Happy Valentines Day to you and your loved ones. Today is a special day in my family for more reasons than it just being February 14th. As I’ve talked about before, I am adopted. (see this post and this post) Growing up it’s something I always just knew and have always been proud of. While my parents and brother might not look exactly like me, we all love and support each other. I mean that’s what families are for right?
For many people who are adopted from another country, they celebrate their “airplane day” or the day they were finally in their parents arms for the first time. Seeing as I didn’t have some long trek or flight to get to my parents, we celebrate the day I was officially adopted as my “Gotcha” day.
This day has always been special to me and will always be a part of who I am. My parents struggled with legalities around my adoption for over 2 and half years before I was “officially” theirs. To anyone who doesn’t know much about adoption, it’s not always as simple as signing a paper and getting a baby, and in all reality its probably rarely that way. This was a long and difficult journey for both of my parents, and I am blessed to have two people in my life that love me enough to endure the heartache and emotions they were put through. I think the saying at the bottom of the photo from that day really speaks volumes. “In the land of hope, there is no winter.”
Being that I was almost two and a half by the time that day finally arrived, I have vivid memories of the judge asking me if I wanted to be adopted and him waving his magic wand and making it official. That day was shared with my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and the lawyers who supported and fought for my parents throughout the whole process. Getting that call on Valentines Day was the answer to their prayers and the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s pretty ironic that my official adoption day is also Valentines Day because my maiden name was Hart. Hearts, Valentines, Love, Gotcha . . . it all fits together!
Since that day 24 years ago, I’ve been blessed to not only share amazing memories with my parents and brother, but I’ve also gotten the opportunity to meet both my birth parents and their families. Even though this day is special for me, it impacts all of the other people in my life. Being adopted has been such a blessing, and it’s something I love to celebrate. So today as I go to dinner with my sweet husband and enjoy and celebrate the love we share, I will also make sure to celebrate this day with my family (parents, birth parents, siblings, half siblings). While today might be hallmark to some, it’s one of the most important days of my life.