4.07.2014

Gotcha Day, 3 years.

A few weeks ago we celebrated Elsa's 3rd "Gotcha Day"...the day that Mr. Anderson walked through the airport gates, holding our tiny Elsa.  About 20 pounds and 2 feet later, she is not quite our tiny little Elsa anymore. 
I still remember the moment he walked through the gates with her.  The buildup, the excitement...we had waited so long for this moment and it was finally here.  My hands were shaking so bad, that I could hardly hold baby Kohen.  I felt like I wanted to throw up.  In the next few moments, our lives would forever change.
When I finally saw her in person for the first time, it was as if I had just given birth.  The release of emotions came flooding out.  The tears of joy, coupled with the pain and exhaustion of waiting so long for her to join our family.
She was almost 4, and we had already missed 4 years of her life.
I once wrote about how sad I was that I missed so much of her little life.  That it pains me that we'll never know what she looked like as a baby.  How big she was, did she have hair?  When did she take her first steps?  What was her first word?
As she gets older, and these questions start to form in her own mind, I realized that the pain I was feeling wasn't for me, but it was for her.  I'm sad for her.  My heart aches that we aren't able to fill out her family history.  That we don't have any pictures of her as an adorable baby (as I'm positive she was).  Amidst dealing with this grief, somebody once said to me "You didn't get to experience those things with her, but you'll get to experience all of that with her when she has her own children.  You'll get to be a part of first words, and births and crawling...all with her."
I'm sure those moments will be so bittersweet for us both. 
Each year on "Gotcha Day", we take a picture with me holding Elsa on my hip.  I plan to do this every year until I'm not able to stand anymore---and then I'll just make her crawl up into my lap for the picture.  I foresee lots of funny gotcha day pictures!  16 years old...30 years old.  I just love this tradition.

17 comments:

  1. Happy Gotcha Day! I can't believe it has been 3 years already. Can't wait to see the photos from the years to come!

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  2. Love the hip pictures. Such a fun & funny tradition.
    I love that Elsa has a family where she is safe to discuss those questions that weigh on her heart.
    Happy Gotcha Day.

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  3. This made me cry! Happy Gotcha girl Elsa!!

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  4. Has it been 3 years already??? Wow!!!!! How wonderful! I love the idea of the picture for so many more years!!! What a blessing y'all are for her! And she to y'all!!

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  5. I just found your blog through Living In Yellow and was struck by this post. As someone who is also adopted I LOVE that you celebrate Gotcha Day as we do too in our family! It's such a memorable and important day in all of your lives and I hope you continue to celebrate that day forever!!

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  6. Her gotcha day was just about the time I found your blog and I'm so thankful!

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  7. I love this! I remember watching that video and having tears in my eyes and excitement for your family. What a sweet blessing! Can't wait to see the pictures in years to come!!!

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  8. so sweet!! and this totally made me tear up. happy gotcha day elsa!

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  9. Happy Gotcha Day Elsa!!!
    I love the hip photo tradition! I just might have to steal it when our turn for a Gotcha Day finally comes.

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  10. #adoptionmakesmeweepy so good!

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  11. so good. i love how God makes things new and redeems them. all your struggles with her and the adoption, god binds them up, one by one. over time. his perfect timing of course. he'll find a very creative way to bind up your sadness over what you missed. probably you've experienced a million other firsts that you don't even know. but elsa knows. one day when she can articulate them, you'll know them too. love you.

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  12. "Gotcha day"... love it! :)

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  13. Awww...so lovely!! Thank you for sharing this part of your life with us. Elsa is so gorgeous!

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  14. Beautiful daughter and mother! Happy Gotcha Day, to both of you.

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  15. ah! my face is hot with tears! this story is beautiful, and i'm so glad you celebrate that special day! she is absolutely gorgeous.

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  16. hard to believe i have been following your blog that long! so thankful to actually know you now! so happy for elsa and for you! and also, she is GROWING!

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