Spur On Love went to China with the expectation of photographing one particular adoption story, Bo’s story. However, there were actually several families adopting and meeting their children on the exact same day and I was able to snap photos of each family. It has been such an honor to get to know these families and be a small part of their Gotcha Day. I have asked each family to share a bit of their story of either how they felt on Gotcha Day or why they decided to adopt.
Here is a bit of the Scriven family’s story about their journey to adopt a 13 year old boy. Words below by Amy Scriven.
“When I think back to Gotcha Day I remember the feeling of my heart being in my throat and not being able to swallow. We were adopting a thirteen year old and there was no going back, I was terrified.
I know babies and toddlers. I could handle a screaming, upset, withdrawn, scared, and possibly sick baby or toddler. We have two biological little girls who are three and six. I have lived through tantrums, picky eating, potty training, incessant crying, and exhaustion so heavy I felt like I needed to tape my eyelids open.
I knew nothing about 13 year olds other than having been one. I knew even less about 13 year old boys.
We were in the adoption process for almost three years. For two of those years we were geared up to adopt a baby from the special needs waiting child list. We completed the marathon of paperwork and then put our match on hold for almost a year to move and remodel a house to be prepared for another baby.
Little did we know there would be no baby in our future.
A few weeks after making the exciting decision to open up our match, which means at any point the agency could call and say, “We have a potential baby for you!” we saw a Facebook post about a 13 year old who needed a forever family. That post changed the course of our lives forever.
It was on a late Friday evening in May when I read the post about a boy named ‘Ai’ who was going to age out of the system at the end of August. Once a child turns 14 they can no longer be adopted. I remember handing my phone to Rodger for him to read the write up and asking, “What do you think of this boy?” Rodger read it and said something like, “Wow, he sounds sweet.” I asked, “What do you think would happen if no one adopted him? Is it crazy that I’m interested?” and Rodger said, “It would be sad if no one adopted him.” And the conversation continued well into the night.
The next morning we showed a picture of Ai to our six year old daughter without giving her any background. She said, “I think he needs a family.” I had to walk away because I had started to cry and from farther away asked, “Why do you think he needs a family?” She said, “Because he looks lonely. Can we get him?”
I can still remember the feeling I had when I first saw my son that Friday night, something small in my heart moved like an old watch clicking on for the first time, I was his Mama.
Luke AiGuo has a tearjerker of a backstory as many of these older children do, and our decision to adopt him was quite an adventure that is still shrouded in some mystery. When our representative in China met us for the first time on the bus she started crying and said, “You are Luke AiGuo’s parents…” The rest of the conversation was a lot of both of us crying.
Fast forward to China and standing in the white, echoing, industrial, waiting room on Gotcha Day. My heart was pounding and I kept feeling like I had to pee. I know, I know, that’s an overshare but it’s true, I was antsy and nervous; my body almost couldn’t handle it.
For about an hour we watched families one-by-one meet their children. I was so joyful for them. I was at once relieved and jealous to not be receiving a baby. Babies are hard work, but the language barrier was terrifying me. I kept thinking, “We are going to get this poor kid, and then what?!”
Then Luke AiGuo walked through the door wearing the Colorado baseball hat we had sent him, and ‘click’ went my heart again. I knew, as I did when I first saw his picture on Facebook, that he was our son…”
Below: I do not recall exactly what Amy said, but I remember she was telling Luke some reassuring words about how he was now apart of their family forever.
Below: At registration day 24 hours later.
Thank you for reading. To help advocate for orphans please share this post and these pictures. The more who see, the more who will be spurred on to take action. Together, we can make a difference one life at a time!
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