In adoptions, you consider the baby/child's first day in his adoptive family the GOTCHA day.
Even though we can't adopt Shayden, we still celebrate his Gotcha day - he has been with us for exactly 2 years TODAY!!! WOW!!!
This past week, he has been the sickest ever. He actually had croup, almost ended up at the hospital... but thank God, he is much better now, almost healed!
Here's a letter I wrote him today. I don't think he minds you reading it :)
It's a bit long...
My most precious little boy, Shayden,
Exactly 2 years ago today was when you became part of our family.
Those of us here today (Daddy and Jeremie are in Fiji) celebrated the special event with ice-cream, yeah!
I can still remember it as if it was yesterday:
I was EXTREMELY excited to meet you and could hardly contain myself in the hours leading up to the early afternoon of July, 12th, 2007!
Rich, Nathalie and Jeremie were all overseas, so the welcome committee was small with just Leilani, Kylie and me, but that was perfect.
If everybody had been home, we would have probably overwhelmed you with the decibel of noise that is “normal” in the Betts-house.
The first question the social worker asked me was if I could handle a crying baby.
She meant a baby that cries a lot, like non-stop, as you seemed to have been doing most of the day and particularly all the way from your former caregiver to our house.
Even though you did cry a fair bit (off and on for 1 ½ hours), meeting you was magical!
I had been dreaming and strongly desiring to take care of a baby for a LOOOONG time, and here, you were, Shayden!
You looked so handsome in the beautiful clothes that you were wearing, strapped in your car-seat that was put on our dining room table!
And yes, you were a bit distressed, but lots of cuddles and distractions had you calmed down soon, especially after your bath, which you loved (still do now).
While I was feeding you the evening-bottle, we gazed into each other’s eyes and you even started smiling and laughed straight into my face – WOW!!!
I was smitten with you right away, and so were Leilani and Kylie.
We were all in wonder and amazement of this precious little boy that was entrusted into our care – for what we thought was going to be 2-3 months.
You slept through the night that first night, which I was most impressed by!
I had absolutely no idea how this transition was going to be for you and had every reason to believe that you were completely traumatised. I was, after all, your 5th caregiver in your short 6 months of being on this earth!
As I listened to your regular breathing as you were peacefully sleeping in the portacot next to me, I was SOOO thrilled and in awe that FINALLY “the baby” had arrived – YOU!!! I could hardly sleep all night, I was so stirred up, and I loved you already!
You were so small, Shayden, and fragile. You couldn’t hold up your head or hold a toy in your hands, you barely moved, couldn’t turn around, just lay wherever you were put. But this didn’t hinder the smiles from breaking through.
We could see very soon that you had a very happy disposition and you conquered our hearts in no time at all!
Today, you are still beautiful, inside and out! I LOVE you more than words can express, just the same way I love the children that were born from me!
When your body is resting on mine with your head snuggling on my shoulder, when you look at me with those trusting, adoring eyes and when you give me those wet kisses (all those things you did today), my heart just melts away…
When I look at you, asleep, just before I go to bed at night, my heart always does an extra-beat of joy and happiness.
You have enriched our family in ways that we had no idea 2 years ago.
And who would have thought that you would still be with us – and not just that – but that you would become a part of our family FOREVER!!! We are so privileged!!!
The first time I even considered that you might be able to stay with us (I had just talked to somebody that was pretty sure that that would be a possibility), I almost had a car accident because I was beside myself, I was so excited!
You are a precious treasure, as I tell you every day.
You are a happy, confident, cheeky, active, curious toddler, walking and starting to talk, full of mischief, getting into everything and always ready to smile or make a face, with a strong love for books, nature and animals.
You are easy-going (except for when you throw a tantrum, which is necessary, too!).
Both Daddy and I never hesitate taking you with us to the supermarket or the mall. You are ALWAYS happy and content when we’re out and about, we can count on that! Amazing!
You have been through so much and we are overjoyed that we were able to embrace you into our family 2 years ago. You are loved by every person in this family and always will be!!! And it is our prayer that you would come to know the one who IS LOVE and has loved you from the very moment you were conceived!
Your loving, grateful mummy
If you want to see photos from back then, check this out