In honor of National Adoption Month, we’re bringing you a series this week on adoption and fostering. We hope “A Road to Adoption” provides helpful information for those considering the journey and those who’ve already started!
“Gotcha Day” is the term used by adoptive parents to describe the day you meet and bring your child home. Like a birth, it is filled with a variety of emotions: fear, exhilaration, relief, joy, uncertainty, and love. Our Gotcha Day was August 21, 2012. I will never forget that day.
Our adoptive story began exactly a year and eight months earlier. My husband, Kyle, and I began our adoption process after a substantial amount of thought and prayer. We chose to work with the Gladney Center for Adoption, based in Fort Worth, Texas.
Long Story Short :: Mountains of paper work, two program changes, an in-depth home study and interview process, an emotional referral day (the day we were chosen to be Cora’s parents), and a seven-month long court process later, we met our little girl.
Kyle, our moms, and I left for Taipei, Taiwan on August 17th.
We spent the first three days sight-seeing and becoming familiar with the Taiwanese culture. What a beautiful country! Gladney planned our entire trip and even included two wonderful guides, Mr. Yeh and his son, Alex, to chaperon us through this adventure.
On day four, the entire group was picked up from our hotel, before lunch, by Mr. Yeh and Alex. We then made a three hour drive to Taichung, Taiwan. During the car ride, we were both excited to finally see our new daughter and nervous to be facing the unknown. I anxiously chatted to fill the time while Kyle said maybe three words. The group stopped for lunch, at a roadside food court, on the outskirts of Taichung. I did not think I could eat anything but managed to squeeze in a few famous Taiwanese dumplings. We then headed to the adoption organization to pick up our representative and went on to meet Cora and her foster mother.
I remember getting out of the car, meeting Cora’s foster mother, riding on an elevator, and entering an apartment. All I could hear and feel was the pounding of my heart. Finally, after months of waiting, we were going to meet our second miracle.
The foster mother went into her room and got Cora up from a nap to meet us. Kyle and I waited on the couch as she brought her out. The four of us sat in a small huddle until Cora seemed comfortable to go to us.
I will never forget seeing her for the first time! She was so beautiful, tiny, and angelic. Holding her felt unreal…I experienced a mix of joy, relief, fear, and love all at once just like when my son was born. My favorite moment was watching her lay her head on Kyle’s chest.
We were able to talk to the foster mother through a translator and ask questions. Kyle and I were given a sheet with a schedule and various tidbits about Cora’s personality, eating, and sleeping. What a blessing! I know that her foster mother was very sad to see Cora go but overjoyed that she would finally join our family.
The next few hours were the most emotional part of our journey and one of the most powerful experiences of my life. Our family was able to meet and talk with Cora’s birth mother and her parents. Love is what I take away from that meeting. Our daughter is loved deeply by many people.
Every Gotcha Day is beautiful, messy, emotional, and unique.
Kyle and I decided to share our story to shed light on the adoptive process. We are ordinary people who experienced a unique journey to become a family of four. Our hope is that more families consider adopting or supporting those who do.
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