Gotcha Day!

Today is October 20.

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Today, three years ago we waited in the SeaTac airport to meet our beautiful Addie for the very first time.
Please indulge me with a few pictures in celebration of this family-altering and life-changing day. Some of these pictures I may have shared before, others I’ve not looked at in almost three years — most need no explanation at all. After the pics are some thoughts and resources about adoption.

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We drove home from Seattle to find this Welcome Home sign that our friends the Gummersalls made for us. We intended to use the name Addie Mae (my paternal grandmother’s name and my mother’s middle name) but we learned that Addie’s Korean name means grace, so her name is Addie Grace.

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Taft and Trey colored on Addie’s sign for at least a week!

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My dear friend Kerry came the next day and took several shots of Mommy and daughter together.

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As a women with biological children of my own, I never imagined adoption for our family. Adoption and Addie were answers to my prayers. My prayers were in response to a sense that my family was not complete. I had four busy boys and busy life, but luckily I listened to my heart, because I cannot imagine our family without princess.

Please, if you know a teenage mother expecting a baby or a family that longs for completion or anyone else that could benefit from adoption (domestic or international) support them.

Encourage them to reach out and embrace this amazing miracle. It is nothing short of a miracle.

Here are two wonderful adoption resources:

Adoption.com
A fantastic and comprehensive website and community full of information, answers and support. From their about page: We are committed to helping as many children as possible find loving, permanent homes. We also provide critical information at the decision-making moment to women facing crisis pregnancies. We assist adoptees and birthparents to find birthfamilies, and we help hopeful adoptive parents make adoption dreams come true. We are especially committed to helping special needs children in the U.S. and around the world, who otherwise wouldn’t be able to find families.

ItsAboutLove.org
A website operated by LDS Family Services, which is one of the largest private, nonprofit adoption agencies in the world. This agency has offices throughout the United States, as well as Canada, Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Mexico, Brazil, and Chile, with more international offices planned. They have a wonderful listing of families that are hoping to adopt.

Here, for example is the profile of a couple that my sister Chanda knows. I asked them if I could share their story on my blog and they agreed.
Thanks Doug and Alyssa!

Adoption has changed my life. Maybe it could change the life of someone you know.
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Comments

  1. Adoption changed my life, too, in ways I don’t talk about very often, but: sniff. Thanks for sharing these photos and thoughts today. I didn’t know I needed to be reminded until you reminded me!

  2. Congratulations! Adoption changed my life too. I waited in the hospital for 7 days before my parents came to pick me up and make me part of their family. I can’t begin to imagine what my life would’ve been like had my birth mother not recognized that while she gave me the gift of life, giving me to a family who was ready for and wanted me was truly the best thing for me. I consider myself a pretty blessed person. I love these pictures of your family welcoming their newest member. Adoption was secretive and closed in my parents’ culture (and perhaps the times) and the celebration part was sort of skipped … glad to see this changing. So glad!

  3. Beautiful story and pictures. Thanks for sharing such a personal moment with us.

  4. The other day at a teacher’s conference, a woman shared with our table that she was in the process of adopting. Being an adoptive parent, I began to grill her all about the process. Of the 6 people at the table, 6 were adoptive parents! The other parent, a father, said he loved adopting because you have the chance to change someone’s destiny. I love that idea. It’s also why I teach.

  5. Leora Henkin says:

    Thanks for sharing…and Happy “Anniversary” to you and your family

  6. We have family that are trying to adopt and it’s amazing to me what it takes to get this to happen. I also have a dear friend who was adopted to an amazing family. Thanks for sharing your story!

  7. Just seeing your pictures makes me cry. What a beautiful blessing!

  8. Happy Airplane Day! My daughter Rebecca Kim (Jin Ah) will celebrate her 12th Airplane Day thsi week too (Oct 23rd). I seccond word words and thought on adoption!

  9. I have many friends who have trouble having their own children and have been blessed by adoption. I see how happy they are to have these precious little ones in their life and I try not to take my children for granted, as I have no trouble having my own.

    Because I have had my own and I know how much I love and cherish them, I am amazed at the strength of those who recognize that they can give their child a better life by allowing them to be adopted. Perhaps that is a greater love to want the best for this little one more than to avoid the pain of saying goodbye.

    Congrats to those who have welcomed new ones and to those who have had to say goodbye.

  10. Stacy and Family- Happy Anniversary of Addie coming home! :) What a beautiful Blessing to you all! :) I loved the pics! :)

  11. Thanks for sharing these beautiful pictures; they brought a tear to my eye. Congratulations on your special day!

  12. Happy Family Day, Addie! We too have been blessed by adoption. One of the many reasons I feel so connected to you Stacy! We have three biological boys and brought our daughter home from Korea in 2005. Her middle name is Grace also, after her Korean name. Thank you for sharing your amazing pictures and stories.

  13. Congratulations, Stacy! And Addie! What a blessing she is to your family. You have done an amazing thing for her, and are an inspiration to so many. These pictures are priceless. Thank you for sharing!

  14. Congratulations! As a mother via adoption (my daughter was born in Guatemala) I, too, feel that adoption changed my life. Not only did I become a mother (which is the best part, of course), but my world has expanded as I’ve met other families formed via adoption. There is nothing like the love for a child, no matter how that child entered the family.

    Here’s a funny story about my daughter’s Homecoming Day (that’s what we call “Gotcha Day”). Up until recently, my daugher’s adoption day coincided with the hot air balloon festival held at NASA, near where we live. Her Homecoming celebration became associated with the hot air balloon festival in our family to the point that she thought the balloons were part of her celebration! There’s nothing like the perspective of a child!

