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Tuesday, September 14, 2010


"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

This photo was taken of our Grace less than an hour after she was placed in our care...

I wrote this in 2008~

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..."

Her transformation from frightened little girl into a fun loving pre-teen has
been a joy to watch, to experience. But it is she who transformed us.
We are now a family of four. We are complete.

This photo was taken this past Spring, in Destin, Florida

My heart never truly rested until the day she came into our lives.
With her arrival we became whole.
6 years ago today was our "Gotcha Day". The day we could finally say
 she was ours and we were hers.
Gotcha! Now & Forever...


Bonnie said...

You are a truly special family and I love reading about all your adventures but I especially love your "Gotcha" days.

GardenofDaisies said...

I have a lump in my throat as I wirte this... I'm so glad you found each other and helped to make each others lives complete. What a beautiful girl!

Rebecca Ramsey said...

This is so beautiful. And so is she!
I'll be thinking of you and Grace all day.
Yey for Gotcha Day!

Shelia said...

Oh, Susie! Tears of joy are rolling down my cheeks as I read your most wonderful post! What a precious story! How marvelous you found little Gracie and gave her a family! She's adorable and I love your heart, Dear Sweet friend.
You are a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

Sugar Bear said...

Happy Gotcha Day to Grace and to you!

salmagundi said...

You always 'get me' with your 'gotcha day' posts. Of course, I had to shed a couple of tears being the mother of an adopted daughter. Hope the new week brings you more joy! Sally

Lynilu said...

Left you a note on FB, but I want to say again what a beautiful, touching post this is. Blessings and happiness for your family, today and always. :)

Chris@Cats On My Quilts said...

Just a wonderful post! Lifted my heart to read it. You have quite the young woman there and as a mother to a grown daughter who is my best friend, I know you have many more wonderful days and years to come.

Cass @ That Old House said...

Oh poo--now I have to go find tissues and blow my schnozz! What a wonderful, touching, loving, funny and moving post.

Lucky you, lucky daughter.

Blessings to you and Grace both -- and yes, it is "gotcha forever."


Sheila said...

I'm crying here lady!
What a brave child she was, and what brave parents you were.
A match made in heaven, she is a joy and a credit to you both.
Love and big hugs to you all.

Blondie's Journal said...

I have the chills and I'm ready to cry. You brought such happiness and love into the world of this scared little being. Bless you!


Kat said...

What a sweet post (and pics) of your very special sweet girl! You all are happy that God's plans were for you to be together. I love how He works!


Wendster said...

She is lucky to have you and vice versa.



Melissa Miller said...

Sue I have tears in my eyes reading this wonderful and inspiring story of your beautiful daughter. I'm so happy for you all. You are an amazing Mom and family. Congrats!

Blessings & Happy Fall!
~Melissa :)

Sue said...

Count me in on the tears rolling down the cheek group...beautiful post about your wonderful and lovely Grace....What a wonderful family you have...and I hope when the day comes that I finally get to meet you that I meet Grace as well...

Sweet Cottage Dreams said...

How so very, very sweet! She has grown up to be a beautiful young woman. How so blessed you both are to have each other to embrace life with.


PEA said...

Such a beautiful post and it brought tears to my eyes to see Grace as a little girl full of fear in her eyes to the confident teen she is today. You were so blessed to be able to make her part of your family and vice versa. You, Bill, Daniel and Grace...a wonderful loving family. xoxo