It was mid-January. The Seattle Seahawks, my favorite team was in the playoffs and heading to the NFC championship against the Rams. I told a co-worker, a known football game gambler, “bet your house on the Seahawks beating the Rams and go to the Super Bowl!” His response? “You’re nuts! The Rams offense is too good for the Seahawks.” I said, “I’m telling you, the Seahawks are going to the Super Bowl.” He asked with a smirk, “what makes you so sure?”
Murphy’s Law. That was how I knew. The Seahawks did beat the Rams to advance to their first Super Bowl appearance in their franchise history. The reason for my bold claim? I was expecting news any moment of the adoption of my second daughter, travel news. I was preparing myself, that it was likely, I might be flying to China to adopt my daughter during the Super Bowl, missing my favorite team’s only appearance. It was bound to happen.
And that is exactly what happened. On Sunday, February 5th, 2006, Super Bowl Sunday, I flew from the Newark International Airport to adopt my second daughter. It was a sixteen hour, non-stop flight. I checked with the airlines if the game would be televised on the plane. They said, “no.” And so, my older daughter and I, adorned in our Seahawks gear, boarded the plane with many passengers wearing black and yellow colors, Steeler wear. Nobody ever remembers who loses a Super Bowl, but I do, and to whom.
Landing in Hong Kong, those black and yellow passengers were celebrating. How? How could they have known the results already?
There was no time to mourn, what I did not see. The biggest moment of my life was about to take place for the second time, becoming a Dad again.
Yep, I had packed all my Seahawk gear I could take. I was a Dad again. That was sixteen years ago. I remember all the details of that trip.
Every year, I recognize this date, as I do with the similar date with my older daughter. We happen to refer to it as the “gotcha day,” though some get upset about the term, implying that they were taken. Others call it a “forever family” day or “rainbow family” day.
She is my Super Bowl baby.
The adoption process is a fascinating one, in how families are matched up. There is no mistaking that my daughters are sisters in the familial sense.
Both have their differences as well in the personalities, their dreams, and their character. And next month, I will recognize my older daughter’s “gotcha day” as well, a very special one.
There is no forgetting what this weekend means to me. Yes, it is Super Bowl weekend. And as I prepare for another visit with my daughters, I will miss the Super Bowl this time as well. That can mean only one thing, my daughter is coming home… again.