adoption story

Gotcha Day Defined: A Family Story

One year ago, the Linthavong family returned home from China with their adorable son, Luke. They recently celebrated their one-year-mark as a family and share the following story. Thank you, Kanhka and Olivia, for giving us a peek inside your story!


We first met Luke on October 15th.  He officially became a part of our family October 16th.  And we brought him home on October 27th.  We celebrated his first “Gotcha Day”, the day we first met Luke, quietly as a family.  While eating Chinese is a common way that families who have adopted from China celebrate, Luke has not wanted Chinese food since we have been home.  Luke, instead, requested grilled cheese and tomato soup.  How much more American can you get?  Oh, and of course, he wanted chocolate cake and balloons!

At three years old, he didn’t fully understand what we were celebrating, but he was certainly happy to have another day to celebrate him.  He kept saying it was his “Happy Birthday Gotcha Day”.  After we ate, we sat down and looked at pictures of his time in the orphanage and our time in China.  It makes me sad that he no longer remembers the names of his friends, and even his special Grandma nanny doesn’t seem to conjure up the same emotions. And while it saddens me that he is forgetting, I have to remind myself that those are becoming more distant memories because he is making new ones.  New memories in a family who loves him and will never leave him.

I’ve learned that the term “Gotcha Day” can be offensive to some, that it might negate or belittle the love of biological parents, or that it might allude to forced adoptions around the world.  However, in its purest sense, the way that we use it, it means simply that: I’ve Gotcha….no matter what you’ve been through before, no matter what baggage you come with, I’ve gotcha.  I’ve caught you from what may have seemed like an endless free-fall of two years in an orphanage without anyone to call mommy and daddy. I’ve got endless and unconditional love, and I’m never letting go. I’ve gotcha. And that’s something to celebrate!

adoption story


America World exists to help build families through God’s design of adoption while also caring for vulnerable children around the world.

We need your help in caring for children who we are able to connect with through orphanage partners and government relationships.  During our Season of Hope, you have the opportunity to truly make a difference in the lives of children who need it most. Please prayerfully consider partnering with us in caring for the least of these.

Maybe your family is called to adopt. If so, America World would be honored to help grow your family through the blessings of adoption. Whether you feel led to adopt a child from India, China, Haiti, or another country, our amazing staff is here to make your adoption journey as smooth as possible.

You can pre-apply for free to determine if your family meets a country’s specific requirements.  If you have reviewed the adoption requirements on the country program pages and are ready to move forward, you can fill out the full adoption application to begin your process now.

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