Thursday, January 8, 2009

Gotcha Day

In adoption circles, they celebrate the actual day you were united with your child. They call it Gotcha Day. Some people make it a present giving, cake-eating occasion. That's not my plan. This child has enough stuff to keep her going for years. Instead, I want this day, January 8th, to be a day we recognize, and appreciate. One filled with hugs and gratitude for the amazing forces that brought us together.

Can it actually be a year since I first held this child? Last night I looked back at the pictures of the orphanage and the caretakers and my little sleeping bundle who allowed me to change her clothes, put her in the carrier and take her back to the hotel with us. So much of that week was a blur. We had to zoom out of New York in 3 days, fly through Tokyo and then onto Hanoi the next day. On January 8th, we were picked up at the crack of dawn to head to Vinh Phuc province. I was running on fumes and high on adrenaline. I had waited so long to become a mother, to finally hold my child in my arms. And there she was, my delicious Phoebe Ellis, my smiling bundle of love. What a lucky, blessed day January 8th was and will always be.

In the year that has followed, I have seen this baby blossom into an amazing little girl. She is so smart and funny, not to mention beautiful. Her smile has remained her signature. She shares it freely with everyone she meets, brightening up the world around her. She loves to dance, shake her hips and shimmy her shoulders. She says lots of words, and uses sign language for ones she doesn't know yet. She eats all the yummy food we give her and mostly sleeps like a champ, resting her growing body and brain to take on another day. Our first year together has been fun and challenging, but mostly fun and enlightening and interesting and wonderful. Of all the babies in all the world, Phoebe was the one that was supposed to come to me. How very, very lucky I am to have her.