an instant, yet eternal moment

Us becoming a family of three happened in an instant.

Literally, the blink of an eye.

From the time Lottie was placed in her mother's arms to the time, 10 baby girls later, Hallie's mom reached out to hold her for the very first time, less than five minutes had gone by.  Honest, the time stamp on my camera says that it is true.  Eleven families grew by one ~ and perhaps because it was a shared delivery room of sorts, we grew into one extended China family ~ in that crowded, hot room in the Guangdong Civil Affairs office back to back to back.

That means that from the time our last name was called by Amy's sing-song voice to the time my girl was in my arms and I was walking back to my seat, less than 30 seconds went by.

Yet despite how quickly it passed, it is one of my eternal moments.

Somewhere in that five minutes of chaos, I became a mom.

Oh sure, technically becoming a mom didn't happen quite that fast.

It's not like we walked into a room and someone handed us a baby unexpectedly.

There were years of longing, weeks of seeking His will, months of paperwork, many more months of waiting to be matched, weeks of waiting for travel, hours on planes, and then the last excruciating moments making small talk with the couple beside us (little did we know then how much their friendship would mean to us as our girls grew up going to church together), comparing baby pictures as we nervously waited for the moment to come.

No, I didn't come by motherhood in an instant.

It was however, that very moment when my empty arms, the arms that had craved a child of my own, were satisfied.

Along with my arms, my heart too became full, so full that there had to be a release of the intense emotion.  And  as I walked back to our seats, arms full this time, I wept tears of amazement and gratitude and wonder.

While I had (and still have to this day) so very much to learn about being a Mommy, part of me was forever changed in that instant.  It was as if flat white light had passed through a prism and the rainbow of color burst through.  Suddenly meeting the needs, feeding the hopes and encouraging the dreams of someone else colored my world like never before and those things became far and away more important than I ever could have dreamed.  She was so tiny, so helpless, so unable to do those things for herself.

Over the last six years she has grown from that chubby baby I carried 24/7 into a willowy girl showing more independence with each passing day.  She is maturing into a beautiful young lady who is seeking to understand her story ~ and the story of her beloved China sisters ~ on her own terms.

In His infinite wisdom, He placed us together, this daughter and I.  Six years later I am still humbled to the core of my being by the honor of hearing her call me Mommy.

It has been one of my greatest joys in life to love her, earn her trust, and have her love, truly love, me in return.  We may not share DNA, but I am hers and she is mine.

**Kristin, Darby, Sarah, Marisa, Olivia, Caroline, Nellie, Grace, Hallie and Lottie, we truly consider you and your families as our extended family.  We wish you all a very happy Gotcha Day and look forward to our next reunion!***


Glenda said...

So sweet. I loved seeing the pictures. It is a moment that defies explanation, but you did an excellent job. Happy Gotcha Day, to all of you!

Tina Michelle said...

You have a way with words!

Nancy B W said...

I absolutely LOVE the two pictures of you holding her for the first time! It brought tears to my eyes. I an't believe its been six years!

Julie said...

You have such a way with words. Love reading about your family day. I know it was a surreal day!

likeschocolate said...

Congratulations!!! She I darling!!!

Andrea said...

To quote another princess...
Best! Day! Ever!

Peggy said...

What a lovely post that makes me cry tears of joy with you!

Rebecca Robinson said...

What a beautiful story! What a precious daughter! What an amazing God!

prechrswife said...

First of all, happy anniversary! And this is the first time I can remember seeing your Gotcha Day pictures. My jaw kind of dropped with that picture of you holding her and the little stuffed lamb. On our Gotcha Day, MJ was also dressed in yellow, and the toy I took with us was a stuffed lamb.

Heather said...

Boy I loved looking at these special pictures! She is just so precious. What a moment it is seeing them in person for the first time. Gives me chills just thinking about it.. Makes me happy!!!!

Kathy said...

I don't have words to express how precious that time is to me. My heart overflows with joy. You say it so well Kristi.

Lindy D. said...

What a beautiful girl Kylie is... then as a baby, and now! Love this post... you write so well!