It has been three years since the moment we first laid eyes on Yong-Sheng and Yu Fong Li.
Sometimes that day seems like an eternity ago. I can't even remember what life was like before they arrived in our lives.
Other days it seems like just yesterday that I saw their nervous grins. Grins which are familiar now. Life turned upside down that day and it has never quite up-righted itself. From the moment we laid eyes on them in the middle of a park in Nantau county, Taiwan we haven't stopped chasing them, laughing with them, stopping them from climbing to the top of anything that stands still or even some things that are in motion. Life has never been the same and I am grateful for that!
We have come a long way. About 5 years ago when we announced that we were adopting instead of attempting to have biological children we faced many different responses. Most of which were positively thrilling. So many people were excited beyond belief for us. I don't know that they all understood why we chose that path but they were at least excited with us. There were also those who weren't so excited for us... that was what we didn't expect. To us a child was a child... To us it didn't make sense to bring more children into a world when there were so many who already existed and needed families. To us we knew we could love any child God put in our family. However I actually had someone say to me "Awe, I just feel bad for you that you will never get the joy of having your own child." and another say "Oh no! Growing a child in your own belly is so cool... God created our bodies for that purpose... " (seeming to insinuate that adopting wasn't going to be nearly as 'cool' and I wasn't using my body the way God intended) Please know that I am in no way criticizing biological children. I do believe biological children are a gift from God... I just don't believe they are the only way God gifts children to us. I just wished I would have have been eloquent enough at the time to express how their words made me feel.
Those people, who probably don't even remember saying those things to me, left a mark on my heart. At first it was a mark of hurt and disappointment. Now however, 5 years and two kids later it is just a mark... I carry that mark with pride. Those marks, in a strange way give me pleasure. Pleasure in being living proof that they were wrong. I don't know how any other children could bring any more joy into our lives than these two. And while others may or may not see them as 'adopted' we see them as our "own". Period. They are our children. And for the one who thought I was missing out on something cool by not carrying biological children... How could you get more cool than traveling to the orient, learning the in's and out's of a foreign land, playing 'charades' to figure out what your kids want to eat and when they need to go potty and MOST OF ALL giving two beautiful, amazing, deserving children a forever family?! In my book it doesn't get more cool than that. And in the only book that matters, I was created to adopt!
James 1:27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
I have always heard that verse and clung to the first half but just skimmed the second part never giving it much thought. I think I get it now. Sometimes following God's calling doesn't' go with the 'mainstream' world. We must not let the world pollute our individual calls. Fortunately for us this time we held tight to that call and we have two gifts from God to show for it!
Our traditional present for Gotcha day is a 100 page photo book of the year past. I did it for their first year home because I just had to document every bit of that year along with our time in Taiwan. The second year... well, I was still camera happy and things still seemed so new that I did it again. For this year I had no choice. Months ago Pierson began saying "I can't wait until Gotcha day 'cause I can't wait to see my book this year!" ... Well I guess this is going to be an annual tradition. :)
Since we are homeschooling now we'll just consider these their "yearbooks". (Good thing I had lots of practice with those at GCS!)
Happy Gotcha Day my two beautiful precious children! We love you more than words can express!