"Gotcha Day" in adoption lingo is the day you take possession of your beautiful, long-awaited, child. In many cases, the day you meet your child is the same day as your "Gotcha Day", but in our case, we met Mackenzie 2 days prior to taking possession of her. It was September 28, 2009. I remember very vividly the first time I saw her - something that will forever be imprinted in my memory. We were in a dimly lit hallway of the welfare institute in Seoul trying to get into a locked meeting room where we thought we'd be meeting her and her foster parents for the first time. To our surprise, we glanced down the hallway and saw Mackenzie in the arms of her foster mother and they were walking straight toward us. As the shock hit me ("Is that really her?"), Tim was scrambling to get the camcorder out of its case to capture the moment. She was placed in my arms and from that moment on, multiple lives were changed - joy, excitement, and nervousness for Tim and I, but sadness for Mackenzie's foster parents who had to let her go. We have no idea what Mackenzie was really feeling, but she seemed comfortable with everything that was happening during those first moments together.
Two days later, on September 30, 2009, we were handed our daughter again and within hours, we were on a plane for the 16-hour trip home. Welcome to parenthood - here's your baby and have a nice flight! WOW, to think that was a whole year ago! Seems like seconds… really. My hope is, as time goes by, we continue to remember every detail of our trip to Seoul and even better, our trip home. We don't want to forget a thing - the good and the bad (Mackenzie did scream on the plane for about 2 hours, poor baby).
Life at home was a big adjustment for all of us but nothing that wasn't expected. Now, things are going smoothly and Mackenzie is doing so well - such a smart and inquisitive girl. The perfect daughter for us. We have corresponded multiple times in the past year with her foster parents in Korea. Letters and photos have been sent by us and we've received letters and gifts from them.
We celebrate today and look forward to many more years and "Gotcha Day" anniversaries with her. Thank you, thank you, thank you, to all our friends and family who have supported us during our first year as a forever family. We love you!
- Michele and Tim