    Have a gret day.

  15. Changed my life, too! We call ours “Signing Day” every August! Our funny story is that I have red hair, and my son also has red hair! I don’t know how many times I’ve heard “Oh, he got your red hair!”. I just smile and say “Yes. Yes, he did.”
    Our birthmother (who has very dark hair) said she and her mother prayed that he would look like us! God is good.

  16. Happy Family day! I opened your blof post at office before work started and I almost cry. Reading your post, I felt like I am like a one of your extended family member to welcome Addie at the airport,too. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful moment and experiences being a mother of adopted child.
    In my country, adoption used to be seen in some families in my grandma’s era but recent 40 years is not a very common thing unfortunately. I would like to make a small difference on the situation….In my country,those kids go to the advocacy home and grow up like a student residence. but I hope adoption is much much better experiences for kids as a family member. My grandma ( will be 98 years old next month!) used to be a maternity nurse and she helped for adopted families too. (50 years ago.) I also would like to something for them and for me to be a more better person… I have a dream and am preparing for helping “kids can scrap retreat” event at the kids home or for adopted childs who can feel more and more self respected feelings and they are loved so much, in the future.

  17. Me too! Me too! Unable to have biological children so God blessed me with two daughters loving placed by their mothers into our care – cannot imagine my life any other way.

  18. I also consider adoption a miracle. I am a mother to 9 beautiful children who make this world, and our family a better place to live. Six of these little miracles were adopted through foster care. The other three are biological, but in reality there is no difference! I have had so many people tell me that they’d adopt if the baby was “perfect” – not a drug baby or a special needs baby or a different ethnicity. Well, I’ve got children of many colors, some drug exposed, some special needs, some who were born in the very best of circumstances and all with the need for love, nurturing, stability and a family. All 9 of them thrive. All 9 of them struggle with different things at different times. All 9 of them are successful. All 9 of them are beautiful, loved and very much wanted. As you know it doesn’t matter where they came from or what color their skin is. Love makes the family. Congratulations on this wonderful anniversary of your miracle.

  19. Congratulations! It’s called Forever Ours day in our home. We are definitely blessed through adoption.

    Blessings to you and your family on this very special day.

  20. Thanks for sharing these beautiful photos. Your post gave me goosebumps. You might remember that I have a younger brother adopted from Korea so this brings back precious memories for me. :)

    Love your new site!

  21. I have one son, I’d love to have a little girl. I’m waitting a couple of years to see if Heavenly Father blessed with one more child. But, adoption has been in our minds for a long time now.

    I do remember when I read about your baby girl. I didn’t visited your blog for more than a yera, and when I came to checked your new blog, and saw Addie, I couldn’t believe how much she has grown. She looks very happy and loved.
    You are a great lady!

  22. Happy Gotcha Day! What a special occasion….I love reading about Addie, and so appreciate your sharing these sweet pictures with us. I have one adopted son and one biological son, and I couldn’t imagine life without either of them. God is good!

  23. Beautiful post, Stacy! Congratulations on your Gotcha Day!

    I have 4 kiddos and 2 of them are coming up on their 6 month anniversary of coming home from DRC Congo. Adoption is a wild and wonderful ride – one I totally recommend! I can’t imagine our family without these 2 – it was all meant to be.

  24. Stacy, I have two beautiful girls adopted from China so recognize well the looks on your faces that wonderful day. Adoption has been such a blessing for our family as well. God bless.

  25. stephanie m says:

    Stacy — I can hardly believe it has been 3 years that Addie joined your family. I remember you posting those picture then and cried and (of course!) I’m crying again. So glad she made your family complete!

  26. Adopted our daughter as an 8 year old from Russia, three years ago as well. Met you at the Dallas CKU when you first announced you were “in process”, as were my husband and I. I love our daughter tremendously and can’t picture life without her here. It warms my heart to have shared in your journey and how both yours & ours have reflected one another. “Tabs” is a thriving 11 year old now and she eagerly counts down until March 21 every year when we celebrate “Gotcha Day”! Many, many congratulations to you, Addie and the rest of your family!

  27. Oh, Stacy! Happy Gotcha Day to you all! I have loved seeing Addie grow over the years. What a blessing! And Miss Addie Grace, I’m so glad that they gotcha! :D

  28. Congrats, Stacy! We have three blessings through adoption, one domestic and two from China. There simply are not words to describe the blessing, and most of all the joy that God persisted with my heart… I could have missed this! My house may not be clean for a long time now, but oh, the joy! I was blessed with 2 girls and now have my first boy, an 18 month old angel who loves anything with wheels. Thanks for sharing your special day with us!

  29. Well, you know how I feel about adoption. We’ve been blessed three times over. And Aidan’s gotcha day is October 22. Lots of celebrating going on this month!

  30. Just finished reading a book called “Digging to America” the centers around two families that adopted little girls from Korea and the annual celebration of arrival day. I think you will enjoy this sweet story.

  31. Congrats and happy gotcha day to your family! We are also an adoptive family (4 wonderful kiddos from China). We will celebrate our oldest dd’s 12th gotcha day next month. I’ve made a big 40 page digital scrapbook for our dd, as well as the other 3 girls in our travel group (our girls all remain very close, and we celebrate gotcha days together every year thus the 40 pages of photos!)
    You have a beautiful family.
    ~LJ

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