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Friday was my Gotcha Day. Growing up, my momma always called or sent a text (after cell phones were invented) with a message to let me know how special this day was to our family. My birthday put me into this world, but my gotcha day made her a mother. It was equally, if not more important to her. (this may partially explain why I celebrate all month!) The term "Gotcha Day" had not been created. We called it adoption day. I personally think the new and improved title is great! I don't care if it was only for Hallmark to make money, I like it. I like it a lot.

She's told me the story many times. On August 30, 1968, she and Daddy went to meet me where I was being cared for by the great state of Kentucky. They had gotten a call that a baby girl with a very similar background to theirs had been born and was available for adoption. Our backgrounds were so much alike that they were actually being moved up the long list of awaiting parents. (This could explain why I look like them and share their talents) The social workers went on to explain that they would have to go home and sleep on it after meeting me before making a decision to adopt. Sometimes, a couple would freak out after meeting a real live baby and decide that they weren't ready for adoption quite yet. It was a precautionary measure taken to protect the babies. It's was a perfectly good plan, but they hadn't met my momma.

They went into the room and picked me up from the cradle. They got to hold me and talk to me and hug and kiss me. Momma looked at Daddy and said, "I'm not leaving her. She's our daughter." They just knew. She voiced this to the social workers, and upon seeing her conviction, they instructed my parents to take the elevator downstairs and think about it for awhile. They put me back in the cradle. They got on the elevator and pushed the ground floor button. They rode in silence until Daddy looked at Momma and said, "Let's go get our girl." (that was always his favorite part of the story) When the elevator doors opened on the first floor, they immediately pushed the button to go back up without even exiting. There was nothing to discuss.

As the door opened on my floor less than a minute after they'd left, they were greeted with laughter from the social workers. The ladies said, "We knew you were coming back. We've already begun the paperwork." It was a done deal. Momma knew there was no way anyone was going to make her leave me, even for one night. I shudder to think of what she would've done if they'd tried. She would have probably gotten arrested for refusing to leave my side. That little lady has an extremely high level of determination. She would not have been afraid to take on the state's policy, right then and there. She's feisty.

She's been there for me every time I've needed her ever since. She and Daddy raised me in a loving, creative, caring, nurturing home. My sis and I are two extremely lucky girls. I bought Momma a bracelet for this year's Gotcha Day. It has the adoption symbol engraved on the front. My name and gotcha date are engraved inside, along with "for this child I prayed". We didn't even know there was a symbol until recently. I now wear a necklace bearing the same symbol. The triangle represents the three sides of adoption: the birth family, the adoptive family, and the child. The heart intertwined represents the love involved in the relationship of adoption. How beautiful.

If you've been blessed by adoption, celebrate your Gotcha Day! It is worth acknowledging. At the least, it allows you to have another day to throw a party, give a gift, or simply thank God for your family. Happy Gotcha Day, Momma and Daddy! I'm so glad you're mine.

Here's a link to my children's book, One Thing Missing that is based on my adoption story.

So happy to have this around my neck. Better late than never!

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