Saturday, January 3, 2009

Andrew's Gotcha Day!

A year ago today we got our sweet little Andrew at the Bishkek Orphanage in Kyrgyzstan!
I have included a few pictures here, but check out the video above to see all the changes Andrew has made in a year. It blows my mind how much he has grown and changed! The journey of adoption has been the most humbling, and life changing experience of my life. I'm thankful God placed it on my heart to make a difference in this little guys life. What I didn't know was how much of a difference he was going to make in mine. Some how Andrew has already thanked us for all we did with just his sweet little kisses, hugs, and his perfect little smile. He has turned into one of the happiest little boys I have ever met, and I hope I can always be enough for him!

My First pictures with Andrew. You can tell in the photos how withdrawn and sad he looked!
First picture with Daddy!

Our first picture together back at the hotel!

One year later!

Today we are planning a small get together with family and friends to make this a special day for Andrew. I feel like we never got to celebrate when we got home last year because we wanted the bonding to take place and we didn't want to take Andrew out around lots of people. I will post picture of Andrew's special day later. I do want to do something special for Andrew's gotcha day every year, and this year I decided to write Andrew a story book of his adoption story. I wrote it in a fairy tale way where it would be easy for him to understand. I want to read it to him all the time, and I'm hoping that will help him not have a dramatic experience of when we tell him he is adopted. It has pictures of him and us in it, and that should help him understand. Below is a letter to Andrew. I know he can't read, but one day he will be reading these blog post and I want him to know how I felt when we got him and how I feel today.

My Dearest Andrew,

One year ago today you were placed into our arms as our son. It was the first time we even saw you, and legally on paper you were already ours. No words can describe the feelings I had that day. I was so in love with you before I even met you, but for some reason the feelings were different when they placed you into my arms, then what I thought they would be. I was scared to death when we got you, and you were so much smaller then I ever imagined (you weighed 12 lbs. at nine months old). They gave me your measurements, but the pictures we had always made you seem so much bigger. The thing that was the most shocking was how sick you were. I was scared that I wasn't going to be able to give you what you needed, but God provided everything we needed even in Kyrgyzstan. I will tell you that story one day also.

For some reason I didn't cry when I got you, and I ask myself why all the time? Before we got you or even had the referral of you I would sit in your room, and pray over you and just cry for you. In fact, I would cry of just the thought of you before we got you, but when you were right there in my arms, I think I was just so nervous, tired, overwhelmed, scared, and excited that the tears didn't come. Trust me I have cried of happiness many more times then I want to count since that day.

I will never forget my first day with you, because I kept thinking, when is this little boys mom coming to get him, and then I would remind myself that I was your mom. I think you were also ready for me to take you back to the orphanage after the first couple of hours. Somehow, and someway the bond since then has grown much more then I ever dreamed it could between us. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't thank God for you. The thing that has made the biggest impression on me that someone told me was that "God trusted your Dad and I enough to give you to us". That helps me overcome any obstacle we may have, because I know God choose me to be your mom, and there isn't one doubt in my mind that you are not suppose to be with our family.

I will never be able to tell you about your parents because we know nothing about them, but I do know, that if you one day choose to have a personal relationship with God, that will be all the family you will need. God will be the one who will get you through the questionable times, and of course I will be hear to support you through everything as well. This has been the most amazing year with you Andrew, and I can't believe the things you have overcome in it. You are on target with all your development aside of your speech, and that you have been making great strides to catch up with since your surgery in October. I will never forget the first time I read your medical reports when we received you as a referral. Your dad and I thought they made you sound almost dead, but instead you are the most alive little boy I have ever met. I love you Andrew more then words can say. I look forward to what life will bring you, because you deserve only the best. You are a wonderful, loving, fun, little boy, and I'm glad I get to be your mom.

With all my love,



drewmark19 said...

Congratulations. It is amazing how fast a year can go by. What a touching tribute to a wonderful blessing in your life.

Just in case you don't know, this is Andrea (Roth) Riley. (went to school with Cain) Didn't want you to think you had some strange stalker on your blog. :)

Corinne said...

I just wanted to comment on how beautiful your family is and what a beautiful tribute to your little one.He is just the cutest little fellow who is so blessed to have found his family!