Sunrise over the Carlton Church

Sunrise over the Carlton Church

AS I drive past the Carlton Church on my way to town early this morning, I reflect with thanks on ‘Gottcha Day!’

All adoptive parents know what ‘Gottcha Day’ is! Adopting a child from overseas is like an elephant pregnancy. Nine months is only the beginning of the process. You are vetted (as you should be) endlessly… official forms follow you around, regulations change… but one day all that is over and you are told to come and get your baby… one moment you are not parents, and the next you are. You never know when the call is going to come. Vanessa and I had planned on going to China together, but as fates would have it, I was in Italy when the call came so Vanessa went with her sister, Robin.

Six years ago today, our daughter, Israel Love Diana Lucy Kaukonen was placed in Vanessa’s arms in Nanning, China. Today, she is here in Ohio in first grade and full of life, love, and opinions. Indeed, who would have thought?

Today I will try to express my gratitude for having been blessed with two wonderful children… Izze and Zach! Life is good… very good!


  1. Comment made on June 14, 2013 by Mary Perona

    Jorma and Vanessa – I am an adoptive mom as well – children from the US, one a newborn, one a 5 year old. They are my blessings – bringing color, energy, wonderful expectation and boisterous sound to every day. Your gratitude is so powerful – inevitably a beautiful force in your children’s lives. Thank you for sharing your story. blessings.

    • Comment made on June 15, 2013 by Jorma

      You know Mary… words do not really adequately express how we all feel, but we know what we mean. We have been truly blessed!

  2. Comment made on April 2, 2013 by Gary

    Very cool and wonderful. Thanks for posting, Jorma. Our daughter, Dani, and our gotcha day was also in Nanning. Seems like such a short and long time ago. When we got home from China, she and I bonded by dancing to Hot Tuna (her in my arms). Dani would gleefully exclaim over and over what may have been her first English word – Jack! (Jorma just too difficult I guess).

  3. Comment made on March 21, 2013 by Paul

    Congratulations Pop! You too Mom! Wonderful kids, wonderful parents! What could be better indeed.

  4. Comment made on March 20, 2013 by carlo pagliano

    Heartfelt thankyou Barbara!
    Thanks Jorma!

  5. Comment made on March 20, 2013 by Barbara Jacobs

    O.K.!@carlo pagliano

  6. Comment made on March 20, 2013 by carlo pagliano

    Oh Barbara, i thought was Haiku too when you said it. Your is more than a compliment to me. I said metaphoric… ‘cause with the ability to discover an haiku like that and not only (all your blogs) you can easily detect what’s behind the curtain of a situation or in the heart of a person, that is what I wanted to mean, the fact is that I was so pleased by your message that I euphorically counted seventeen syllables too. Haiku or not haiku your message appeared like a peach blossom tree, that’s how my heart received it, and I keep your sweet words tight to me. Thanks Barbara and sorry for the misunderstanding, we are all in perfect harmony in the light of Jorma Tree! May be one day we will meet, the Beacon would be perfect, who knows…. Stay super well Barbara, all my respects, let’s keep on trucking.
    Thanks Jorma for the opportunity.
    Steady As She Goes.

  7. Comment made on March 19, 2013 by Barbara Jacobs

    Anyhow, back to the topic at hand:

    A friend adopted a beautiful little girl from Russia.
    It involved many trips from NYC to the orphanage in Russia, to result in the gotcha!
    That little girl is the sweetest and we all love her.
    Everything she sees and encounters here in NYC is a marvel of happiness to her.
    Each walk in Central Park brings her joy.
    She loves having her own bed and bedroom, being read bed-time stories.

    She knows she is loved.

  8. Comment made on March 19, 2013 by Barbara Jacobs

    No, no, no , no and no, carlo.
    I liked your comment, thought it was haiku, didn’t add it up correctly at first, then counted again.

    I have no interest in opening “metaphoric stongbox(es).
    If you can’t take my comment as a compliment, then that’s your loss.@carlo pagliano

  9. Comment made on March 19, 2013 by neil

    Mazel Tov

  10. Comment made on March 19, 2013 by johno

    Jorma, these are some of best days of your life. Slow down and enjoy them. Nice picture – very peaceful.

