11 years ago, the Chinese Center For Adoption Affairs had FedEx-ed this photo, along with a portfolio of my oldest daughter. The CCAA had made every effort, combining our dossiers with the observances of a six month old child, and had determined that Madison would be perfectly matched to our family.
And so, on March 14, 2004, Madison, then only known as Fu Shu Ting, was placed into our arms. And in spite of being old, that because of cancer treatments, that I would never become a father, like everything else I proved the “experts” wrong about cancer survival, I became a father for the first time.
From the moment that I found out that I would be unable to bear children, due to one of the chemo drugs I had been given to battle my Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, I looked into other methods. Once all biological means had been exhausted, the attention turned to adoption. With laws in the United States geared toward protecting the rights of the birth parents, and please understand, I can appreciate that, the prospect of adopting domestically just to have a biological parent change their mind, perhaps even years later, was not something else I wanted to add in my life of negative things I have had to deal with.
I attended an information meeting at a local adoption office, and that is where I met a little girl named “Lilly”. Her mother was speaking about her experiences of international adoption, which now she had become an expert. In less than five minutes, the decision had been made that adoption would be pursued through China.
This post is about celebrating Madison’s “Forever Family Day” so I will discuss the processes and all the decisions in another post.
Most of us now refer to this date, as “Forever Family Day”. At one time, many of us referred to it as “Gotcha Day,” but as political correctness often does, soon that name was felt to have a negative connotation, that perhaps the children were “snatched” and nothing could be further from the truth. And so, we now refer to this as our “Forever Family Day.”
I remember every moment of our lives together, from the moment she was placed into my arms, to leaping out of her crib, first steps, first roller coaster ride. And now, as she is considered a “tween”, she is very quick to remind me that soon she will be a teenager and driving.
Madison, my life changed forever when you came into my life. I am proud of you, and so proud to be your dad. And I will always be your dad, forever. I miss you, and I love you.