Tuesday, October 28, 2008

"Gotcha" X2

"Gotcha" day...........aka the day (in the int'l adoption community) that the face you've looked at for months, and sometimes even years, finally becomes a walking, talking, breathing child.......Your Child. This picture captures the exact moment that Mailia and I saw each other for the very first time. It still sends chills through me, and I almost never fail to start humming that old Roberta Flack song..."first time ever I saw your face".
Our 'gotcha' day is Oct. 29, 2006. Tomorrow will be two years. And I remember it all as if it were yesterday. Her first word (mama), followed by "where's baba? (daddy)", her first tears, her first shy smile, and then the giggles. She was scared, but trying so hard to be brave.......I was scared, wondering if I could be the mommy she deserved. But my fears were nothing compared to the unknowns this child faced....she was handed off to total strangers with nothing more than the clothes on her back.....she was now expected to call this person 'mama'.......she was to sleep in a strange bed, communicate with those who could not speak her language, eat strange food, and then walk onto an airplane that would fly her to the other side of the world where she would meet more strangers that wanted to hug and kiss her and talk to her in words she couldn't understand, and then a final airplane that would take her to meet her new 'baba', arrive at a house that was not yet her 'home', filled with animals that were called 'pets'. I cannot even begin to imagine the fear this child must have felt. But by the grace of God, combined with her courageous and curiosity-filled spirit, she faced each new experience of her new life as another big adventure. And she did it with a smile.

My child.........my daughter...........the most courageous person I have ever known.

Happy "Gotcha" Day Mailia! Your 'mama' loves you to the moon and back.


Debby said...

Oh my...Mailia looks SO YOUNG in that picture. Happy Family Day....

How lucky are you all to have each other!!!

I agree, these kids step out in a faith that pales in comparison to mmost other things.


Sheila said...

Amen to that! We all love you, Mailia ... Hugs & Kisses, Aunt Sheila ;o)

Terynn said...

Shirley: I remember the day well. I can't believe that this wasn't always Mailia's life, but of course, she had a whole other life before. She is brave and wonderful and spunky and beautiful inside and out. Happy Gotcha!!!!

jana said...

Wow! I remember it like it was yesterday!! It was so awesome to go on your journey with you!

Anonymous said...

OH Shirley! If anyone can't see the love you have Mailia, well, well, then JUST SHOOT THEM! :o)

What a first photo! I LOVE IT THOUGH! I think every single adoptive mother (and father) would love it. HAPPY 2 year anniversary! God knows they are special to us! Oh I'm so happy for you guys!!!!!! I wish we lived closer to see you in person!

I agree with Debby! Our kids our the brave ones! Doesn't matter how old they come to us. They still know something is "up".

HAPPY FAMILY DAY!!!!!!! *big hugs from the Iversens up in Maryland*

Kristen (((( hugs ))))