It was exactly 3 years ago today on September 16, 2002 that we were privledged to meet Ava Jing Tang. She was placed in our arms by a Chinese nanny in a hotel lobby a world away and we were instantly a family of three.
I have a vivid memory of one of our travelmates telling me something that seemed cliched, simplistic albiet sweet. He said, "Remember this day, this moment do whatever you can to preserve it. In no time at all you will have been together one year, then 5, then she will graduate from high school, even marry the man of her dreams. It will all flash by in an instant."
"Flash by in an instant", I reflected the next day. I couldn't see it. All I could experience was one little scared and hungry baby crying and crying for something I couldn't give her. I wondered if I would make it 1 week, never mind the whole graduating from high school scenario. But we did make it through that initial rough dance where a baby learns who will love her, feed her, and be there forever for her.
That man was right, I suspect he'd been down this childrearing path before. It is now 3 years. We made it past that 1 year mark I honestly had little faith we would ever see during that scary lifechanging moment in China. Ava is more than "making it" she is happy and healthy. She is growing like a weed and seems to sponge up information more quickly than I can pick up the trail of toys. She is brilliant, by that I mean shiny from the inside. She beams, she shines brightly when loves and when she makes mistakes. She is undeterred by obstacles and unapologetic for being human.
For this brilliant life we thank her birthparents today. We hope they have found some peace since 2002, which might have been a tough year for them?
We thank the Chinese government for trusting us, 2 unexperienced Americans with the life of this child. They matched us with her. We hope we are honoring that choice. Happy Gotcha Day.