When Was Your “Gotcha Day?”

The month of March is special to our family because that was when the Lord orchestrated for us the miraculous completion of our family.  Anabelle Grace Zarate came into our lives on March 16, 2009 and needless to say, our lives haven’t been the same since! As I watch my baby girl, I am often reminded of God’s mighty work before, during, and after the adoption process. When she’s not behaving herself, I must remind myself that she is a “gift” from God. The fact is we would go through the same process and experience the same challenges and emotions to receive our baby girl from the Lord.

Unlike normal childbirth, adoptive people do not become parents when the child comes into the world. Our legal system has a process that must be followed, otherwise the child cannot be adopted.

In the state from where we adopted Anabelle, the law stated that a birth mom had the right to change her mind (regardless of how much you’ve helped her or spent financially on the process and how much she’s been counseled) within five days of the birth. Those were the five longest days of our lives! It is only when she terminates her parental rights that adoptive people can become parents.

This termination and transfer of parental rights takes place a few days later. Three years ago, with a mountain of paperwork which included background checks, home study reports, individual and family profiles, references, financial statements, and much more, we stood before a judge and declared our desire to legally adopt Anabelle and make her a permanent part of our family. It was only after the judge made the ruling that we could breathe easy as far as that part of the process goes.

In adoption circles, the day you stand before a judge and declare your desire to make the child a “forever part” of your family is often called “Gotcha Day.”

I joke with my wife that somehow, in our intense yearning for a child, we ended up having to celebrate two “birthdays” a year. Did I get ripped off?

All I can say is this, after waiting for a child for nine years, two birthdays a year is a small price to pay for our precious gift from above. We are grateful to God each day for brining her into our family.

I am especially thankful for the fact that regardless of who comes or what others say, the documents prove that Anabelle Grace Zarate is my daughter! Whether she succeeds or fails, she is my daughter. Whether her birth mom wants to meet her someday or not, she is my daughter. What took place on Gotcha Day proves that she is and always will be my daughter.

Spiritually speaking, when was your gotcha day? Has there been a time in your life when God convicted you of the fact that as a sinner, your just reward is an eternity in Hell? Have you accepted the fact that without Jesus paying the price for your sins and your complete faith in Him alone, you will spend forever without Him?

Praise the Lord that when you call upon His Name, there is no “waiting period.” The answer comes in an instant. Salvation is a miracle of the moment! Unlike adoption, you don’t have to wait five days for God to change His mind or a few more days to make it official. You can be saved today. Right now. You need not delay.

As I thought about when we “got” Anabelle, I remembered when God “got” me. When was you gotcha day?

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