Although we officially became parents on January 21st, 2008, today marks our first anniversary as (hands-on) parents.   February 1st was Liam’s "Gotcha Day" — the day he left the baby home in Podolsk and became our son forever.   That was an emotion-filled day for all of us as we started off our new lives together.

While his actual birthday is still several weeks off, this is, in many ways, a birthday of sorts.   A year ago today, Liam was "born" into our family.   And here he is today, ready to dig into his "Gotcha Day" cupcakes!

Liam's Gotcha Day 2009 cupcakes photo

Rob & I feel as though we got Liam at just the right time — he was just starting to make that subtle transition from infant to toddler.   So, while we weren’t there for some of the baby milestones, like taking first steps, cutting new teeth, or going from bottle to solid food, we’ve been fortunate enough to be here for so many of the others.   He hadn’t started speaking any Russian words yet, so the transition to English was very easy for him.   We were concerned about if/how we’d communicate with him so we had purchased a baby sign language book and been studying some of the basic signs.   Liam quickly picked up on a few of the signs (food related) while we were in Moscow and even now, every once in awhile he’ll still sign "more" while saying it when eating.

And a special "Happy Gotcha Day!" shout goes out to Anna, who joined Chris & Teresa’s family just 3 days after Liam joined ours, and all of the others we met in Moscow.   Rob & I hope all of your anniversaries are just as special!