happy 22nd gotcha day to me!

Today is the first day of the 22nd year I’ve spent in good ‘ol ‘Merica.

22 years ago, I arrived in LAX and put into my parents’ arms.

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Me and my leeetle Mama at the airport!

It’s been a wonderful ride so far, and I can’t wait to see what the years ahead will have in store.

Of course I found this post rejecting the term “Gotcha Day” on the eve of my day:
http://redthreadbroken.wordpress.com/2013/11/08/whats-wrong-with-gotcha-day/
http://redthreadbroken.wordpress.com/about/this-site/

And it made me sad. I understand that everyone who is adopted comes from a different place in livelihoods, situations and adoptive families. But at least for me, I have never experienced feelings of “loss” surrounding my adoption, or other feelings that people often tie to their experience of “relocation.” I don’t invalidate those feelings, though, and my non-feelings should not be invalidated either. But it rips my heart out to think that people neglect the divine intervention of God based on the fact that one party had to suffer to get to where they are, and that miracles don’t exist.

As a Christian, I often forget that people don’t think about the adoption rhetoric in the story of humanity’s redemption. When we were “adopted as sons” (Romans 8:15), Jesus had to do his work here on Earth to allow us to have a relationship with His father. God doesn’t wish bad things onto people, but worldly circumstances render many people hopeless, and the fact that they were rescued from their emptiness, loneliness, depression, and other vices is often the greatest part of the story.

You can’t discount a miracle because someone’s initial life decisions were made for them as a result of policies and social stigmas. That child’s future is still a source or joy and love for both the child and their adoptive family. I might not have had the chance to choose the family I got, but now I’ve “got” ’em, and they’ve “got” me!

I was raised about as normally as possible. And sure, I dealt with the adoption-related issues (family trees, ugh, which we will be discussing this week with my preteens), but I kind of cross those bridges when we got to them. I grew up with my entire family embracing my home culture and supporting me as I explored it in whatever capacity I wished.

Besides the fact of the literal etymology of the word “Gotcha,” I think the right, positive sentiment is still there. It’s the day my parents finally “got” the opportunity to be parents, and I “got” the opportunity to grow up in a loving home. My Gotcha Day never neglects the pains and selfless love of my birthmother, whose birthday is earlier in the month. It is a celebration of the creation of my family, but not without a reminder of her every year. My story would not be complete without mentioning her in the very beginning. I think that it’s less about what you CALL it and more about what you DO for it.

Needless to say, I sent my mama those two links, and she wrote back with this:

I still like a red thread tattoo… it’s a symbol of two very hard situations that hopefully became an answer to prayer for each.  That’s how I look at it.  In the end I’ll always be thankful for the scars…for 6 miscarriages, 2 domestic adoptions that didn’t pan out, because in the end they led me to you.  That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t have loved those 8 other babies, or that I’m glad they didn’t get born/placed, but it was life and that’s how it happened.  I’m thankful for the pain looking back, because otherwise, I would never have known such joy and gratefulness.  So I think [that writer] may not understand that yet, but someday probably will.  I know [friend] always said she didn’t believe in destiny, but now, if you ask her, I can guarantee that she believes in it… Maybe it’s not “destiny” but we make it “destiny” because we all live on the broken road in one way or another.  I don’t spend too much time wishing it weren’t broken because it’s turned out to be my favorite one.

Man, do I love her!

We love Gotcha Days in our house so much, that we’ve even assigned days to everyone that isn’t even adopted. For example, my step-brothers’ Gotcha Day is the day my mom and stepdad got married. And my stepbrothers’ wives each have a Gotcha Day that corresponds with the day they got married into the family. We’re just a big, happy family, excited that we “got” who we’ve “got!”

7QT16: Fun articles I read this week

Well, after the week of nightmarish scheduling, it was followed by a week of “I don’t know what to do with my life and then all the sudden it’s 2 am and I’ve only read buzzfeed all day.” Finally linking up with Jen again… So, without further ado:

Articles I’ve read this week (because I haven’t done much else):

1. Harry Potter – This is a really in-depth look into the Wizarding World. Don’t read if you want all your hopes and dreams to be crushed.

2. OKC Thunder – This is about Steven Adams. I’m pretty close to wanting an Adams jersey, no lie. You just want to love him. (See: article)

3. Oil & Gas – So…This is a thing people believe in…why? For one, my school would literally cease to exist if this took place here. This just makes no sense, honestly. All those people are going to continue to drive their cars, so they’re still stakeholders in the industry in one way or another.

4. Just funny – Finding love in all the right places…

5. I cried at this. – Precious. This provides loads of insight into caring for someone in a situation like this.

6. Adoption Family Trees – This woman has lots of good things to say when we have dumb school projects.

7. Marriage – Well aren’t all these ideas just adorable…

8. BONUS! I read most of this book this week for my poli sci class.

Friday #1: Control

840: I wake up…Decide to not go to class.
10: this class was cancelled, just needed to turn something in by midnight tonight.

12: Get out of bed…finally. The maintenance people stop by and look at the roof, from where it had rained recently on Rachel’s head.

1-5: Work! I even got there early so I picked lunch up at a deli downtown that a friend and I went to this summer. I get this text message while I’m there, which was pretty weird…but okay:
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5:15: i pick up a book from Emily’s apartment and remember all of the sudden that I have my pre-teen group tonight! So i race down to the office and I’m only 3 minutes late. Whew.

5:30-8: This group is so interesting and I can’t wait to learn more about these kids and their lives. It is so fun to see them and try and remember back to when I was 9 as well and how I felt about my adoption and identity. There will be a couple interesting stories for sure, and we have all types of kids: quiet, loud, timid, forceful. Should be an interesting time…!

8: I swing by Nate’s apartment to pick up my “surprise.” It was a box of paper pads from Chevron (that I adore). He said they got left in a building after a recruiitnig event and he knew I would like them. What a thoughtful friend. And now I have Chevron paper to last me for dayzzzz.

8:30-forever: Studying with Justin. I wrote my paper that was due at midnight! I’m having a hard time remembering what I did after that until 1:30am, but I was awake. Probably playing Plague. My life.

Bedtime: 1:30

Pathos of Asian Adoptees: Documentary film of a Filipino Adoptee. Journey of his life…

Support my friend James in his Kickstarteer project to film a documentary of his life and birth family search!

pathosofasianadoptees:

Binitay

On January 24th, 1990, I was abandoned as a newborn in the village of Mabuli in the municipality of Tabogon on the island of Cebu,…

Pathos of Asian Adoptees: Documentary film of a Filipino Adoptee. Journey of his life…

this morning….

Well. just listened to “All I Really Want for Christmas” by Steven Curtis Chapman on Spotify.

That was a bad idea.

“And it’s okay if they’re not perfect/Even if they’re a little broken/That’s all right because so am I.

‘Cause all I really want for Christmas is someone to tuck me in/
Tell me I’ll never be alone, someone whose love will never end.”

#crying, #normal.

I put When Love Takes You In on my playlist. I should probably take it off. I can’t deal with that everyday.