On June 27th, our family celebrated our 13-year-old’s first “Gotcha Day” anniversary.
As I was writing out my thoughts that day to share on my personal blog, I wondered what might be going on in Caroline’s head as she reflected back over the last 12 months. I explained my blog to her and asked if she would like to write anything to share. I told her how hundreds of people had prayed for her and and followed her story, and that they’d probably love to hear her thoughts on the last year.
I was a bit surprised when she handed me a handwritten letter later that day to post for everyone to read. Below is what she wrote – I’ve left it unedited with the exception of a few notes I inserted for clarification.
We are so proud of Caroline’s accomplishments and her courage to leave everything she knew to start a new life in our family. We feel honored that God chose us to be her parents. I don’t think that any of us truly knew how challenging the adjustments would be, but we’ve pulled through and stand amazed at the difference a year makes.
And now I’ll leave you with her thoughts on the last year…
Today is I had been came America one year!(It’s actually one year since we met…we traveled home 10 days later.) I know that’s really excited! Me too!
In this year, I need thank you for my Daddy and Mommy. Thank you for they adopt me for their daughter. I have a happiness family. I believe something is control my life, but I don’t know. In here, I know you will said God. Next, you be really sad… I don’t trust God! Because education of China is atheism. I live China 12 years. Now I 13. But I try. I going this way. And I really stubborn.
One thing about food, which I really hate, but Americans really like. Cheese. In China, most people don’t eat cheese. So now you can understand why. (PS: I don’t like chocolate too. But I not hate it.)
The 2nd thing is my English is pretty bad, sometimes speak the wrong way. But I geting better, right? For that, Dad and Mom find many way to help, like tutor, and now is read 4 books each month. Then I will get a new Chinese book. That’s good idea! Just for the book, I have to keep read!
I go to middle school next year. I nervous about it because I don’t know every thing! But I know I can do it! Secondly is my age, in China the elementary school are six-year system. When you 13 year old you start going to middle school, that’s normal. But in America is different, when you 11, you go to middle school, 13 year old you’re in 8th grade, so when I tell people my age, they’re surprise, but my English is too bad for 8th grade.(Based on her previous education and the advice of other adoptive families, we held Caroline back two years, so she just finished 5th grade.) That what I’m worried the most.
In a word, the first year pretty well! I had lots good friends, sweet little sisters and brother, grate family. I really gratified.