This is a glimpse into Thomas’ Gotcha Day. The day his life forever changed.
When we arrived at the location where all the adoptive parents would meet their children one sweet child was already there. Most the families had to wait for their children to be brought to the facility, but for the Ryan family the wait to meet their son was over as soon as they entered the building. There he was, playing peacefully in the corner near his foster mom. All those months of waiting were over.
Words below are by the adoptive mom, Britt.
“It’s impossible to forget your first glimpse of your child. For our daughter Molly, it was on a computer screen in a hotel business center while on vacation in Ixtapa, Mexico in 2007. Her beautiful face slowly appeared as the photo attached to our referral email downloaded. I opened a manila envelope containing a photo of our eldest son, Karl, while in the parking lot of our adoption agency in 2010. Thomas entered our hearts this past February, while sitting at our kitchen table opening the attachment on my ipad. From this moment on, we had three children, one just happened to live on the other side of the world. The next 5 months were spent explaining the coming adventure to our 8 and 5 year old, nesting, shopping, packing, repacking, and packing again, all in an attempt to keep my heart from breaking in two from missing our little boy – the little boy we had yet to meet. Fast forward 5 months and we are boarding a bus in China to drive the last few miles to Thomas. I sometimes wonder if an outsider could see the tension, joy, anxiety, fear, love, and intense relief that we are all feeling? Hard to believe others are going about their daily routine, unaware of what is about to happen to us. And there he is, Thomas, our son, the little brother Molly and Karl have been chatting about for months, standing just 20 feet from us, and he has no idea who we are. The desire to sweep him off his feet and never let go is nearly impossible to resist. We gently approach our sweet boy, his fear and tears breaking our hearts. Holding him for the first time… and I can’t remember what yesterday felt like. Was there a time when he wasn’t our son, when we weren’t a family of five? I can’t recall, because right then – at that moment – we are exactly where we are supposed to be, with the children meant for us. The perfect fit. Complete. Whole.”
I, Renee of Spur On Love, vividly remember watching this family meet their son during Gotcha Day. There were so many emotions going on during the minutes and even hours of this morning and seeing three sides of this story has changed my heart forever. Watching this family meet their little boy and knowing they finally felt complete was priceless. It was breathtaking. Seeing the foster mom have to say good-bye and watching the tears fall down her face displayed a sacrificial love that only comes from the purest of hearts. And looking on as Thomas had to adjust to his world being completely rocked in the matter of minutes has gripped my soul in a way I can never fully express. I could not hold back my own tears as this story unfolded. And even though parts of it was heart wrenching peace flooded my soul because I was able to see the end of the story that this little boy could not. His world from this point on was going to be stable. Safe. Full of love. Because he had been chosen and rescued. Seeing this in the flesh has beautifully wrecked me forever. And for that I am truly thankful. Adoption is one of the most beautiful displays of love that I have ever witnessed.