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// G O T C H A ! ! !

Today is Toby's "Gotcha Day!" -- I know that's a pretty weird thing to call it, and even weirder to celebrate probably, but it's such a special day to us. One year ago today we brought home this precious little dude. The past twelve months have hurried by, and on many occasions I just wanted to write about the experience. From remembering the time spent with Toby when he was a baby, to not being able to see him for so very long, then all of a sudden getting that call. Our entire lives seriously just got turned upside down and we had no idea what to make of the situation. We played the waiting game (we were so scared + impatient!), we played the wondering game. And it was a seemingly normal Friday afternoon to start... We had no idea that we'd become full-time parents in a matter of minutes.
The day we brought him home with us // Feb. 2012
There have been so many times I've wanted to share how and why and answer all of the questions that y'all have, but as I've said before, it's simply not my story to tell. I know we'll have that conversation with Toby at some point in the (distant) future. I (we!) feel so fortunate to have been given this opportunity even though it came from a dark place. Seeing Toby for the first time in nearly a year and a half last February was so eye-opening. He didn't look like the same baby we had regularly seen. He was so tiny and looked so scared (We were terrified, too) -- the first few days/weeks were really an adjustment on us all. 

Today you'd have no idea that he's the same kid. His days are full of laughter and learning, and counting to 100 is currently his favorite thing to do (even though he calls the number twelve "two-teen" haha! He almost has it!) When we realized that today marked one whole year as a full family, we were shocked that it had flown by, but that it also had only been twelve months. I still have trouble believing that everything happened so quickly, but I wouldn't change that for the world.

// A  F E W  F A V O R I T E S //
q_ISZu on Make A Gif, Animated Gifs
Toby's ticklish face. Just pretend you're going to tickle + he dies!


Seeing him evolve this past year has been so awesome. I love that I get to share that with all of you here on the blog. You get to watch him grow into such a rad little person, so thanks for taking time out of your day to spend with our family.

Today we're going to celebrate with cupcakes and lots of play time. Today we really count our blessings and recognize just how lucky we were to be given this gift. We get to be the parents he deserves. It's kind of the coolest thing in the world. Happy Gotcha Day, Toby... we love you so so much.

PS; The orange-pants photos are from yesterday...That hair! I know! Toby's grandparents are very gung-ho for a haircut, but that kid just doesn't want to give it up! I have to admit, he looks pretty adorable with his long hair when he's on his skateboard!

PPS; I know a post like this might seem like *major* overkill, but there are seriously no words to describe how much I love that little dude. I mean, just look at that gif. That's what it's all about.

67 comments:

  1. This brought a big smile to my face!! Nothing makes me happier than seeing a child laugh... to be so safe & happy. He's a lucky boy!! Happy Gotcha Day!

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  2. I always say that there are many ways to make a family...this is so sweet and so special!

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  3. Oh goodness, that sweet gif just made smile and giggle like crazy. I can literally hear him laughing! No words needed there. You guys are awesome for giving him such a loving home....and he is just beyond sweet! :)

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  4. This is so adorable. He's so cute, and he looks so SO happy, too!

    Also, I love his style! Thanks for sharing these with us :)

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  5. This has to be my favorite post of all time! I actually work for a family law attorney and there are a lot of sad situations out there where the kids just get neglected. You can just see the love pouring out of Toby and it truly makes my heart so happy for you guys!! Happy one year to you're sweet little family! I enjoy watching him grow into this awesome little dude, so thank you so much for sharing with all of us! Xoxo

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  6. I don't think it's overkill at all; on the contrary, it's a very sweet post! Love hearing about the relationship you three have as a family. Must be so fun :)

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  7. Aww guys, so happy for you! And I love his hair like that, he's gonna be a ladykiller when he gets older, watch out! :]

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  8. not over kill at all! This post took over my heart for a bit there! I teared up ;.; I remember reading your post about getting him home and now look at him! So grown, so bright full of smiles! You were so worried but he is so very happy! I'm so glad for all of you! kids should be loved and cherished to bits! <3

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  9. Psh, not overkill at all you silly lady. This is a HUGE day in your life and in Toby's life, why shouldn't you celebrate and sing from the rooftops about it? Never apologize for being happy and sharing and sometimes over-sharing :)

    I'm so happy for your little family, what a huge year it's been for you guys! Good luck and so much love, as always. <3

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  10. This is beyond adorable! I watched the gif at least five times with a big smile on my face. He's so so sweet. Happy Gotcha Day! Enjoy every minute =)

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  11. what a cutie! this is such an important day for your sweet family, and I love that you're sharing some of your joy with us.

