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September 05, 2008

Gwen's 3rd GOTCHA Anniversary

3rd_gotcha_anniv

Today is Gwen's 3rd Gotcha Anniversary so I had the pleasure of digging back through the last three years of photos to find other pics of her in September of each of the last three years.   

Gotcha Day was one of the most emotionally significant days of my entire life but the little person I was introduced to that day was a total stranger to me so I couldn't really absorb the full impact of what it meant to be her mom.  Not until now.   

Now I look at all of our photos from that amazing day with a greater appreciation of the bigger picture. First of all, I have to marvel at what was my first glimpse of the little person who would almost immediately own my heart.   She was so little.  So beautiful.  So totally oblivious about what was about to happen to her!    Today,  I have so many hopes and dreams for her and can't imagine life without her but looking at her very first pictures with us, I see a terrified little baby girl.  There's an expression on her face that I've (thankfully) not seen many times since that day.  I'm glad her fears were quickly overcome but it breaks my heart to look back at those first pics and see her pain and know that I wasn't able to comfort her.  Pretty soon, I became the only person in the whole world who could comfort her but on that first day, she had nobody.  Nobody ::::sniffle::::: .

We struggled to find a happy medium in that steamy hot room with all the other screaming babies.  We tried to reassure her, distract her, calm her.  But nothing helped.  The Director of her SWI even came by and told us (via our translator) that Gwen was a very happy girl.  We smiled and nodded but we didn't really believe her.  Still, we hugged her and we hoped.  Exhausted, she drifted off to sleep in my arms and slept on the bus all the way back to the hotel in Guangzhou.  She still slept after I carefully layed her down in the crib in our room.  Then she woke up and gave us a beautiful smile and she's been smiling ever since!

We are so blessed to have this precious girl in our family.  I can hardly even type those words without grateful tears welling up in my eyes.  She's our joy.  Our baby girl.  Our first daughter.   

For all the details of Gwen's Gotcha Day (including pics and video), click here:  http://2happy.typepad.com/double_happiness/2005/09/monday_gotcha_d.html

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