Life seems to unfold with a quickness that sometimes leaves us feeling dizzy. We all know that this journey of parenting twenty-four seven is short lived, but I don’t think any of us could ever prepare for how quickly the time passes. It feels like one minute you are holding that precious baby for the first time …
and the next you are taking pictures to mark that 16 years has passed since that life-changing day.
August 21st is the day we celebrate what our family refers to as Gotcha Day. The day is about remembering that beautiful, sacred moment when we became a family. It’s about celebrating the gift of parenting and the huge honour it is that we get to be called mom and a dad. It is also about sending love into the universe to birthparents and pausing to remember the ache that they must feel for their loss.
Unlike most families, ours didn’t begin in a hospital room surrounded by nurses and doctors. Instead, it began in a government office in China surrounded by families, just like ours, waiting to meet their precious babies. On that day all the families in that room became mingled with ours because we shared a small part of our life journey that changed each of us in bold and beautiful ways.
While all of these families are important to our life story, one family has become extra special to us. Extra special because our story continues to grow outside the story that began in those days in China.
Shortly after we moved to this province, we reconnected the girls. The visit started because we wanted the girls to grow up knowing someone with a similar adoption story but soon the relationship developed roots and surfaced as a special friendship to both families.
One of the traditions we began centered around celebrating Gotcha Day together. We pile around our dining room table every year, somewhere near the August 21st date, and enjoy our favourite Chinese Food and a celebratory cake. We reminisce, catch up on what’s new and even share a few laughs.
We always make time for a quick photoshoot. Initially, Madison’s mother and I would snap the pictures together; I loved having her by my side. Now I stand alone. Wilma left us in March of 2013, and I miss her. However, I feel her with me as I take those annual photos and know she is beaming from the other side!
As I snapped pictures, I saw glimpses of those little babies that we held in our arms for the first time 16 years ago, and I gave thanks! The gift of motherhood has brought so much light, happiness, and beauty to my life, and regardless of how quickly time has passed I am grateful for each and every moment.