Ya’ all. I cannot believe this day has come and gone again. It seems like not that long ago we were anxiously awaiting our court appearance for a judge to tell us he was ours. I am not sure if those memories will ever fade (with age it seems things get harder and harder to remember!). I was so thankful the Judge asked JJ what it meant to have Jackson as our son. I wouldn’t have been able to say a single word, I was crying so much. For those of you who don’t know, JJ is a man of the least amount of words spoken! I love that about him. Maybe because I talk too much! When he spoke those words in court that day, I couldn’t have been more proud to be his wife and share this parenting journey with him. He spoke from the heart. He reassured me, the judge and everyone in that courtroom that it didn’t matter that Jackson was born to another woman, but that we would love him as our own. Oh, I just get all teary-eyed thinking back to that day!
I shared with you all, what we did last year for Jackson’s gotcha day in a three part series– you can check it out here in case you missed it. But now he is learning more and more about being adopted. Still, the other day he told me he wasn’t adopted. I don’t know if it is him trying to figure out who he is or if he is in denial, but he most certainly was adopted! He just doesn’t think so!
We have been explaining more and more to Jackson this year about being adopted and why he even has a gotcha day. He just thinks he gets a present. Maybe we need to work on his thankfulness! Just when I thought I got this parenting thing under control, we get thrown a wrench. Like, learning how to deal with him processing these emotions. Half the time I can’t even process them, can you imagine how hard it is for a four year old? Uftah, do we have a task ahead of us!
This year, we decided to travel down to Brookfield for Jackson’s gotcha day. Which also means, I had to work. Oh, this working mom stuff pulls on my heart strings every single day, but even more when I can’t spend such a special day with him. You know what though? I did get to spend the day with him. No, not the whole day like dad did, but the extra 2+ hour car ride there and the 2+ hour car ride home was 4+ extra hours I got with him that I don’t usually get with him. There is one thing I have learned in this life, it is that you take every and I mean every single chance you can get to spend extra time with your loved ones, no matter how small that extra time is. So was my heart breaking that he got to do all kinds of fun stuff with dad, yes, yes it did.
It was also really cool that he got to spend the day with just dad. They too need to spend one on one time together. The way they both talked about their day when they picked me up was beautiful! Jackson was excited about all the cool experiences he got to do, Discovery World, Children’s Museum, getting his haircut the way he wanted, and of course a new toy! JJ was so excited to share with me their time together and explain how good of a mood Jackson was in and how well he did that day. I might have missed out on being there with them, but I gained way more watching them bond and talk about their day together than I could have had I been there.
Oh and this year he picked out his on gotcha day presents, dinosaurs. He has really been into them lately! In fact, maybe that is a new trend we will start, he gets to pick out his gotcha day present. It is HIS day, after all! He also got his hair cut just the way he wanted it, short on the sides and long on the top!
And… this year he was the lucky recipient of influenza and strep throat on his gotcha day on the way back from Milwaukee. Parenting can result in some of the biggest highs to the lowest lows. Having sick children is absolutely the worst.
Do any of you celebrate Gotcha Day for your children? We would love to hear about what your family does to celebrate!