Gotcha Day

June 5, 2013 heart defect, older child adoption, Tara 12 Comments

It was two-and-a-half years ago that I approached the very same building and found a precious baby boy already inside waiting for me. That was the moment I had dreamed of for so many years…I was finally adopting from China.

Today was a different scenario. I found myself waiting (not so patiently) in that room for my son to arrive. Watching the other families receive their babies. Some happy to meet their Mama and Baba, some not so happy, and even one that arrived at Civil Affairs sound asleep and transitioned into her Mama’s arms without even noticing. I was a bundle of nerves with tears in my eyes, reliving my first two “Gotcha Days” as I watched new families form right before my eyes.

When the van arrived, I knew it was finally our turn. With the one other family that had a child coming from the same orphanage, my husband and I looked outside in eager anticipation. And when the doors opened, there he was. My breath caught as I rushed to the window to take pictures of him. The first moment of laying my eyes on him in real life. I cued Dad to get the video camera rolling and headed to the door to greet the boy had waited so long to hold in my arms. I snapped a picture as soon as he walked in and he smiled at me, knowing full well that I was his new Mom. That scrapbook I worked so hard to put together for him paid off.


It was a magical moment when I walked up to him with open arms and he returned my embrace. But it was even more magical watching him sign the forms saying he wanted to come with us. So many people throughout the wait had expressed wonder at our willingness to adopt a teenager. The truth of the matter is, though, he took a much bigger risk by signing those papers than we did. The weight of the moment was not lost on me. Watching this young man entrust his entire future to us was one of the bravest acts I’ve ever witnessed. My prayer is that as our days together continue, he feels the risk was worth taking. Because…after only a few hours with him…I already know it was on my end.

12 responses to “Gotcha Day”

  1. Kam says:

    I LOVE this! my dream is to go back again, or several “agains” after these four are somewhat raised and choose older children in danger of aging out. My hubby was a youth pastor for 13 years and we love teenagers! 🙂 Congrats to you all!

  2. Stefanie says:

    Tears! What a beautiful perspective on how very brave your new son is… so happy y’all followed the Lord’s prompting and took the leap to adopt an older boy whose time was almost out. What a beautiful picture of the way Jesus loves us!

  3. Judy Deaton says:

    SO happy for you all! God Bless you for stepping out in faith to adopt a teenager. We have 4 bio boys, 2 married, and 2 at home that are 11 and 14. They are awesome! (we also have 2 six yr. old girls adopted from China that have been home 1 year) People are so afraid of boys, but boys are fun:) And not all teenagers are horrible! Praying for you today that this will be one of the easy transitions! God be with you. I was blessed by your post this morning. You are right, HE is the bravest of all. This is Judy from Kansas.

  4. Alicia Anderson says:

    Because I know this lovely lady, and because I get to love this boy as if he were my own soon enough, I have been so blessed to be a part of this. I just wish the tears would stop. To know this family is to know true grace, and I can not wait for God’s plan to unfold right before our eyes! I love every bit of this story so far…to be continued 🙂

  5. Tulane Hix says:

    What a wonderful blessing and miracle from God for all of you!

  6. nancy says:

    Just the best ever. Prayers that you both find your way into the folds of the other and family as the days, weeks, months pass. He is a remarkable young man already!

  7. Kristi says:


    I’ve been at camp (in the middle of NOWHERE with no internet access at all) since Friday and just got home. Checking in on you was one of the first things I had to do. While I haven’t been reading (until now) I sure have been praying for you and for your new son.
    Love how you focused on his courage…

  8. Tanya Thom says:

    Oh Tara, this was so beautifully and perfectly written. I am so very happy for you and Andrew and pray that this time with YOUR new son is blessed for all of you! I knew I should have had the Kleenex ready before I started reading this!! Love you!!

  9. Melody says:

    So happy for your family 🙂 I can’t quite get the waterworks to stop as I type. Thanks for sharing your special day with all of us! And I fully agree, that young man showed courage.

  10. Aus says:

    Wow – I’m still trying to wrap my head around that thought – simply amazing and such a Blessing for you both!

    hugs – aus and co.

  11. Linda says:

    how wonderful! Teens are a joy too.

  12. Christina Bonnarp says:

    So grateful that there are people like you out there who can give hope to a young adult! I hate to Think of what his life would have been without you!

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