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  12. I love that gif so much!
    I can't believe it's been a whole 12 months
    Toby is one lucky little guy to be so loved
    xxx

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  13. It's like a whole new birthday to celebrate and I think it deserves celebrating! I cannot believe that people were ever rude to you about it. I'm glad he has a solid and loving home :)

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  14. I love this post & all your toby posts! It really makes my heart swell. Its beyond awesome that you guys were given the oppurtunity to give him the life he deserves. Happy gotcha day lil dude!!

    Xo the rebel

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  15. happy two teen months! I love that you celebrate it, as it's a big thing to celebrate. Toby seems like a cool little dude, and it's obvious that he's loved beyond belief

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  16. Thats so awesome that he has a new start with such awesome parents. He seems like such a happy little kid. Having two of my own I know how hard it is to raise one but, OH, so rewarding!

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  17. You can tell on his face how much he has grown and changed. Good job and congrats!

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  18. I can't believe it's already been a year for your sweet family- it's amazing how time flies. While this is not your story to tell, the old adage of "a picture's worth a thousand words" is so true here. He doesn't even resemble the scared little boy he was a year ago- that speaks volumes for how much he needed you and Mike.

    As far the hair, I LOVE it! I have a five year old and we decided long ago that he determines haircuts, not us. After all, it's his hair. Sadly, he prefers it short :)

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  19. This is such a sweet post. Toby is a cutie, that's for sure. And that gif of him is so adorable. Happy "gotcha day", Toby.
    You guys are such a cute family.

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  20. He looks like the happiest little guy! you're obviously doing a great job bringing him up.

    chloex

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  21. That gif is the cutest thing I have EVER seen! What a gorgeous little dude! The hair is stunning, by the way. I think long hair on boys is super adorable!

    It's sad that there were dark times at first but how wonderful that Toby has such a loving home now. He's very lucky to have you two. I can tell you're amazing parents and it's inspirational how much love you have for him. From experience with my stepdad, it can be hard for people to even bond with children that aren't biologically theirs, let alone love them as much as you love Toby.

    Becky
    xx

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  22. He's so sweet. Those pictures of him and the dogs are just cuteness overload.

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  23. This post made me smile and tear up. The amounts of love you have to give seem endless, Kaelah. Thank you for being you! And many well wishes to your family <3

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  24. Congratulations! He is just too cute :)

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  25. ahhhh, that gif of Toby is making my heart melt, it's so so so so so so so so darn cute! There should be a "cute" warning for it!

    This post is so lovely. It's so heartwarming to know that he's in a wonderful, loving home and with the parents he deserves.

    Don't cut his hair ever, it's awesome!!

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  26. He's so incredibly lucky to be with you guys, and it is absolutely a day to be celebrated! Every child deserves a loving home.

    And his hair is getting so long, just like my little man! People sometimes mistake him for a girl... ;)

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  27. Congrats, he's a doll and I'm sure you are all very blessed to have each other.:)

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  28. That's awesome guys! I can't believe it's been as long either. haha. I remember reading about it when you guys first brought him home :)

    Gotta say the photo of him holding puppy like a baby is precious! And the GIF of course..:)

    Lotsa love - Danielle.
    http://thesweetnesstalks.blogspot.co.uk/

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  29. That GIF is adorable. He looks so happy and ticklish!
    I'm happy to see that your 1 year Tobyversary is today, and can't wait to see the many more that are to come!

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  30. Gotcha Day is not a weird thing to call it at all! :) My older sister has adopted and fostered 3 kids and they celebrate the day they got each of the 3 kids as a special just family day. :) Also, do you remember the tv show in the early 2000's called Girlfriends? Lynn in that show is adopted and there are a couple episodes about her celebrating with her family her Gotcha Day. :) So you are not along, and it is one of the best days to celebrate!!!!

    and btw... that GIF is adorable! Probably THE BEST GIF ever around! :) Thank you for sharing this post, it was beautiful to read!

