Two years ago at this time, we were in Ethiopia. We had passed Embassy and were waiting for Maya’s visa to be issued. There are so many big days in adoption. The day we received our referral and saw her tiny face in photos for the first time. The day that we traveled to Addis Ababa and held our daughter for the very first time. A couple of days later when we officially went to court to declare that we wanted to be her family and promised to care for her. Then there was the day that we went to the transition home and Maya came back to the hotel with us, never to live in an orphanage again. So many big days and each day closer to being together as a family. This week, we celebrate the second anniversary of our Family Day. The day that we stepped off the plane in Texas and reunited with Alain. The four of us were together as a family for the first time in our home.
We call this special day “Family Day” for many reasons. For us, adoption is not about getting a child, it is about becoming a family. We became family to Maya and she became family to us. It is also a special time to remember her first family. With as much or as little as you know about your child’s first family, they are so very important. I often visualize Maya’s mom and am almost instantly brought to tears with the thoughts of all she is missing of her sweet, smart and spunky daughter. I wonder how many of the things I adore about our daughter, she gave to her. I imagine that we would all love her so deeply. There is no adoption that comes without loss and that must be remembered. So Family Day it is. Family created and family never forgotten. We are so blessed to be a part of her life and so today, we celebrate.
Note: We very specifically do NOT call this day “Gotcha Day” after hearing adult adoptees share their negative feelings on this term. For more about this, read this article on Red Thread Broken “What’s wrong with Gotcha Day?”