Friday, January 29, 2010

Gotcha Day...Number 6!!!

Yeah...I know.  I can't believe it either.  Six years ago today a gorgeous eleven month old bundle of quiet calm was placed in my arms and life has never been the same.  And by the way?  She's no longer quiet OR calm...gorgeous is a given.  ")

As I always have in these matters...and have taken more heat for this than you can imagine...I let my girls dictate what we do and don't do concerning the topic of adoption and Chinese culture.  This is not to say that we ignore either of those things.  Our home is filled with videos, books, pictures, items etc. that are all things China and/or adoption.  Claire is just beginning to show the slightest of interest.  This week I started talking to her about where she used to live and what her name used to be.  She's beyond engrossed in the story.  The more she asks, the more information I will give her.  Hope wanted to know much, much earlier and then right around the age of three didn't want any part of it.  She even told me she wasn't Chinese.  That all went away as soon as she had a baby sister from China.  We go with it people.  Maybe my girls have or never will give it another thought...or maybe they will still be processing these feelings well into their adult lives.  I have no way of knowing.  For now?  I do what works for us.

On Wednesday evening this week, Hope asked if she could take a treat in to share with her class to celebrate Gotcha Day.  I was floored but completely comfortable with it.  I emailed her teacher who said that would be wonderful!  She also asked if I would send in pictures and they would have a Gotcha Day celebration.  So this morning I filled Hope's backpack with some mini Hershey bars (yum), some pictures from her Gotcha Day and her lifebook.  (For those of you not familiar with the concept of a lifebook you can read about them here.)  Oh...I can hear you screaming already.

First off?  Hope's teacher is an adoptive mother.  She gets it.  Secondly?  Hope wanted to take her lifebook and we talked about things that were ok to share.  Finally?  I told her teacher to use what details she thought were appropriate.  And no, this isn't the original.  That is safely on the shelf in my office/studio.  This is Hope's well loved, dog eared, twice bound copy that she has read at least 347 times.  Again, her choice...but with Mama's guidance.  Ok?

What else?  Well, she asked me if I would bake her some brownies which are now cooling on the island.  She wants Daddy to make her some "Pigs In A Spud".  These are like twice baked potatoes with a hot dog inside.  The kid would eat hot dogs 24/7.  We had a minor glitch there when Daddy had to go out of town and it looked like he wasn't going to be home in time to celebrate Gotcha Day, let alone make dinner.  Things have been rearranged, he is currently in the air on his way home, and should be home by five.  Say a prayer or two please!  The only other Gotcha Day he's missed was when he was in China to bring Claire home.  Hope informed me at the time, that that was the only acceptable excuse for missing her Gotcha Day.

Just as we did with Claire, she will receive one of her gifts that we purchased for her in China.  In years past we have watched the videos or the slideshow I put together from our trip.  But again, there isn't a whole lot of interest there yet.  She did mention she'd like to go through her treasure box.

Oh, and let me interject that the treasure box/gotcha day gifts/videos etc.  ideas aren't mine!  They've all been suggested to me by other China BTDT's!!!

Ok...her treasure box.  This is simply a Rubbermaid container filled with her treasures from China.  Her box contains things like: the bottle the CWI staff gave us to feed her, the clothes she was wearing the day she joined us, the blanket she slept under at the CWI, gifts the shopkeepers gave her in Guangzhou, the "little itty bitty Lilo" she originally bonded with, the clothes (most probably) her birth mother dressed her in and the note (again, most probably) she pinned to her before she told her goodbye.  Claire also has a treasure box and if she shows interest in Hope's?  We'll get hers out too!

One of my clearest memories of Hope's Gotcha Day was right after Mme. Xu handed her to me.  I, no big surprise here, was crying.  I remember turning away from everyone...not because I was crying...but simply because it was as if no one else existed at that moment except Hope.  I can still smell her hair...which was so coarse...and getting wetter by the minute with my tears.  I whispered over and over to her, "I love you Han Tao."  This is a part of her story that Hope knows very well.  This morning, she was sitting at the table, had finished her breakfast, and had asked to be excused.  When I went over to take her dishes from her, I bent down, kissed the top of her head and whispered, "I love you Han Tao."  Without missing a beat she whispered back, "I love you too Mama...always."  Yeah...she went to school with wet hair.

Be blessed y'all,


Carolina said...

Soooo sweet!
Your girls are precious. I hope G. was home in time to make dinner and you all enjoyed Hope's Gotcha Day.

(Love your new photo by the way.)

Mel said...

Hello my precious BBFF!!!! Yes, Garry was home in time to make dinner and all was well!

I'm glad you like the picture! There will be yet another new photo...hopefully by the end of the month. Time for new glasses!

Carol said...

Totally, purely, lovingly beautiful as only a purely loving and beautiful "Gotcha" mama could write~xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox

Mel said...

::sigh:: I love you Carol...

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