Our first “Gotcha Day” and my poem to Wendem ~

Gotcha Day
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Gotcha Day (sometimes called Gotchya Day, Adoption Day, Family Day, Adoption Anniversary Day) is a day celebrated by American families of adopted children to recognize the day they received the child.[1] The Gotcha Day is the day that the child was placed into the family’s home for adoption, in other words, the day the family Gotcha.[2] It is the most celebrated of adoption related events.[3] In her book, The Joy of Family Rituals, Barbara Bizou wrote, Gotcha Day “is designed to show your adopted child how much you wanted him and that every year you continue to cherish him.”[4]

(1 year later! Wow! When I reflect on the last year so many thoughts and emotions arise. I can’t even type this without crying. Our God is so good to us and we are blessed that He put our family together. Here are a few things that stand out to me, things I have seen, been through and that God has showed me over the last 12 months.)

– Love is a choice.
-Family is in the hearts of those in it, not in the color of our skin.
-When times were tough, it was still meant to be and God was there right with us.
-We would do it all over again, all the months of waiting, every penny, every laugh, every tear.
-Therapeutic parenting is hard but so worth it.
-Adoption isn’t romantic, it’s full of heartaches and trauma which only God and time can heal.
-When we celebrate our family here, there is a birth mother grieving far away.
– Sibling love is absolutely one of the coolest parts of it for Daniel and I, the way the 3 of them love
each other is so awesome.
– Loves grows.
– Emotional sacrifice pays off in big relational dividends.
– It is so much fun to watch all of his “firsts”.
– Language differences can be quite humorous ūüôā
– Family, belonging and acceptance is at all of our cores- To pass it on and see it grow is truly
– Gods plan are always much bigger and way more beautiful than I could ever imagine. –

“Our First Gotcha Day, a poem for my boy”

Love began in that very first picture, in your little tattered shoes.
Knowing you were arriving soon was the most exhilarating news.

A summer full of fun and bonding was something special that we all shared.
Taking you back to the airport and seeing your tears, we knew you also cared.

Fourteen months apart were some of the hardest days of my life.
Waiting to just hug you again was well worth all the strife.

You were not born in my belly son, but deep inside my heart.
Now nothing can break our connection or tear our family apart.

When watching you with your siblings it puts a huge smile on my face.
God knew you needed a forever home and our family was the place.

I love to watch you grow and play each and every day.
Through your ups and downs and adjustments I’m with you every step of the way.

Today is a special day where we get to celebrate and cheer!
For today marks the anniversary that we have been a family for a year!

I love you Wendem Daniel Herzog.


Categories: adoption, family, intentional parenting, motherhood, parenting | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

10 Simple steps to becoming an “Intentional Parent”


“Intentional Parenting” is a term I began using with friends and family as I discussed my goal of being a good mama. I am sure experts have used it before and I am not the first to write about it. To me it sums up what I want to achieve in my parenting. I don’t want to be a Mom who just makes it or is satisfied with surviving another day. I want to be intentional with my kids in how I love, parent, discipline, instruct, laugh, play and just do life. I want to be intentional in conversation, motive and heart and believe this is the way God designed me to parent. Here are 10 things that I work on to be an “Intentional Parent.” Want to join me in pursuing intentionality in parenting? Come on and let’s journey together.

1. Talk in a soft voice to our kiddos. – I find they listen less when I yell.

2. Stop to tell stories, teach and answer questions in the moment. – Things can wait.

3. Play, laugh and play more. – Things can wait.

4. Pray with your kids. – Not just at bed or meals, as needed.

5. Pray for your kids – No matter how young or old and about the big and little stuff.

6. Teach them about how your family is a Team. – What can they do to help the team daily.

7. Have an amazing marriage. – Love and grow with your spouse constantly, give them an example.

8. Make and allow messes. – Who’s up for making cookies and fingerpainting?

9. Listen more intently. – It might seem trivial to us but to them it’s their world.

10. Have an amazing relationship with God. – Love and grow with your savior constantly, give them an example.

I am just a mom in the midst of it all right along with you striving to do my job as Mom to the fullest to my kiddos ages 8-18. I love sharing an engaging with other women doing the same. This list could have been 100 things but these are some of my current favorites.

Which one do you want to do more of this year? Me, #4. Comment below with yours ūüôā

Categories: adoption, family, intentional parenting, motherhood, parenting, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Annie, my journey to being an adoptive mother.


Growing up my favorite movie was “Annie”. The story of the¬†feisty¬†little red haired orphan captured my heart from the very first time I saw her. The story never got old and I would opt to watch that movie time and time again versus seeing something new. I can remember the feeling of satisfaction I had in my heart every time as I walked out of the video store clutching that worn out VHS case to my little chest.

In the movie Annie is a spitfire of little girl stuck in an¬†orphanage¬†with what seems like a hopeless situation. Annie has many hurdles to overcome as an orphan, her age, the¬†tyrannical Miss Hannigan who runs the¬†orphanage and even her red hair. Annie’s situation dramatically changes when she is chosen to spend a short time at the home of¬†wealthy industrialist, Oliver Warbucks. She quickly softens his heart and they begin to build a connection that seems unlikely but beautiful. Annie then has to return to the orphange and Warbucks then realizes through many dramatic events that he loves this little girl and he is going to be her family. To summarize, he realizes he can’t live withouther and he adopts her, becomes her father and this fulfills all Annie’s dreams of being a part of a family.

Recently I realized the huge¬†parallel’s¬†between my love of this movie as a child and the way the story unveiled¬†itself in my adult life and the unfolding of my ever growing family. I can see how God laid in me the desire and love for adoption at such a young age. My story began way sooner than the actual summer of 2011 when we hosted little Wendem.

We are no “daddy Warbucks” finanacially but we too went through a very similar process in expanding our hearts and family. Wendem was with us for a short time when we hosted him for a month in the summer of 2011. It didn’t take us long to realize after having him in our home that he was supposed to be a permanent part of our family. (We kind of knew even before that;) So just like in the movie that short visit changed our lives and the trajectory of our family forever.

Today is the 6 month anniversary of Wendem coming home for good. I can’t even fathom life without him. He was always in our plans even when we didn’t know it…God did though. In some moments it all feels brand new and other times it feels as though we were always a family of 5. I am so thankful for the last six months and the many days we have had to grow, learn, bond and love as a family.

In the wise words of Miss Annie “The sun’ll come out Tomorrow, so you gotta hang on till tomorrow. Come what may. Tomorrow, Tomorrow, I love ya, Tomorrow. You’re only a day away.”¬†¬†I am so thankful that all of Wendem’s tomorrows get to happen right here with us… his family.

Categories: adoption, parenting, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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