Tuesday, 7 May 2013

One year Gotcha Day Anniversary!

Today was a very special day.  It is the one year anniversary of our Gotcha Day with Li Lin.  Also known as Forever Family Day in the adoption world.  Li Lin heard our alarm this morning and came into our room.  As if on cue, she said, "Can I see the box on the dresser?"
Yesterday she had spotted this new box on the dresser and asked what it was.  I had told her it held a special gift to celebrate her being in our family for one year and that she could open it tomorrow.  Like most kids, she didn't forget the gift.  Inside the box was a hardcover book entitled, Li Lin's Adoption from China, containing all the blog posts and pictures of our trip to China.  We also included copies of her referral pictures, a copy of the letter we sent to her while she was still in China, and some other pictures marking "firsts": Christmas, Valentine's Day, birthday, Chinese New Year, etc. It is so awesome to have this all in a book form.  This book will likely be something she will treasure in the years to come.

In the afternoon, I took some casual pictures of Li Lin enjoying the flowers and just generally relaxing.  When I looked at the pictures in her memory book I am struck by how understandably serious and stressed she appears in many of the photos.  Today's pictures capture a much happier and more relaxed little girl.

This evening after Hudson and Li Lin's swimming lessons we headed out to one of our favourite Chinese restaurants for a celebratory supper.  Grand-maman came along  to help us commemorate this special day.  Although I am not quite sure how much Li Lin understands about the concept of a one year gotcha day celebration she obviously understood somewhat.  At one point during the supper, she put her arm around Steph and said, "Daddy, you are the best daddy in the world!"

Next, she put her arm around me and said, "Mommy, you are the best mommy in the world!"

A few minutes later she said the same thing to Steph again.  Then she moved her chair really close to me and promptly asked Steph to move his chair closer to her.  She then put an arm around both Steph and I.  She was even starting to ask for the rest of the group to move their chairs closer too.   

After returning home I decided to do an impromptu photo session with the four kids.  It is not often that we get all of them together for a picture.  Shortly thereafter, once the kids were in bed I took a moment to reflect on the past year.  To sum it all up in one word... THANKFUL!  God has blessed me with a fantastic husband, four amazing kids, and a wonderful circle of family and friends.  I also want to shout out a  big thank you to all of you who have prayed for us especially during the first few hours, days, weeks and months after Li Lin's adoption.  We are grateful for all the love and prayers sent on our behalf.  We know it made a difference. 


  1. I love this post. This past year has gone by in a blink - so thankful to see pictures of your happy family together. A day to truly celebrate! :)

  2. This is so cute. Well put... What a full year. Amazing how time flies. Now Li Lin definitely fits in and completes a perfect family "in my opinion" to use Rykauna's words of wisdom. I love the pictures and yes..... everyone looks happy and relaxed. Everyone has adapted really well. Thank you God for His bountifulness. Love you all.
    Grand-maman xoxoxoxoxoxoxo

  3. Steph, you are to be envied for receiving such a beautiful gift as a birthday present last year. The whole family is also to be envied. How many people waited anxiously for news from China one year ago? The flow of prayers and awaiting thoughts must have created a bridge from here to there with so many nervously projecting what was happening. May the many years to come be full of these beautiful family moments, smiling faces and overflowing hearts. HE has chosen well and you are all in HIS GOOD HANDS. Ropa

  4. Fun photo-shoot! What an awesome family and an incredible journey. So glad you blog so that we can all share in the continued journey. Hugs to all, Aunt Deb

  5. Love this entry and all the memories that flooded back. We rejoice with you in having this addition to your family making it so complete. Your love indeed multiplies. May God bless continue to bless you with many more wonderful years!
    Love you,
    Uncle Gerry and Aunt Carole xox