Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Gotcha Day!!!

For all adoptive parents, this day is indescribable. You are awake half the night thinking a million thoughts: will the child fit in with us? how will he/she change our family dynamics? will they come to us initially? will this be a rough adjustment for them? all that and more. That was me, last night, thinking about Jonathan. It's amazing to think one night he's sleeping in his home, the only place he's ever know and the next day he'll be in your arms, wondering, what the heck happened? With Joshua, he was so little (4 months) that I really didn't worry too much about his adjustment.... with Jonathan, being 10 months, I have. Frank, Josh and I had picked out a special toy to take with us to Casa de Maria just in case we couldn't "lure" him.

Needless to say, I woke up about 5 times to just stare at the clock. Finally, morning came. We went to breakfast as usual. Josh has found three great friends he LOVES. David is the son of a couple vacationing from Spain, Kewin is an adopted 5 year old Colombian boy whose parents are from Germany and of course Josh. Frank and I have marveled at how well these three get along... David and Kewin speak perfect Spanish and Josh... well, he gets by repeating everything they say and saying, Si! and Mira! So, we hung out at breakfast until it was time to get ready. Josh was great... normally he gives me such a hard time to put on any outfit I choose, but today he was so great (only through My Lord's power!) We all got dressed and met Gloria in the lobby. She drove us for the 20 minute drive to Casa de Maria.

Upon arriving I have to say, Casa de Maria is situated on a hill and looks very homey. There's a playground and you could see older children painting pictures as we walked up the stairs to Sra. Raquel's office. Raquel Nieman de Altman is the director of the casa privada. While waiting for her, we met lovely staff members... the psycologist, social worker, nurse, etc. I wish I could remember all of their names! They were so very sweet to us... I was beaming as I thought about how very special each of these individuals is to us... they all have cared for and loved our baby since he arrived here from the hosptial. Words can do no justice as you attempt to thank them for their care.

We waited in a small waiting room as another couple received a three year old boy who was so very precious. He walked by us holding a large stuffed white monkey. Josh behaved so well while we waited (I'm sure that had NOTHING to do with the fact that we sat him down this morning and explained how important this day was and how we expected him to be on his BEST behavior) :) Finally, Sra. Raquel called us into the receiving room. We sat and talked for awhile about Jonathan's history... his birthmother, his medical report, etc. She also told us about his routine... when he eats, what he eats, etc. Then she very kindly looked at us and said... I'm sorry, but you won't be able to take Jonathan home with you today because he has a small bronchial infection and we want to keep him here overnight for observation.

Dear Jesus... I had to hold my tears back... my heart sank. I could see in Frank's eyes the let down too... we had come for our baby boy! At that moment, the nurse came in to talk to us. She said that two days ago Jonathan got a small "cold" and had a little fever but in the last 24 hours he didn't have any fever, just cough.. runny nose, chest congestion, etc. She then said the pediatrician was going to check him again and let us know if we could take him today. I started to pray.. HARD! When she came back, she said "YES! You can take him!" I did my little seat dance and everyone laughed... including Sra. Raquel. Our baby boy would finally get to be with us and we would be a complete family!

They brought him in. He looked so little! They had dressed him in a sweet plaid Nautica shirt and pants with little white socks. He did look sick... poor baby. His eyes were redish and he looked sleepy. But he took to me right away... no toy coaxing needed. Josh ran up to him and said "Jonathan! Here's your toy!" and we gave him the little ducky that played music. I held him close and he let me cuddle him. Frank took his turn and we were amazed at how good he was. No crying, and he even gave us a few smiles!

After taking him back to the hotel the day went really smoothly. He napped a little and then let Frank cuddle him while I took Josh downstairs to the pool for a "swimming lesson" (given by me of course) Josh was so good today, I couldn't say no when he asked! Jonathan's been great. He sucks his thumb and does this sweet thing where he grabs a blanket and puts it between his fingers while his thumb's in his mouth. It reminds me so much of my brother Danny as he used to do the same thing as a baby! So sweet! He also crosses his feet whenever I sit him on my lap. He looks for Josh all the time and loves his Daddy. As I'm writing this, he's asleep in his crib... poor thing, hopefully healing so he'll feel better in the next few days.

