I know exactly what I was doing on July 2, 2008 because it was the day we arrived in Lanzhou, China. I remember everything about the day, walking in the heat, drinking tea on the Yellow River, learning how to say eggplant in Mandarin and fishing food out of the hot pot that night. I remember that Arnold and I were captivated by everything. We spent an exorbitant amount of time exploring the grocery store. I remember the waitress who became hysterical at the sight of Emily's blond hair and blue eyes and had to be taken away by the other waitstaff. I feel like I remember each minuscule detail of that day.
I also remember checking our e-mail that morning to find the unexpected news that Ingrid Betancourt and four hostages had been rescued in Colombia in a daring Alias style secret mission. I remember yelling for Arnold and us choking up as we read about their happy ending. It was a historical day in Colombia and an exciting day in our personal lives but what I didn't know was that on that day something else even more important was taking place. Something that would change our lives forever in ways we couldn't imagine at that moment in time.
On July 2, 2008 while we wandered around Lanzhou, China in a daze, while the hostages were weeping tears of joy in a helicopter high above the Colombian jungles a small light was bursting forth into the world in a Bogota hospital.
Our son Elian Emmanuel Perez was born on July 2, 2008 and I'm happy to announce that soon we will be on our way to meet him.