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Today is what we call GOTCHA DAY. I have one student, Anna, who was adopted from Korea by some wonderful people. They told me that they celebrate the day she arrived and they call it GOTCHA DAY. So, I adopted this practice for my own family.

Today it has been three years since I first met Matthew. It seems as though he has been with me forever, yet, it doesn’t seem possible, at other times, that he has only been with me three years.

I arrived in San Antonio Tuesday afternoon, July 24, 2002. I met Matt’s recruiter, Robin Tinsely, and we went to dinner. Little did I know she would become one of our family’s dearest friends and supporters – especially during that first year.

The next morning, I was not nervous at all. I showered, shaved and dressed, and drove over to the office building where I would be meeting Matthew. Robin and I were early so we sat in the meeting room. Then, Celena (his case worker) and Matt walked in. I extended my hand and he rushed into my arms. He was so little! A runt of a kid. We talked a while, then Robin, Celena, Darrell (another case worker), Matt and I went to lunch. Afterwards we drove three hours to visit my great-great-uncle and aunt, Raymond and Betty, and their son, Steve. Raymond and Betty were one of the first to see Mother when she was born, and the first to see me. I decided that we had to go to Houston to round out the third generation. So, they were the first of my family to meet Matthew.

The next day we hit the Alamo and all the neat sites in downtown San Antonio, and then saw the opening night ceremonies of the Dallas Cowboy Football Camp – it was quite a celebration in the Alamodome. We ended the evening with an eventful ride on the River Walk! Our boat broke down twice – the first time right next to an outdoor restaurant where a Mariachi band was entertaining diners. When they saw our boat was stalled, they began playing “Sailing, Sailing” and immediately went into the theme from the movie TITANIC. It was quite hilarious.

The next morning we rose and drove about 45 miles away to a wonderful waterpark called, the Schliterbaun There are over 7 miles of tube rides and I have to say it was one of the most delightful days I have enjoyed at such a park. Several times, the rides would end in a section of the Comal River!

Our last day was Matt’s birthday (July 28th) and we spent the day at Six Flags Fiesta Texas. I remember experiencing the true Texas heat that day. That evening, I met up with his foster father to drop Matt off. It was so difficult to do…

Then 9 days later, Robin and Matthew arrived at Dayton International Airport. In the lobby with “welcome” balloons was Kay Hetzer and her two sons, Joey and Chris. We all went to dinner at O’Charley’s and then I took my son home for the first time. Flyer was a bit bewildered as I am sure he seemed like a new student – but he was here to stay.

So, GOTCHA DAY, in our family, is the day my new sons arrive.

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July 2005
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