Gotcha Day

The kids knew today was one of our four “Gotcha Days” each year, so they knew today was going to be fun and full of surprises!

“Gotcha Day” is, of course, an adoption anniversary.  Today happens to be Gotcha Day for Kirk and Barrett!

Our first surprise was a huge blessing: an interpreter friend got our whole family into the PAC for free!

We saw The Man Who Planted Trees, which was the lovely kind of puppet show play Nathan would have taken us to in New York! This turned into an excellent healing and respite treat for Nathan, to get some theater time to feed his soul. That made me so happy! 

The kids loved it!  It was about a puppet-man and his puppet-puppy, complete with aromatic special effects and even a time it rained on the audience!  They had a blast, and laughed so hard!

You can see Anber was brace enough to have her picture taken, but not yet ready to smile for strangers. That’s ok.  Mary loved it for the ASL interpreter, making theater accessible to her.

Then we went out for lunch for free pizza because Alex got Student of the Month!  Boom!

By then, Kyrie was awake from nap, so we picked her up to give Papa the afternoon off, and the rest of us went to the zoo!  Once again, we were so grateful for our zoo passes bought in budget early so that we have these easy free days to play! What a blessing!

Mary finally understands all the animal signs mean something, and made sure everyone at the zoo knew all the signs.

Alex climbed everything, because he can.

Kirk made it without his wheelchair, for which I was grateful since I had to push the baby, but that means he walked eight miles today, so he was a trooper.

Barrett got to run around for the first time this trip, instead of holding on to the stroller, and it is so fun to watch him grow up and mature.

Anber started her day in clothes that fit, but grew out of by 2pm.  I am not even kidding.  She is growing so long so fast!

Kyrie was old enough to finally realize we were actually looking at real animals, and she FLIPPED OUT!  I love that magical moment, cans remember when it happened with Anber.  Kyrie loved the monkeys and giraffes the most, and left the zoo at closing time crying and signing “more her-aff! More her-aff!”

You can see cute videos and more pictures from the zoo on our Keeping Kyrie page on FaceBook!  Remember to comment on the page from time to time if you want to keep receiving its updates.  That’s just how Facebook works.

After the zoo, we met Alex’s parents and Anber and Kyrie’s grandmother.  

Alex’s dad got his CDL and drives semi trucks now, so they have a home and a van and are doing really well and staying clean.  We are so proud of them!

The boys’ mom and Mary’s mom did not come. We haven’t heard from Mary’s mom, and she didn’t respond to messages.  The boys’ mom said she tried to come but could get a ride from the aunt helping her with the new baby.  We will try a Bartlesville visit another day.

Everyone had a blast, and we played until dark.  Then we said goodbyes and loaded up in the van.  The kids don’t meltdown anymore after visits, and I am grateful.  They will have a random tearful moment about something else later this week, but it will really be about visits (or lack of), and we will hold them and remind them they are safe and they are loved.

We had a gift card for McDonald’s, and treated the children to a feast of fake preservative food in nuggets and fries as we drove home.  This is a rare occurrence for us, as we almost always eat at home together at the table.  But it does help transition after visits, and it was a day of  celebration.  It also means they were ready for pajamas when we got home, since we read scriptures this morning, and they were asleep as soon as they finished brushing their teeth!

Kyrie watched Anber and Mary change into pajamas and carry their dirty clothes to their respective hampers, then she looked at me and said, “Ohhhh!” Then she ran to the playroom and scooped up armloads of baby doll clothes and carried them to the hamper! It was so funny!

What a day we had!  I loved every moment, even if I am just as worn out.  We will all sleep well tonight!

About Emily

I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since 2009. I serve as a Chaplain, and work as a counselor. I got bilateral cochlear implants in 2010, but will always love sign language. I choose books over television, and organics over processed. Nothing is as close to flying as ballroom dancing - except maybe running, when in the solo mood. I would rather be outside than anywhere else, especially at the river riding my bike or kayaking. PhD in Marriage and Family Therapy, and currently doing a post-doc in Jewish Studies and an MDiv in Pastoral Counseling. The best thing about Emily World is that it's always an adventure, even if (not so) grammatically precise. The only thing better than writing is being married to a writer. Nathan Christensen and I were married in the Oklahoma City temple on 13 October 2012, and have since fostered more than eighty-five children. We have adopted the six who stayed, and are totally and completely and helplessly in love with our family. Nathan writes musical theater, including "Broadcast" (a musical history of the radio) and an adaption of Lois Lowry's "The Giver". He served his mission in South Korea, has taught song-writing in New York City public schools, and worked as a theater critic for a Tucson newspaper. This is not an official Web site of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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