn

Cheryl Wray said...

That is the SWEETEST, and you surely captured her personality...now and then! Thanks for sharing this with us! And Congrats on the big day! Enjoy it!!!!!

sheila from life @ #17 said...

you know, if you lived next door and didn't have a drool problem, I would let you borrow my books and my magazines after that post...something I Never Ever Do...because I like you that much :)

Look at the smile on your daughter's face...worth everything in the world [put a great big heart here]

Cherdecor said...

Bless you for taking in this dear child! You can see from her eyes the difference you and your hubby have made! Sweet girl!

Andi said...

Oh Sue! I read this and it brought tears to my eyes...first sad because of how frightened your little Grace must have felt that day and then happy tears at her beautiful smile and how she has blossomed with you and Bill and a big brother Dan. How lucky you all are to have found each other. What a lovely, lively young lady she had become. Happy Gotcha Day!

Kay Bratt said...

Now you did it...

I went the whole day with no tears but you messed me up right at the end.

Your daughter is beautiful and your post is touching.

Just hoppin' through.

Kay

PEA said...

It brought tears to my eyes when I first saw that first picture...look at how sad her eyes are. And yet, now look at them...full of happiness and joy!! She found the perfect parents that day and you found the sweetest daughter:-) xoxo

Nonie Mae.... said...

What a sweet story..You two have been very blessed..

Penny @ Lavender Hill Studio said...

Happy Gotcha Day! I am so happy that you all became a family.
Hugs,
Penny

Charli and me said...

I just loved your post. Happy Gotcha Day! You are an inspiration. Thank you for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Happy Gotcha Day! I had no idea that Grace had been yours for such a short time! Lucky her and Lucky you!!

Laurie S.

FHL said...

Happy Gotcha Day Sue! This post brought tears to my eyes, reading about Grace's transformation from a shy and scared little girl to a beautiful confident young lady. Love is an amazing thing isn't it? :o)

Sheila said...

Happy Gotcha day to you and to Grace! She certainly has blossomed into a beautiful young lady... happy, confident and having fun! (Sleepovers are the best!) What a sweet story.

Bonnie said...

How wonderful that you found each other. You are all very lucky to have found that special connection. Happy Gotcha Day! (I just love that!)

Alice said...

Best wishes on your Gotcha Day! Even though I've only seen Grace in pictures, there is something amazing that stands out in that little girl, sweetness and joy, intelligence and thoughtfulness, bravery and independence. Oh, don't tell her I called her a little girl; I know she's waaaay too cool for that. :)

angelsamoungus said...

I will never grow old of any story of Grace's Homecoming.

LivingTheLife said...

What a beautiful story...you are all blessed to have one another! Grace has really blossomed into a lovely, energetic, passionate, and caring young lady. Susie...you and your husband are amazing parents...It just gives me chills and brings tears to my eyes...comparing the first picture with the latest one. Makes me think of the sweet movie "Anne of Green Gables"...you have indeed been given the gift of a "kindred spirit"...what a true miracle for you all! I think you need to write a book about this...I know I would have a hard time putting it down...and I'm sure I would be a blubbering ninny after page one...I truly love a love story...and this is a love story for all the ages!

Blessings...
Teresa

Laume said...

Okay, you just totally totally made me cry. Such a beautiful story. Our children just never really know, do they, how much we we see in them, until they see the story in their own children..... thanks for sharing from your heart.

salmagundi said...

We have always celebrated adoption day with our daughter by just going out to dinner to a place of her choice. Now, 35 years later we have such special memories of such a special occasion!! Sally

Picket said...

What a beautiful story! Of all the children across the world God knew she needed you and that you needed her...just a beautiful testimony of the power of love..girl you need a box of kleenex up in here for things like this! Have a great weekend with that beautiful child!

Lisa said...

Wow, you really brought tears to my eyes. What a lucky and beautiful daughter you have. You are all wonderful to have each other!! Happy Gotcha Day to you and your wonderful family.

Melissa said...

Love your story Sue. I work with a lady who is adopted, they celebrate their adoption day by calling it, Jenny's Happy Day. She has two siblings who were also adopted, so they all have their own special Happy Day.

Valerie said...

you always make me cry with your 'gotcha' stories. i'm not sure who is more blessed - you or both your babies.

Melissa said...

That's so sweet - our pastor adopted a girl from China, and his wife told their "gotcha" story at a recent Women's Ministry meeting. So precious!

nikkicrumpet said...

What a beautiful little girl...and her smile is glorious. How lucky for you both to have found each other. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful story!

-Jennifer said...

she's come a long way Sue!

Cindy ~ My Romantic Home said...

It's such a touching story. It's amazing how much can change in just a few short years, isn't it!!! I just love reading about how you all came together as a family!

Jim Rittenhouse said...

Wonderful story. I remember how scared and shy she was when you first got her, and when Mere and she went in for her first swim in a pool - and the complete change when I saw her next. It's a wonderful miracle for you parental types and for her....

You always have my admiration for what you've done for your kids.

justabeachkat said...

Hi sweet Susie Q

Remember me? Life has been sooooo C-R-A-Z-Y lately...but a good kind of crazy, so I can't complain even though it has kept me from visiting. But...I'm home now...for a week or so anyway.

I've had fun reading all your posts I've missed. Gosh, you've been a busy bee. I can't comment on them all, but I had to comment on this one. What a sweet and touching post. It gave me sweet chills for sure. As you know, we're waiting (not so patiently) for our next granddaughter...from China.

Hugs!
Kat