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  • Writer's pictureJason Brooks

Gotcha Day 2023

Some days are better than others on the path of healing.

Today is hard

Today we celebrate and remember the first time we met Aleya face to face - 15 years ago - Guangzhou, China

A precious life that God chose to plant deeply in our hearts and place gently in our arms

A little girl we prayed and prayed and prayed for…even before she was conceived…long before she was born

We dreamed of her

We longed for her

We desperately ached for her as she was the missing piece to make our forever family complete


In a room of weeping babies and joy-filled new parents…Aleya came in last

Held by her caregivers we knew in an instant as her mother and father know their own child that she was our little girl

As she was placed in Darla’s arms, they we stared in each others eyes…

I watched and wondered what she might be thinking…

“Are you my mommy? Are you my daddy?”

“Will you take care of me?”

“Will you teach me and lead me?”

“Will you give me a safe home and a warm bed at night?”

“Will you hold me and treasure me and never abandon me again?”

“Will you love me forever and ever?”

Aleya did not cry. Not one tear.

She only reached her little 9 month old hand up as high as she could reach and placed it on Darla’s face as if to say without words…

“I’m home”


Through teary eyes and choked back sobs, Darla and I often sit alone together at night on the back patio, sharing stories and weeping in the heartache of the passing of our little girl.

I remember the picture of two young parents full of joy they could never have dreamed…completely unaware of the blessed journey ahead and the crushing heartache that would bring an early end to Aleya’s bright light to the world

We have a personal and fathomless understanding of the power of love through adoption, knowing that we are adopted sons and daughters by our Heavenly Father. We are her mommy and daddy.

We did our best to care for her

We did our best to teach her and lead her

We did our best to provide a safe home and warm bed at night

We held her close, treasured her, and while she was taken home from, we still hold her tightly…never abandoning her.

We love her forever and ever.

Not a day passes that we don’t praise God for the gift of Aleya, the honor of being her parents if only for a little while, and holding tight to the hope we will be together again very, very soon.

We love you, Aleya! We always have…we always will!

Mommy and Daddy! ❤️❤️❤️


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