Wednesday, August 15, 2012

To "Gotcha Day" celebrate or not...

There is no such thing in God's economy as an "adopted child", only a child who was adopted into the family.  "Adopted" defines how you came into the household, but it doesn't define you as some other sort of family member.

~Russell Moore, author of Adopted for Life, 10 yrs after the book.
Read the entire article HERE.

I've been thinking about the idea of Gotcha Day celebrations.  I have read many a blog post on this remembrance.  Some call it Forever Family Day or Meetcha Day and I've seen many different ways families celebrate it.  

In the past, we have celebrated the day we met Lindsey with a family day of sorts.  Retelling our journey to her, looking at pictures and video, celebrating with a nice(r) dinner and fun dessert.  This year she seemed a bit more reserved about her "gotcha day".  We are just beginning to navigate some new waters as our family grows older and matures.

I know each child is different and each family, as well.  The above quote got me thinking and praying about the "adopted" celebration.  Does it put too much focus on the child that was adopted as being different from the other family members?   I'd love to hear your thoughts and your family's traditions of that day.

I don't want anyone to be critical or judgmental and want all commenters to be respectful of each family's decision. "gotcha day" celebrate or not.  What's your thought?


  1. We are only in the process right now I have no experience at this but I think it is a great especially when they are little to celebrate how special they are and it gives a special day to tell them their story again.

    I also think all kids probably go through a time when they want to fit in just like all the rest and don't want a reminder of being different from other family members so I think it is best to just be sensitive to how they wish to remember that day as they get older.

  2. I like family day so everyone gets to be part of it.

  3. We do remember it on "forever family day" and talk about how loved each was before we met them and the story of the first few days. Similarly, we do tell our bio kiddos the stories of their birth on their birthdays. But we don't make a huge deal of it. No presents. No party. I don't want their adoption or this even to be the defining moment in their lives.
    nancy-of the crazy 9

  4. Glad you asked the question Kelly. I'm interested in reading the responses.

  5. we don't celebrate gotcha day- and for exactly the reason you mentioned- i always pause that day and remember and sure i might mention it to them-- hey-- today, 4 years ago, we met you for the first time- but we don't do cakes or dinner or presents-- dude- we've got 6 kids with 6 birthdays from july-dec. if i added gotcha days in there- we'd be partying nonstop!!!!! adoption is just how they came to be a part of our family- it is not WHO they are-

  6. We just celebrated our 1 year Gotcha Day with a special little gift that we got for our daughter in China. I don't think there is anything wrong with celebrating this day like a birth of a new baby, since this is a new child joining the family. Our daughter just turned 3 and we talk to her all of the time about mommy and daddy coming to get her in the big plane to China, so already her story is completely different than our 2 bio kids and that is nothing to be ashamed about but to be celebrated.

  7. one of my best friends has four children - two who came from her tummy, two who came through adoption. in their family they do celebrate "gotcha day"...with all four! for her bio treasures, they celebrate the day they came home from the hospital and tell their birth stories and about the first time they held them, etc. they don't do anything huge, but go to their favorite donut place for a treat or something small like that. i think it's great to remind a child how special they are and how God has given each of them their own unique story. :)

  8. We got lucky and Makaria's Gotcha Day is the same day as her birthday. We have always struggled with this too because our bio kids don't get an extra celebration during the year. I think having a family day like several of the above had said is perfect.

  9. My two cents: It IS a big day. Whether you choose to signify it with a special dinner or something it is, in fact, a. big. day. There's no getting around it. But I think you are completely doing the right thing by taking your child's lead on how they are feeling about it. It doesn't have to look the same each year or be the same for each child. Things will probably change and ebb and flow and look a little different from year to year. As for our family, we've only done it once so far but we went out to dinner(Chinese of course since I can't cook rice noodles(their fav) to save my life....pfft duh) and we talked about the day we met. No gifts to make them feel different, or make our bio kids feel left out, but just a nice family dinner. Simple, low-key, but nonetheless taking time to commemorate what will always be a big day for all of us.

  10. We are like Nancy and Serving the King - we do celebrate the day (eating Chinese food out) and talk about our special Forever Family Day; it is special. Our grown kids are so much older (age 39 and 31 with kids of their own) they understand life and that their youngest sister was brought into our family in a very special way. We will take our daughter's lead as to how much to talk about it, right now she loves hearing the story (next month will be our fourth anniversary of her adoption, she was 24 months old at the time). It shows all our family love for her and our voice as one family. I don't ever want her to look back on her life and remember anything other than our love and that means showing her that she is special (as every child is). We posted on our blog about this topic a little, 6/18/2008 and 7/16/2009.

    Alyzabeth's Mommy