Fourteen years ago this week, I came home from an unexpected court date with three cherubs in tow and a fourth on her way. At the time I thought they would be with me for a few months, maybe a year. One is now 21 and on her own, one is a 19 year old high school graduate and with the other two manage to keep me young, and old, and to fill my house, my heart, and my calendar! This is for everyone who has a "Gotcha Day."Gotcha Day
Today was their Gotcha Day. The anniversary of the day they came. We had cake, ice cream, and even a few small presents. We told how excited we were to have them join our family. We showed pictures of that first day. We talked about what we did that first day. Showed them how much they have grown since then. We celebrated the ways they are stronger, healthier, and growing up each day. Most of all, we celebrated that we were able to keep them together in one home, not split up and settled with different families. Brothers and sisters may fight, may argue, but they belong together. Here they can be. So, like every year, we celebrate! If we had been their first family it would be harder. It would have coincided for them with too many painful memories of loss and confusion. But since we are their forever family, the one that ended the cycle, it is a day to truly rejoice and be grateful. We are.
Excerpted from "The Caring Heart Speaks: Meditations for foster, kinship, and adoptive parents" by Gail Underwood Parker Artwork by Anna Parker David from the book cover.