Happy ONE YEAR anniversary of our “Gotcha Day!” On May 29, 2011, we arrived in Czestochowa, Poland and picked up our daughter! I can hardly believe it’s been a year. When Jim and I got there, we were taken to her orphanage with our hearts leaping in anticipation.
She was dressed in pink (with her signature headband) and ready to go. The orphanage staff had collected her things; crib sheets, a pink pillow, a photo album and blanket we had given her from our first trip, and two bottles with her name on them. Everything she owned was in one paper shopping bag labeled “Karolinki.” We were exhausted from a 20+ hour trip, but reuniting with our daughter was an instant shot of exhilaration and JOY! Here are a few photos from that day, one year ago:
As we pulled out of the orphanage driveway, I took a picture of Karolina in her car seat. She was gazing out the window, just happily going with the flow. We of course knew what a monumental moment this was, as we all watched the orphanage fade in the distance. I cried, prayed, thanked God for leading us to her, and thought about all the others inside. Praying they would also find homes and parents who loved them.
I took a similar photo of Karolina yesterday, looking out the window as we took a family drive to Hartville. My eyes get watery when I think of all the last year has brought. Her smile (with more teeth by each passing month)! Her accomplishments, and her presence in our lives has all made such a big impact in such a short time. We love you Karolina Elizabeth!
The Gift of a Child
Dear God, I thank You for the gift of this child to raise, this life to share, this mind to help mold, this body to nurture, and this spirit to enrich. Let me never betray this child’s trust, dampen this child’s hope, or discourage this child’s dreams. Help me, dear God, to help this precious child become all You mean her to be. Let Your grace and love fall on her like gentle breezes and give her inner strength and peace and patience for the journey ahead. Amen.
~~ Marian Wright Edelman