Ty’s one year Gotcha day.
It has been a year filled with witnessing miracles and one of the hardest years of my life all at the same time. For the girls, we always celebrated their gotcha day with a yummy dinner and a small gift that we bought for them in China. But, we are treading on different ground this time around. Last week, when we told Ty that his special day was coming up, he started to get sad and had a lot of questions. Not the kind you would expect. He does not ever want to talk about his time in China. We bring it up often or try to ask him questions which he NEVER answers. We all love China and talk about one day going back with the entire family. He will quickly pipe up and remind everyone that he does NOT want to go to China. When the conversation does turn to China he usually starts to question me: “Mommy, what took you so long to get me in China?” “Why did it not take a long time for you to get Mina and Finn in China?” “Mommy, you should have gotten me first!” “Mommy, I want to be a baby when you get me in China.” I think he blames me for the fact that he waited so long.
And then, sometimes he just tells us that he WAS a baby when we came to China. I think he would love to just gloss over and pretend that is how it all went down. Denial. I totally understand that. I don’t know if I will ever be able to tell him the truth that I had seen his sweet face waiting on waiting lists for over 2 years before I even thought about the possibility of adding another child to our crew. I do know for sure that for the past year, this boy has loved like I have never seen. He has the biggest heart I have ever known, and I am blessed to be his Mama.
Needless to say, we didn’t celebrate too much. I don’t think he would have appreciated it. He wants so badly to just forget, to be just like his big brother and not have this past. So, we just went on like any other day. But, I went back to look at some pictures of my boy one year ago, and I broke into tears.
In this picture I see a pale skinny little kid. I remember how weak he was. How ridiculously uncoordinated he was. How he hoarded food. How he flinched when you tried to give him a high five. How he tested his limits to see if we could protect him. How he would carry 17 toys at the same time for fear he would lose one. How he was too nervous to leave my side for a second. How he would try to win our love by sweeping and cleaning like mad. How happy he was during the day and then we would go in to find him quietly sobbing at night. How he would wet the bed every night for fear of getting out of bed.
Now, if you put these pictures side to side, I wouldn’t pick my boy out of a line up. He is a totally different child. He looks and acts like he has aged 4 years in the past 12 months.
Last year in China, I will admit that I was scared. He couldn’t even tell his colors to the guides, he couldn’t hold a pencil and trace a straight line. His Mandarin, the few times he tried, was barely understandable to anyone in China or here. I was worried that he was very delayed. Now that he is a few weeks into Kindergarten, I spoke with his seasoned teacher, and she said he was doing fabulous, better than a lot of the kids who have been here their whole life. She said she would have him reading by the end of the year. I cried huge tears of joy! I am crazy proud of how far he has come. He is so brave and so determined and so loving. And, I am blessed!
Amy and her husband Marc live in North Carolina and are the parents of 6 children, 3 biological and 3 blessings from the China Special Needs program in the last 3 years. Never in their wildest dreams did they imagine that their family would be bursting at the seams, but they have been enormously blessed by opening their hearts to adoption. Their lives are simple, chaotic, overwhelming, and overflowing–and they wouldn’t have it any other way. Visit us in the midst of our happenings here.