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‘Gottcha Day! The Miracle Continues…

The Orphanage in Guiping City

The Orphanage in Guiping City

Izze’s ‘Gottcha Day,’ Wednesday, March 19, 2014

In 2007, I was working in Italy when Vanessa and I got the call to go to China to bring our daughter, Israel Love, home to Ohio. You never know when these calls are going to come so families must be ready. Vanessa’s sister Robin, (Lady Robin to all of us) went in my stead and the ladies headed over halfway around the world to Nanning, China.

The first picture they sent us of Izze

The first picture they sent us of Izze

We knew even before we saw her first picture that Izze was our daughter, and that she would be ours forever… that she was family even before we met. The Red Thread is everywhere in this story.

When the girls were heading back from China, I drove up to Columbus to meet them at the airport. A late winter storm changed everything and I had to head down from Columbus to Cincinnati to meet them there. When they left the secure area and we walked down to baggage claim, the first thing Izze did when she saw me was to burst into tears. In her young life she had only been around women and a male figure was something new and somewhat disconcerting… especially the beard!

The road from there to here has been an amazing one. The infant who cried when she first saw me performed with her Irish Dance Class on St. Patrick’s Day and went ice skating with me yesterday… is reading at an eighth grade level and is full of love and amazing opinions.

The girls step out!

The girls step out!

The process of adoption is like an elephant pregnancy… to say the least it is long and nerve wracking. At the end of the road is boundless love… and a lifetime of family.

‘Could you bring my book downstairs?’ she says to Vanessa? The answer, of course, is ‘Yes!’

I cannot imagine life without her. She is my heart of hearts.

Welcome home Izze… on this day and every day!

'I think I'll have the udon... plain please...

'I think I'll have the udon... plain please...

Categories: Diary, Thoughts Tags:
  1. Jeff
    March 19th, 2014 at 10:16 | #1

    Doesn’t get any better than this.

  2. Chaz
    March 19th, 2014 at 11:04 | #2

    Seconding Jeff. A bit early, but happy Father’s Day Jorma!

  3. Joey Hudoklin
    March 19th, 2014 at 11:45 | #3

    Happy Gotcha Day to the Kaukonen family! A very touching story.
    I feel the love.

  4. phil zisook
    March 19th, 2014 at 12:10 | #4

    Great! So nice to be able to realize the gifts we have. Wonderful to read this.

  5. March 19th, 2014 at 12:29 | #5

    very nice post 🙂 Like I said, she is one lucky girl, and you are one lucky Dad!

  6. johno
    March 19th, 2014 at 13:46 | #6

    It was all meant to be. You both are so fortunate to have such a darling daughter. And she is so fortunate to have such beautiful parents. It’s all so amazing the way things work out.

  7. Rob
    March 19th, 2014 at 14:45 | #7

    A wonderful young girl Vanessa and you are raising, had the pleasure of talking to Izze and Vanessa @ the acoustic show in NYC. She’s going to keep you young & sharpe for years to come J! God bless.

  8. John B
    March 19th, 2014 at 15:16 | #8

    Great story of love and devotion Jorma. Thank you for sharing these special moments of your life with us.

  9. John R.
    March 20th, 2014 at 08:18 | #9

    Beautiful entry.

  10. bob kelly
    March 20th, 2014 at 08:54 | #10

    good stuff,,best wishes to your family, from our family here.. stay well

  11. Hamneggs
    March 20th, 2014 at 11:13 | #11

    Love All Ways

  12. HOGAN
    March 20th, 2014 at 14:40 | #12

    The love you feel for your family is wonderful…
    Thanks for sharing and have a great weekend at the Ranch with some old friends..


  13. Barbara Jacobs
    March 20th, 2014 at 19:35 | #13

    Another year has gone by so quickly:
    I remember last year’s “Gotcha Day” Jorma blog-post.

    Izze is a lucky girl and Vanessa and Jorma are lucky to have her in their family.
    Getting to the “Gotcha” is not easy. The rewards are worth it.

    I have to say that it seems that Chinese orphans are much better cared-for, than are Russian orphans.

    I posted a comment, last year, about my friend making several trips to Russia in order to adopt her “Gotcha” girl, several years ago.
    The Russian orphans were housed in rooms of 30 children. No air-conditioning.
    They were full of mosquito bites. They were kept plump, only because the directors ordered that they be fed a lot of cookies and other high-carb/sugar
    unhealthy food. Freezing in winter, hot and infested with mosquitos in summer.

    Putin has since prohibited the adoption of those Russian orphans.
    My friend achieved her “Gotcha”, just in time.
    We all love her “Gotcha” precious little girl.

    She had never seen a dog, (nor any other animals) while in the Russian orphanage.
    She was terrified of my friend’s little dog, when she finally arrived at her new home.
    The “Gotcha” has so many trials and tribulations and the adoptive parents deserve
    so much credit for their efforts.

  14. jim hitchcock
    March 20th, 2014 at 20:26 | #14

    That kind of puts things in perspective, Barbara.

  15. Barbara Jacobs
    March 21st, 2014 at 00:03 | #15

    It certainly does.@jim hitchcock

  16. cyndyconsentino
    March 21st, 2014 at 15:29 | #16

    Dear Jorma,

    Thank you for your lovely post. Blessings and love to you and your family!
    See you tomorrow!!


  17. Kate Sullivan
    March 21st, 2014 at 20:47 | #17

    We have two Korean “gotcha dates” in our family and together with my Chinese American niece, they all know how to get their Irish on for Paddy’s Day. It was wonderful watching them grow up. All the best to the Kaukonens.

  18. Gary
    March 22nd, 2014 at 09:48 | #18

    Wonderful entry in the blog! Thanks for sharing Jorma.

  19. Barbara Jacobs
    March 22nd, 2014 at 19:39 | #19

    I remember my childhood friend, a beautiful adopted Korean orphan girl.
    Adopted by a lovely Jewish family, in the 1960’s.@Kate Sullivan

  20. Barbara Jacobs
    March 22nd, 2014 at 19:51 | #20

    The dark side of the Russian government adoption agencies:
    Those who went through the process, were often urged by the agencies to adopt
    another or, more than one child.

    My friend responded to their suggestions, by stating that after her adoptive daughter had learned English and attended school; she was interested in adopting a “special needs” child.

    The Russian adoption agency representative asked:
    “What do you speak of?”
    My friend replied:
    “You know, a child with Downs Syndrome. I have the financial means to give such a child the special, private schooling and care, in Manhattan.”

    The orphanage’s government representative answered:
    “We don’t have any of those.”
    My friend countered with:
    “What do you mean, where can I apply to adopt a “special-needs” child?”
    The orphanage’s government representative replied:

    Uh, really?!
    It’s heartbreaking to think about what happens to “those”.

  21. Jason
    March 23rd, 2014 at 18:48 | #21

    Awesome. You’re never too yong to share your love with someone 😉