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I still can’t believe it’s been a full year. And yet, I also can’t believe it has ONLY been a year…

In the adoption world, many families affectionately refer to the day that their child is placed into their arms as Gotcha Day. Though in recent years this term has actually become less popular, some opting instead to refer to it as Family Day.

Whatever you call it, however you recognize this special anniversary, it is indeed a day that warrants celebration: The day a Forever Family was formed.

Some families treat this special day almost as an additional birthday for their child– cake, balloons, presents, the whole nine yards. A sweet family, who traveled at the same time as us to China, had the foresight to purchase a gift for each of their two new little ones, from their birth-country, to gift them each year on Gotcha Day until they turn eighteen.

Another friend passed along the brilliant idea of making a charitable donation in their child’s name each year on their respective holiday…

There seems to be no shortage of fundraising adoptive families to monetarily bless, either directly or via non-profit grants such as Show Hope, JSC FoundationFamilies Outreach, and A Child Waits Foundation(Among others, these are merely the grants that we have firsthand, positive experience with.)

There are also numerous organizations such as Love Without Boundaries, Wide Awake, and Half The Sky making a tangible, positive impact for in-country orphan care around the world, that one can support with a one-time or regular donation.

We harbor much gratitude for Smile Train and Operation Smile, who regularly assemble and deploy medical teams to complete life-saving surgical repairs to cleft-affected children, globally. One can donate to a specific child’s surgery or to the general fund with these outfits.

Our first Gotcha Day was this past Tuesday, and, to be frank, most of the day was just bananas. Tuesdays are one of our regular busy “in town” days, with stops at PE, computer class, piano and flute lessons.

Fortunately, despite the many distractions, we punctuated each end of our Gotcha Day with special activities for Little Man: A playdate with his fellow Chinese chum in the morning, and dinner out (Chinese, obvi) that evening. One year out and just recently free of the financial impact of our adoption, we did select another adoptive family to bless monetarily, in Little Man’s honor, as well. We poured over photographs, which Smarty-Pants Hubster assembled into a touching video, and just reveled in the completeness of our little family.

two little stinkers watching the tractors move more dirt in our yard

Thanks, again, to all who helped to make this day a reality.

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