Oh my heart. Just look at her sweet 27-month-old self.
And perched uncomfortably in the arms of a complete stranger with a few peace offerings clutched in her tiny hands.
More and more it hurts my heart to look back at gotcha day pictures. Because while I was positively beaming (and sweating!) – after all this moment is the culmination of months of prayer, effort, expectations and a rapidly growing sense of mother love – my child was heartbroken on this day.
But it’s been 8 years now.
So, while we don’t celebrate gotcha day, we do make an effort to talk about gotcha day. And adoption. And birth mamas.
And on quiet afternoons, I often find our kids going through their China-trip picture albums. Sometimes they ask questions and sometimes they don’t.
As soon as our kiddos are old enough to understand the real meaning of “gotcha day” – why they were so sad on gotcha day, why they look so frightened, why they were clearly wanting anyone but me to hold them – we give them the choice. Is it a day they want to celebrate? Or commemorate in a different way?
So we’ll go at their pace. Follow their lead. And if any one of them ever decides they want to celebrate the anniversary of their gotcha day, we’ll be all over it. Because each gotcha day is a day I will treasure in my heart forever… it’s the day the Lord made me their mama.
So this is what Sophie wanted to do to commemorate her gotcha day. Me and her out taking a few special pictures, walking in the back woods. She picked the outfit, just like she did on the day we met. I picked the roses.
Grateful to be able to talk openly about hard things and tender feelings. So very thankful that she, so far, feels safe to express herself in our family. And as we go into the unknown, we will keep trusting the One who brought her home to us to do what He does better than any mama every could – heal the brokenhearted.
Happy eight years home, sweet girl. What a gift it is to watch you blossom.