This day has been all I've dreamed it would be... and more. So now, I'm filled with gratitude:
  • first for my heavenly Father who adopted me into His family through the free gift of salvation, without Him my life is nothing. He has led us down this unpredictable, amazing adventure of adoption once again. He chose Jonathan for us!
  • to Jonathan's birthmother who chose to give him life. No matter what can be said of her, I'm so very thankful she did that. Many mothers don't. I'll always think of her as I look into his big, beautiful eyes, praying that the Lord will restore her and guide her.
  • everyone at Casa de Maria for loving and caring for Jonathan befre we could. I felt nothing but love and joy as I walked into the building... and I'm so very grateful for that.
  • my Gladney family for their love and support: Tio Raul, Tia Gilma Ines, Nora, Blanca, Beth and now Gloria have been so very wonderful to us. Thank you!
  • Our familes: your love and prayers have guided us here... we thank God each day for each of you! Thank you for loving us so much!
  • Our friends, espeically our adoptive family... we know you re-live this experience with us because when each of you walks through it, we do too! We are so very thankful that in bringing us our boys, God has brought us all of you as well.

My cup overfloweth... :) xo


  1. I'M SOOO HAPPY FOR YOU!!! Jonathan is such a darling boy. I'll be praying for a speedy recovery from his cold. Jesus is his Great Physican. :) We are leaving tomorrow morning for Bogota. It was wonderful to meet you and your family in person. I know that was a sweet gift from the Lord. You made my heart smile. Enjoy Medellin and let's stay in touch!!!
    Much love, Ruth

  2. Sandy, Frank, and Josh,

    Congratulations on the newest little member of your family! He is precious! What a beautiful gift from God! We are so happy and excited for you, and can't wait to meet him! Hope to see you in a few weeks. Until then, we'll be following along on your journey.

    Much love,
    Steve, Ruth Ann, & Anna Marie

  3. You made me cry! Tears of joy that is! Your family is so sweet and I am so thankful that God has allowed me to watch you grow the way He has. The way you express yourself is so beautiful Sandy. I love you all so much!!!

  4. I am CRYING! I haven't read a word you wrote and I am already crying my eyes out! I love this! Jonathan looks like he is sooo happy and he has no idea that the best is yet to come! Thank you, Jesus, for Joanthan.

  5. Ok, that was obviously, Kaye Geiger and not Eric. I have now read the blog and I am sobbing!!! Soooo happy for you!

  6. Oh Sandy, this was beautiful. Thanks for sharing these moments with the rest of us. I feel like I was there with you. We love you all bunches... I'm going to go have a good, happy cry now!!!!

  7. Congratulations Sandy, Frank, and Josh!!! Your story really made me cry, and my family and I are praying for all you guys! I'm so glad everything worked out well, and I can't wait to meet Jonathan!!

  8. Sandy, thank you for sharing your special day with us. We are so happy for you, Frank and Josh. What a beautiful family of 4. This just reminds me of how lucky we all are to have our wonderful children, and having met some amazing friends in the process. Love you guys! Congratulations. Off to wipe my tears now. :)

  9. CONGRATULATIONS!!! I'm trying not to cry... I'm so happy you got to take Jonathan home, my heart broke at the thought that you wouldn't be able to take him with you, you've waited so long!
    I absolutely love all the pictures... your smile says it all!!! And you know you're going to HAVE to frame the first family photo.

  10. Oh my gosh. I'm sobbing. We welcome Jonathan to our family with all of our hearts and souls. I know how special today is. I remember all three "gotcha days". It's nothing short of stupendous. Congrats guys. Katie, Rob, Patrick, James, Cami, Mac and I are so excited.

  11. Your JOY is contagious! I love sharing with you guys in this beautiful journey. I also read your friends blog. All of you just radiate the LOVE of our FATHER. Thanks for being such a blessing in my life. Blessings always, Pamela

  12. What a beautiful description of your experience! Thank you for sharing. We will be praying for Jonathan as he heals from his cold.

  13. Thanks for sharing this awesome experience. I pray that your "new family of four" is having a wonderful time getting to know each other and that you have a safe trip back home. Can't wait to meet Jonathan in person!!!