Friday, March 29, 2013

A Writer's Week #64: Gotcha Day and Other Holidays

Today is Good Friday, a solemn and holy day for Christians around the world. It has always been so for me. But for my family and nine others, this particular day of the year--March 29th--is special for another reason. You see, eight years ago today we were in China to meet our daughters. Today, Stephanie and I held our daughter Abigail--all of nine months old--for the first time.

Stephanie & Abigail in China
We call this day Gotcha Day, as in "I gotcha!", and it was the culmination of a long journey. For my wife it fulfilled a dream of adopting a child that she had had since being adopted herself. For me it was the completion of a dream that I had adopted 7 or so years before when Stephanie had asked me if I'd be willing to adopt a child.

A year or so after we had our son Christian, we decided that the time was right to start the search for his little sister. Our search led us to China and Abby. After a year and a half of paperwork, social worker interviews and letters to the Chinese government promising to be good parents and to always treat our daughter as one of our own, we left 3 year old Christian with my in-laws and my parents and took off from Newark airport the day before Easter bound for Hong Kong and then on to Changsha in China. Because China is 12 hours ahead of us, by the time we landed in Hong Kong 18 hours later we had missed Easter entirely.
The entire gang on the lobby steps of the China Marriott in Guangzhou

It was worth it. Abby was the final piece in the puzzle that is our family. Now, eight years later, I can't imagine life without her. In fact from the moment I received her on Gotcha Day, it seemed like she had always been with us. Ever since I met my wife and asked her to a sunrise Easter mass, Easter has been extra special to me. Gotcha Day makes it even more so.

Christian & Abby a few years ago
Happy Gotcha Day to Paul, Deb & Clare; Marie, Tommy, Christina & Julie Rose; Roseanne, Eddie & Gianna; Marcia, Den & Mia; Claudia, Eugene & Maria Pia; Maryanne, Tom & Megan; Joanne & Jaida; Patti & Cami; and Nina, David & Julia whose Gotcha Day came a little later and through infinitely more trying circumstances. We love you guys!

I also did some writing this week. I've got things ramped up a bit and have added a bunch of action to The Golden Dragon of Ang. This week resulted in 2,200 words written, which brings the tale up to 32,300 words, 140 pages and 30 chapters. The coming week should also see some fun publicity for the audio book version of Sharky and the Jewel. I'll give you a heads up when that appears.

On a totally unrelated front. I have pulled together a collection of inspirational short stories and poems that I wrote many years ago for the high school community group that I used to advise at my local church. I'm going to publish them in time for Christmas this year. I wrote one every year for the group's annual Christmas retreat for almost 17 years. Each one was written to reflect the theme of that year's retreat and were meant to be a relaxing interlude in the middle of the retreat--a kind of modern fairy tale. Anyway, I'll keep you updated on that project as it progresses. Have a great week!


  1. What a special memory for Easter! My husband and I are also trying to adopt, but we're still on a waiting list.

    1. It truly is special, Allison. Two of the families we went with have since adopted a second child and it took them much longer the second time around. Hang in there, and I'm sure your patience will be rewarded! Thanks for stopping by and sharing!