    Brielle Dunham

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  31. He is TOO precious! And that's not a weird day at all... we celebrate it for both of our adopted pets, and I know I few people who have adopted children and they all celebrate their special "Gotcha" days. Hope it was an awesome day :)

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  32. Ahhh this totally made me tear up. So much love! xoxo

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  33. Seriously, so beautiful. Every child deserves a happy home.

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  34. I love him for you and you for him. It was meant to be. Happy Mama Day, Kaelah! You're a beautiful person and I wish you and your adorable family every happiness. xo

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  35. Very cute, and not a weird thing to call it at all. My husband and his sister are both adopted and his parents celebrate their 'homecoming' anniversaries.

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  36. So cute!! And so so very happy for your family!

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  37. Being a parent is the most amazing thing, and it's always great to celebrate it :) I love the photos of him cuddling your dog- my husband and I have many similar photos of our daughter with our cat... animals make the best of friends!

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  38. My son Zak has a mohawk and its the cutest thing in the world. He will NEVER let it go either.

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  39. My son has a mohawk and its the cutest thing ever. He won't let it go either!

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  40. This is so sweet it made me cry. I'm such a sap. He's adorable.

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  41. This makes me so happy, I can only send you my best thoughts and positive vibes. He looks so different and so happy!

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  42. He just looks like the sweetest little thing that's ever walked this earth! I want to gobble him right up! This is an amazing post. How awesome for him to have such an amazing new life. It almost chills me to tears to think about all the babies out there that need loving homes, so when I read stuff like this, it just warms my heart. xxoo

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  43. I love this post and I love you. Such an incredible story girl. For real. Happy Gotcha Day sweet boy!!!

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  44. This is such a sweet post. Any holy cuteness to his tickle face!!! So adorable! :)

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  45. What a sweet post! And holy cuteness to his tickle face!!! He is adorable. :)

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  46. Happy Gotcha Day! He is one awesome little dude. I think all three of you are blessed beyond belief and obviously enjoying every single minute of it.

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  47. I just love Toby's long hair, please don't ever cut it off :)

    Congratulations (is that the right word? You know what I mean!) on making it a full year! It's amazing - you can just see from the pictures how much Toby has opened up and grown into his own. He's really becoming a lil' man, huh? Now I'm all teary-eyed, ahhh!

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  48. It's so great you've made a special day out of it. I'm sure it will be something he'll really appreciate and remember when he's all grown up.

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  49. oh my god that gif of toby made my day, he's so adorable!!! i love him

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  50. This is such a sweet post! I think it is so cute that you made the year anniversary a special celebration. You can definitely see a definitive difference in him just in the pictures. And that gif of him is completely adorable!

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  51. I seriously can not believe it's been a year already! It doesn't seem like it's been that long!
    He is SO adorable!! I love the hair! He just gets cuter and cuter all the time!
    So happy for you guys!! <3

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  52. happy gotcha day! love that you two are making a life for that little kid... he looks so happy! congrats on the hard work & dedication :)

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  53. Such a sweet post! I'm so glad he has found a great home with you two. It looks like he is blossoming into such a bright little boy!

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  54. ahhh so adorable! I can't believe it's been a year already! that last GIF is just...omg


    XO Sahra
    EffortlessCool

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  55. So sweet. I love Toby and we've never met! He seems like such a great kid and he's so lucky to have you.

    That gif is perfect. My new fave!

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  56. Not sure if you have heard this poem but it's my favorite one I have found regarding adoption, my sister says it to her two adopted kids!
    Not flesh of my flesh
    Nor bone of my bone
    But still miraculously my own
    Don't forget for a single minute
    That you didn't grow under my heart but in it!

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  57. What an absolute precious little dude. He looks so unbelievably happy. You two are doing such an incredible job. I think this is my favourite post you have ever done (and I've been following from the MySpace days -ha).

    Much love to your little family.

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  58. What an absolute precious little dude. He looks so unbelievably happy. You two are doing such an incredible job. I think this is my favourite post you have ever done (and I've been following from the MySpace days -ha).

    Much love to your little family.

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  59. I love the Gotcha Day! I have a few friends who have adopted children and celebrate it with the same name. You're not alone!

    Also, the picture with the sticks and his shadow? So awesome. <3

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  60. i love his hair long!!! tell his grandparents no way!!! and definitely not overkill. we love hearing about the little guy!

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  61. He's so adorable. And from the little bits that we see on your blog, I think you're a great mom. Biology never matters as much as love does and you certainly show your love and adoration for him. :)

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