Gottcha Day

Could it really have been a year ago that a group of nannies placed a scared, thin, three year old in my arms?  If those nannies could see her now – I am not sure they would recognize the confident four year old who is running around my house today.  Shoot, looking back at the photos of that day, I hardly recognize her….or us.  Was there ever a time this little monkey wasn’t in our lives?

I mean, to be honest, I feel like we have lived a lifetime in the past year.   We have lived through eating issues, sleep deprivation, night terrors, cardiologist appointments, sibling conflict, helping her learn a new language, trying to hold on to one culture while embracing another – we have survived the last 12 months.  Actually I will say we have thrived as a family as a result of the past 12 months.

A year ago I was scared.  I was attaching myself (and our whole family) to a stranger and all of her needs, background and issues.   It was a leap of faith that I knew God was directing us toward, but still.  You hear all the stories.  I had read all the books.  I knew it could be bad.  And that first week when Little Monkey was throwing food, screaming and Jiejie wasn’t to be outdone by the new little person in our lives, I wondered how it would all turn out.  (Phew, I get tired thinking about it!)

When they knocked on our hotel door and Little Monkey walked in.  All those fears intensified and dissipated at the same time.  Here was a normal little girl  – holding nothing except a yogurt, wearing a faded pair of pajamas and a new pair of socks.  She was so scared her hands were shaking, but she didn’t allow herself the comfort of tears.  She hadn’t been born of my body, but something birthed in me in that moment.  I don’t think I can describe it even now a year later, but it is real just the same.  Our girl had come home – to me.  All of the sorrow, pain and injustice that lead to that moment was not forgotten.  But something new offered and accepted.

Many people ask us why we adopted.  No infertility issues here.  I guess maybe it started out as a calling or maybe a cause.  145 million orphans in the world.  If we believe in life, if we say there is another option than abortion, if we know that the abandoned and neglected have value – then we should do something about it.  Maybe that was the beginning.  But our daughter is not a cause.  She is not an orphan.  She is my love. God knew I needed her.  My heart needed to learn a thing or two about my status as his adopted daughter.  What a better teacher than our sweet little monkey?

So blessed.  I am so blessed.

The blessing is all mine.  How can we not want to adopt one more?  Have you seen how much sweeter our family is?  Have you not noticed how amazing this journey has been (hard or not).  Who wouldn’t want just one more?

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