Sunday, February 14, 2010

Gotcha Day!

After I first returned from living in Japan and began to meet friends who are adoptive parents, they educated me in the ways of "gotcha" celebrations.  What's this? I had never heard of such a thing.

"Gotcha Day" celebrates the anniversary of the child's adoption. It is the day that they were brought home into their new family.  Adoptive families celebrate this day in different ways (as shown here and here) and balance the celebration if there are biological and adoptive children in the family. Actually the term "gotcha" is quite controversial, as seen here.

I've recently been able to flip through the pages of my baby book that my mom (adoptive) kept for me.  I've always felt a special affinity for Valentine's Day and I think there are a couple of reasons for that. One, my "gotcha day" was Feb. 10, 1969 and my parents often mentioned how I was their "Valentine present", which made me feel pretty special growing up. Two, my mother always made Valentine's Day a special occasion with small gifts on our dinner plates that we could open before dinner.

So, Happy Valentine's Day, everyone! And today,  I celebrate my own "gotcha day" (or close to it) and the family that brought me into their lives.

I'd love to hear from any readers who are part of the adoption constellation who celebrate their "gotcha days." I know you're out there! Or perhaps you'd like to share which term you prefer: Gotcha, Adoption Day or something else?  What term do you use to celebrate the anniversary of bringing an adopted child into your family?

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