  11. Comment made on March 19, 2013 by carlo pagliano

    Barbara! Have a good day and G-d bless you.
    You are the most sensitive sentinel I have ever met.
    How could you reckon seventeen at the first glance, are you in touch with Mr. David Lucas Burge of the Ohio State University: “Perfect Pitch Ear Training Supercourse”, you must have an absolute pitch to start with, hawk-eyed and a great reader you must be. I guess you can open any metaphoric strongbox.
    Thanks for the opportunity Jorma!
    Steady As She Goes.

  12. Comment made on March 19, 2013 by buzz

    Recalling my first visit to the ranch, Vanessa was holding the infant Izze in her arms and had to leave your show to put Izze to sleep. And what a little person you have now . Love and Happiness .

  13. Comment made on March 19, 2013 by Susan Neal-Hall

    I love Gotcha day. Both our children are adopted, my son is Romanian, and my daughter is Chinese. So thankful for the special blessings adoption brings forth in life. Wishing you all the best on this special day!

  14. Comment made on March 18, 2013 by Barbara Jacobs

    Wait — that WAS haiku!
    (I’m math-callenged.)

  15. Comment made on March 18, 2013 by Barbara Jacobs

    That was almost haiku, carlo.

  16. Comment made on March 18, 2013 by carlo pagliano

    Jorma Tree.
    Where still we nest, shelter and whisper.

  17. Comment made on March 18, 2013 by Richard Cowles

    Awesome!!You the man.Father..hubbby..and American guitar picker.Many thanks…

  18. Comment made on March 18, 2013 by Bennett Harris

    Happy Anniversary! I hope you are repaid well with continuing pleasure and joy… a pay-back for all the pleasure and joy you have brought to the public at large for many years.

  19. Comment made on March 18, 2013 by Barbara Jacobs

    Beautiful daughter, for Jorma and Vanessa.
    Beautiful blog post and photo from Jorma today, for us all.

  20. Comment made on March 18, 2013 by Joe

    My daughter Katie just turned 20 . Back in 1996 , my wife took the long trip to China to pick her up. I had Daddy duties with our nine year old, Tara ! Jorma , your post made me smile and , yes , feel very blessed by my two girls who are now 26 and 20 ! Time goes waaaaay too fast ! Thank you and blessings to your wonderful family !

  21. Comment made on March 18, 2013 by Steve Levenson

    Paying it forward…think of the life you rescued her from, and the life she has…my hat’s off to you guys…..

  22. Comment made on March 18, 2013 by SAW

    Love it…best wishes

  23. Comment made on March 18, 2013 by Joanne

    What a wonderful post Jorma.Wishing you and your family the best ever!

  24. Comment made on March 18, 2013 by Bob Kelly

    real good stuff for sure,,I Know the deal .. The process that my Brother and his wife went through in Russia,,unless you live it hard to grasp..but a journey well worth taking.. be well, all

  25. Comment made on March 18, 2013 by Tom in St. Louis

    Happy Gotcha Day!
    What a beautiful family you are.

  26. Comment made on March 18, 2013 by Stu Levitan

    It’s wonderful that someone who has brought so much happiness to so many people he will never meet has such love and happiness in his own home. We share in your joy.

  27. Comment made on March 18, 2013 by Cyndy Consentino

    Dear Jorma,
    A beautiful, blessed day for both you and Vanessa!
    Your post is very lovely.

    Best to you and your wonderful family!

  28. Comment made on March 18, 2013 by Calvin Atkinson

    Way to go!…share some o’ the good fortune…

  29. Comment made on March 18, 2013 by HOGAN

    Dear Jorma,
    What a wonderful day to celebrate. You can feel the love you have for your family thru the words you write. They say as little girls our first real crush is on our Dads so when the time is right some young man is going to have some pretty big shoes to fill plus a big brother to worry about. Keep making memories with your children, they will treasure them forever.
    Take care and enjoy the day.

  30. Comment made on March 18, 2013 by Mitch Spector

    Well said as usual Jorma ..What a guy !!

  31. Comment made on March 18, 2013 by Joey hudoklin

    Congratulations Jorma. You’re on quite an upward path.
    I wouldn’t know first hand, but there is no doubt that child rearing is perhaps the truest form of unconditional love. I have a cat. That counts a little..
    Joking side, you’re daughter & son are beautiful, and very fortunate to have such wonderful people as parents/role models.
    It warms my heart to read your post this morning! Thank you.

  32. Comment made on March 18, 2013 by Dave Millard

    That was a blessed day for you and Vanessa for sure…did Izzie ever play with the stuffed moose from New Hampshire we gave?

  33. Comment made on March 18, 2013 by tom y

    god bless you and vanessa keep on truckin

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