Gotcha Day 2009
Yesterday, June 7, 2009, was Ashley Kate's Gotcha Day anniversary. Our 4th one! 4! When I think of how BIG that number is I smile all over. Its bigger than 1, than 2, than 3. Its 4! I'll never forget the day we walked out of the court for the first time papers in hand that said Dave and I had the right to see our sweet girl, to be informed of all medical information, and to sit by her side until the day she came home to us. As we walked along the side walk an attorney walked with us on the way to our cars. The words he spoke sent chills up and down our spines. You see we had been loving this baby for 13 years. We had been fighting for her for two weeks already. We had been kept from her by a frightened staff at a hospital, had been forced to call strangers each and every night for those two weeks to remind them that this was our baby and that we loved her. We asked them to tell her that we were coming as fast as we could and that when they touched her tiny, fragile body to remember that they were the only hands she had ever known but that her mommy and daddy's arms were aching to hold her. They thought we were crazy. They treated us as such, but I didn't care. We faithfully made those calls each and every night so they wouldn't forget that she belonged to a family. One who loved more than words could explain. Anyway, when that attorney said these words I died a little bit inside.
"You may have been called to be the only hands that ever love her. It may only be for a short time. A few days, a few weeks, maybe a month, but your hands will be the only love she will ever know. That's special."
My heart was breaking. The judge warned us on the way out of the hospital that morning, "Mr. Adams, I'm afraid you and your wife my be heading for a broken heart. Be careful."
Dave turned to face her and answered, "Its too late. Our hearts are already breaking and we love her anyway. We always have."
With that said we raced out of that courtroom with document in hand and drove as fast as we could toward Ashley Kate. She was a little over 2 hours away fighting for her life.
So when I say 4, not 1, not 2, not 3, but 4 it is a huge number! God has given us 4 years. 4 beautiful years to tell the world that, yeah, we got her. He gave her to us and yeah, our hands hold her, they love her, they comfort her, they care for her, the treasure her.
The day she was born no one believed she had a chance, but I believed. The day she developed NEC they wouldn't tell us that she was dying. We had no rights. As we sat in court on that 14th day and we heard these words from the social worker, shared with no compassion and just stating the facts for the courts records, "There may not even be a baby left for them to adopt. She wasn't expected to live through the flight and we haven't heard anything." My heart dropped. Dave and I looked at each other and our hands held on to each other as tightly as they could. I still believed. She was ours. I knew it. My heart told me so. God had already done big miracles in this situation. I believed I would hold my daughter. She would know she was loved. Desperately loved and wanted.
Those early days of Ashley's life were nothing short of miraculous. Someday, I hope to have the opportunity to share each amazing moment with the world. For know I hide those things in my heart and I smile when they come to mind. It was in those days, those first 14, that the God of the universe became more real to my husband and I than ever before. If you only knew the things He did. If only I could explain then I know that all who heard the story would forever know that HE is real, He is alive, and He loves us. Even the tiniest of His creation. Like my Ashley. Someday, I believe He will tell His story through hers and so I continue to protect the details, the treasured memories, until the day my daughter is old enough to comprehend it all and then we will shout it from the roof tops.
4 years! Happy, happy Gotcha Day my sweet girl. You are so loved. Years and years before your conception, your birth, your life you were appointed this mommy and daddy and God laid it on our hearts to love you. I dreamt of you. I longed for you. I prayed for you. To smell your delicious hair, touch your tiny hands, kiss your soft,rosy cheeks brings me to my knees daily in thanksgiving. For you are so much more than I could have ever, ever imagined. You changed me, you changed us, you changed the world around you. I love you more than all the "manys" in this world Ashley Kathrine Adams. You completed our family the day you were born and we will forever be changed because of your presence. I love you, mommy.