Tuesday, July 28, 2015

2 years

I am a little last posting, but in July we celebrated 2 years with Vivian.  It is hard to believe it has been two years since this happened.

We didn't do much of a celebration actually.  It was more like we remembered the day.

Oh, that day.

The day we met was such an emotional day.  It was such an incredibly hard day for Vivian.  

On that day Vivian lost everything she had known for almost 3 years suddenly and without any explanation. To Rob and I,  it felt more like a kidnapping at moments than it did the making of a family.  Rob and I will always remember the profound sadness we witnessed in Vivian that day and the first few days to follow.

It was such a traumatic day for Vivian.  The day we met marked the beginning of the end of her life in China.  I grieve that loss for her.  I think that is why it doesn't feel quite right to do a big "celebration" of this day.  When Vivian gets older she will get to decide how she wants to handle this day.  If she wants to celebrate, then celebrate we will.  But right now we don't know how she will feel about it, so the decision about how to handle the day is up to Rob and I.  And we choose to keep it low key.  The truth is that from Vivian's perspective, it wasn't a happy day.

On the other hand, from our perspective, it was such a happy day.  I believe there is so much about the day we met that IS worth celebrating.  Vivian became a member of a family, something I believe every child should be. She was no longer stuck in her orphanage.  She was now a loved granddaughter, cousin, sister and daughter.  

For me, the day we met (as hard as it was) was wonderful and amazing and every single moment is still crystal clear in my memory.  For me, two plus years of waiting and wondering and hoping and praying came to an end. All of the fears and anxiety I had felt for those years melted away the INSTANT I held her.  It was one of the most important days of my life.  For me, that day was a dream come true.  

Two years later, it is still hard for me to put into words what a gift this experience of adopting Vivian has been.  I am seriously so perplexed that people aren't knocking down the doors of adoption agencies begging to get the chance to do this.  I am, really.  

Watching her transform from the child she was the day we met to the child she is today has been an amazing experience that has changed us all.  She has been like the caterpillar who goes through what is necessary to come out as a beautiful butterfly. 

Two years later, Vivian is doing wonderful.  She is such a gift to our family.

On July 1st this year, we did our version of a forever family day celebration.  We took a family bike ride and stopped on the way home for some TCBY.  Nothing big, just a day of being together and remembering the day that brought Vivian into our family.  It was perfect.

Happy two years to our sweet girl.  We love you with all of our hearts.  

"Perhaps the butterfly is proof that you can go through a great deal of darkness yet become something beautiful"


  1. Perfect! You described my exact feelings about celebrating gotcha day for our little guy.

  2. Thanks for the update! Hoping to adopt as well someday

  3. I can't believe it has been two years, but then come January I will be saying the same with our Avery. It seems like she has always been with us! I can't understand either why more people don't want to adopt. They adore Avery, but give a 101 excuses why they can't do it! Congratulations on 2 years!

  4. My daughter is almost ten and it is STILL hard to look at those early pictures. Knowing her now, so full of joy and emotions, it's even MORE stunning to see how tense and withdrawn she was.
    Beautiful post <3

  5. Yes, "Gotcha Day" was something I anticipated with great hope and joy (and a bit of fear), and then look back on with mixed happy and distressingly sad feelings. At four years home our daughter asked to celebrate our family day for the first time, and did as well this year. Thanks for sharing.

  6. I'm a new follower, I found your blog through the ccia website. I have absolutely loved reading your posts about your journey and seeing how your beautiful Vivian has blossomed. My husband and I are in the very early stages of this process and discussing adopting a little girl from China hopefully in the new few years. I'd love to email you, I didn't see any contact options on this post. My email is brooke.rich09@gmail.com I would so appreciate it. Thank you!

  7. Hi Maureen,
    I've been reading through your blog these last few days. My husband and I have decided to start the adoption process with CCAI. I was wondering if you would be available for some questions. Thank you so much for all the helpful information you have shared through your blog posts! My e-mail is jbangert09@gmail.com.