Today is Mikias's Gotcha Day. All day I have been thinking of those first moments of meeting my first son. He was nervous, Kurt and I were nervous too. What if he cried, ran away from us or was indifferent toward us? He was so beautiful and so tiny, he looked younger than his 4 1/2 years. I crouched down to say hello and hugged him. He hugged me back....softly, tentatively. I picked him up and felt him wrap around me, arms around my neck and legs around my waist, so tight. I remember exactly what I thought; if anyone ever hurts you I will make them suffer before I kill them. I was completely in love with my new son.
It is hard to believe 4 years have gone by. It is also hard to remember that he hasn't always been ours, that the first half of his life was spent on the other side of the world, and we were unaware of each other's existence. In order for us to find our way to each other, life had to take many twists and turns. I realize that a series of events, many of them springing from terrible loss, made this little boy our son. A child we would never have known, we now get to watch grow into a man. I am the luckiest woman I know.
For me today is about remembering and being thankful. For Mikias it is about the cake I will bake, his favorite dinner that I will prepare (corn chowder) and his Gotcha day gift. He didn't want to wait until tonight for his gift, he asked if he could open it first thing this morning, and we agreed. He was hoping for one special thing...and he was not disappointed. His greatest wish came true, he is now the proud owner of a Jeff Gordon NASCAR jacket.
Four years ago, he was wearing a Mickey Mouse sweatsuit over a Hawaiian shirt owned by the orphanage he was living in. This morning he hopped on the school bus wearing his Jeff Gordon jacket and feeling cool.
Today we celebrate.