Paul's Heart

Life As A Dad, And A Survivor

3/14… More Than Just “Pie Day” To Me

March 14th, 2004, my life changed forever, and for the best.

The date is easy for me to remember, as it was my grandfather’s birthday. More currently, and perhaps more popularly, March 14th, or numerically, 3/14, just a slight reconstruction of the numbers, and you have the number “pi” 3.14, hence “Pi Day.”

But on March 14th, eighteen years ago, my oldest daughter was placed in my arms by a loving caregiver from the social welfare institute in China where she was living. I had become a father for the first time, immediately knowing that I would want to bring home a sister for her by repeating the same adoption process.

I remember landing in Hong Kong on March 13th. Our guide had informed us, to get some sleep. We were going to the government center to meet our daughter the next morning, two days earlier than planned. I was definitely not going to complain about that.

We had travelled with several other families, all having gone through the paperwork and screening processes. All of us were gathered in a large room, some sitting, some standing. Everyone had cameras in hand.

Then came the noise, babies crying. A lot of babies. There were here. They had arrived.

This is the actual moment when I saw my daughter for the first time. Having always known my daughter for being observant her whole life, I could see in this picture, she was taking everything in, like something was going on, but just what. Fortunately, she has always been a kid who rolls very easily with changing situations.

We spent a little less than two more weeks in China, before heading home. Then the fun would begin, being a Dad, going through all the stages from talking and walking, helping with homework, teaching activities like riding a bike and skiing, birthday parties, vacations and now, approaching graduation.

Anyone who knows me, knows, I am not ready to let go. At the same time, I am so anxious, proud, happy, and excited for her next stage of life. She has an amazing gift, and with her next level of studies, she will fine tune that talent, and her future will be set.

With my long term cancer survivor issues, I never thought I would see this day fourteen years ago. But I have made it. Nothing has stopped me from getting to this milestone, in both of our lives. And with her sister right behind her, this rush that the three of us are experiencing right now, is only going to get more exciting.

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