What is "gotcha" day? Well in our daughter's words..."It is the day we became a family day and now I will be here for all the days."
She moved into our home and hearts one year ago and our lives are all a little brighter because of her. July 2nd 2013, is one of the most surreal days of my life to date. I can still remember sitting on the floor of her new room with her and helping her unload her 3 small boxes of toys and worn out clothes. She was helpful and so happy and so trusting. It brings we to tears just thinking about how trusting she was, when she had absolutely no control or say over her life at that moment. She moved. By herself. And my friends, that was not the first time that she had to move. By herself. I hate that any child, but especially my precious daughter, had to live that and feel that extreme uncertainty.
So what can I tell you about our 1st year together as a family? Well, lets see...I used to not sleep at night for fear she would wake up in tears from nightmares, but now I get woken up in the middle of the night because she is crawling into our bed for cuddles. She used to shudder and cover her face when she spilled a glass of milk but now she says "no big deal" and grabs the paper towels to help clean up. She used to think that having a sleep over at someone's house might mean that you could end up moving there, but now she is confident in her home and in us and can actually enjoy a sleep over with a friend like a child should.
We have grown. So much. And she has grown. So much. Many days I just marvel at her strength and bravery.
People sometimes comment that my husband and I are the brave ones. Or the selfless ones. The truth is, we probably could never be as vulnerable and open and brave as she has been. We opened our hearts to her, but really she opened her heart up to us. There are daily struggles and a myriad of painful conversations, but from the minute she walked into this house she was our daughter. 100% and completely ours. (love, not blood makes a family)
For our 1st "gotcha" day, we took her to get her ears pierced. (somethings she has been asking us to do for a few moths now). And then it was dinner, games, rides and WAY too much sugar at John's Incredible Pizza. We told her over and over why today was so special. Every time she smiled and her eyes lit up. We can't wait to celebrate many many more "gotcha" days with our little sweetie,
that the Lord hand picked for us.
|Our first 4th of July together (2 days after she came home forever)|