Our family turns 13 today. On May 30, 2002, Bill and I stood in a hotel hallway in Nanchang in Jiangxi province nervously awaiting the first time we would meet out daughter. As I saw the parade of 10 foster mothers carrying 10 orphans into the hotel I worried that I wouldn’t be enough and that I wasn’t worthy of parenting a child someone else had born. And yet after having waited five years, I desperately wanted to start this new journey. She was 10 months old, had a massive ear infection and a temperature of 103. She screamed in agony as her foster mother handed her to me and I remember saying, “We’re going to be a great team” through my tears. I always think about her birth parents on this day and wish so deeply that I could thank them for giving birth to this incredible child of God.
The next day, as we waited endlessly in municipal conference rooms to finalize the adoption, she made a clicking noise in her mouth. I repeated it back to her. She smiled for the first time. I’ll never forget it. It has been a joy to watch Bill parent Sophie. I couldn’t have asked for a better male role model for my daughter. He has set the bar so very high for her and that is a wonderful gift. Thanks to all of you who have helped me to be a better parent. Happy Gotcha Day to us.