Saturday, May 15, 2010


May 15, 2007 is a day forever seared in my memory, for it is the day that a baby girl named Thao Van became our Reagan. That hot, sticky Tuesday morning in a remote town on the South China Sea, we gathered with two other families in a Vietnamese government building to pledge to love and care for the children that had been entrusted to us. The ceremony itself was not remarkable, but it was the culmination of almost two years of praying, paper-chasing, hoping, waiting, and loving a girl we did not yet know. By God's grace, she seemed accepting of us, if not yet thrilled about the idea of leaving everything she had ever known. That first afternoon back in our hotel room she actually smiled and giggled with me in front of the mirror - something attachment experts said might be months in coming. The only hint of the spunky personality that would later emerge was when we tried to bathe her. She'd never seen a bathtub and wasn't too excited about the idea. She quickly calmed down though and even let me cut those few long tufts of hair that had formed a ring around her head, making her look a bit like a little old man. I'd been waiting for months to get my scissors on those! Perhaps if I had known we'd be eating dinner with all of her nannies I would have held off for another day. Even with the language barrier I could tell that they all immediately noticed and were laughing and discussing it among themselves! Throughout that meal they all loved on Reagan a little more, and her primary care-giver, Luc, who had been so reluctant to place her in my arms earlier in the day, seemed like a changed woman. She kept Reagan close, but I actually saw her smile and laugh, and at the end say good-bye in a way that assured me she would be okay and maybe find a way to be happy for the new family we had become.

I look back now at photos of that day, and wonder at the way God chose that baby, in that town, at that time, to be our daughter. Only He knew that behind that content exterior would be a little girl of equal parts sweetness and independence, with a little fire thrown in for fun. It is still such an adventure watching her personality unfold, because it is, in so many ways, a mystery. I know what many of Alyssa's personal quirks will look like in 25 years because she is me. I have an idea of how Parker will mature because he is his daddy. Reagan is just her own little person, and both enjoying and molding her into the lady she will become is one of God's most amazing gifts. Happy Gotcha Day baby!


Anonymous said...

Once again, you made me laugh, cry and nod in agreement all at the same time. Give her a hug from Gaga.

M or J said...

And I second the above comment.
Your last paragraph pefectly illustrates what my thoughts about Ashlee are sometimes. Thanks for making it more clear for me! She's such a blessing, but yet such a mystery because she's very much unlike me.
God is so good to us! Like Reagan, Ashlee had no problem adjusting to us right away. We were also told she might cry for days at the change, but she was just fine. How merciful the Lord is to his children! I love hearing your stories about Reagan. Feel free to share them anytime!

Anonymous said...

Happy Family Day! They grow up so fast! I still remember everything about that day and I also remember first seeing Reagan in the lobby at the KimDo! Such a beautiful blessing.

Lisa Spence said...

What a precious gift! A day well worth celebrating!

Rebekah said...

This brought tears to my eyes. What a sweet and precious gift. Thank you for sharing that here, so that we, your 'blogging family' can rejoice with you!