NateOne of our grandsons turned eleven on Monday. And there was lots of celebrating to be sure. But we also celebrate another day in mid-June  each year – Nate’s Gotcha Day – the day he arrived from Korea in the arms of an escort who accompanied him from his US port of entry to his parents’ arms in the Nashville airport. It’s a story I never cease loving to tell.

Unlike Chinese adoptions where the American parents travel in country to receive their babies, Korean adopted children are often accompanied by agency escorts to their finally destination. Ten years ago a plane load of passengers on a flight between Detroit and Nashville were told that a baby boy was on board who was flying to meet his new parents, a pastor and his wife who lived in Western Kentucky.

A large contingent of family and friends waited anxiously at the Nashville Airport. And waited. And waited. After an eternity, the arrival board finally announced the plane had landed. More eternity waiting. Passengers began to disembark walking leisurely down a long hallway eventually passing the tense knot of people gathered to greet Chung Woo Min born November 4, 2002 in Seoul, Korea. More passengers passed by. Then, bit by bit, as the plane slowly emptied passengers would ask our daughter, “Are you the mother?” Wringing her hands in anxious anticipation she’d say, “Yes!”  Again and again their response to her was, “Ooooh, he’s coming and he’s beautiful!” As the same thing happened again and again it was like the rhythmic contractions of labor. Or like angels rushing up to the throne of grace happily announcing yet another addition to the family of God. Whatever it was, it was deeply moving emotionally and spiritually.

The stream of deplaning passengers began to slow down. The flight crew waited with the escort to accompany her off the plane and down the long arrival corridor. The wait was nearly unbearable for Karen and Kevin. And then… And then, flanked by two flight attendants, the escort carrying a seven month old baby boy in her arms rounded the corner. She walked up to Karen and said, “Are you the mother?” Hearing an affirmative she placed Nathaniel David Min McHarg in his new mother’s arms. One cannot adequately describe this “labor of love” other than to say that when Karen handed Nate into his new father’s arms, Nate leaned back, look Kevin squarely in the face…and promptly,  contentedly nestled  into his chest.

Nate's Orange DAyliliesWild orange day lilies were blooming abundantly along the rural roadways of Kentucky when Nate arrived and I still continue to think of them as Nate’s flowers. But Nate has continued to be a world traveler even at his young age. Along with three large dogs, including his beloved Jezy who recently passed away, Nate has moved with his family to Frankfurt, Germany and then Shanghai, China where younger Chinese brother Ian was added to the international household. Nowadays Nate calls North Carolina home. While I have a special place in my heart for the Nashville airport, I love the Raleigh/Durham airport the best.

NateBut I am most grateful in this month of Thanksgiving for a happy birthday boy who is becoming an accomplished artist. And a lover of all things bacon!

Happy Birthday, Nate! I’m so glad we gotcha!

7 comments to Nate

  • Jan

    Tears in my eyes as I read this, Lynne. Every adoptee should be so lucky to be loved so abundantly and well. Thank you for posting.

  • Deanna Bowling

    Reading this made my day.

  • Esther Smith

    Loved this post! “Gotcha” days are so important!
    Four of my grandchildren were adopted from China and “gotcha” days
    are always a time for celebration.

    Hmmmm…wonder if God celebrates our “gotcha” days?

  • I am always excited to get your blogs, Lynne. I read them in the evening so I can savor them. This one brought tears..and then more tears of gratitute to Our Big Beautiful God, Nathaniel David and his family. I have to pass them on. Thank you.

  • Maria

    Oh, Lynne, the tears won’t stop…such overflowing gratitude for God’s goodness…and the inNate understanding of a precious 7 month old that he finally landed in his father’s arms. Like falling into the arms of our grace-ful Father!
    Thanking God for you and your always-encouraging and inspiring words of wisdom and authentic love.

  • Kevin...Nate's Dad

    I love this moment I time and am so glad your were there to share it. The memory is so fresh and vibrant for all of us. That day ranks among my top four best ever days…including ordination, the day I married your daughter and the day we met Nate’s brother, Ian. BTW those flowers you speak of have been ‘unplanned’ part of the landscaping of every house we have lived in since!

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