20 April 2010

Gotcha Day – Not a good idea

Posted by BaBa under: Observations .

I have been having some really mind opening conversations about raising Sheridan and what to do as an Adoptive Parent. I am trying to avoid stepping in the holes and make errors that I could easily avoid. Adoption is about loss. No way to sugar coat. Loss. (period) There I said it.

Loss for the adoptee of the original family (birth family) followed by loss of country and culture. Loss for the adoptive parents as many couples have tried for years to have a birth family. This is a real loss of the chance to see yourself in your children (since they have your genes and your features).

However, the greater loss is for the adoptee. As an adoptive parent, our joy in the day we meet our child is also their day of extreme sorrow. Our losses are now diminished somewhat by the joy of our new son or daughter. Their loss is raw and open. Who are these people? They don’t smell the same. They don’t look the same. They don’t eat the same food that I do. They don’t even speak the same language.

We will not be celebrating Gotcha Day (also a bad term for this day) in the future. We will mark it on the calendar and honor it in that manner. Instead we will search for a different day to celebrate our Family.

Any thoughts and comments are appreciated, but it is a touchy subject so play nice with the comments.

5 Comments so far...

tymm Says:

20 April 2010 at 9:20 pm.

I think it’s an intensely personal thing and each family has to do what they feel is best for their children. It sounds like you guys have a plan and you should stick to it.

For me though – our “gotcha day” will always be a special day and something we never stop celebrating (and the term doesn’t bother me truthfully – as with most semantics – i think it’s all in how it is delivered and then perceived – if someone uses it maliciously thats a whole different story).

The joy is unmistakable on the faces of every one of us in those pictures – Laura, Myself and Meron. And it is undeniably the point of a new start for all parties involved. So I can’t see us ever minimizing the impact that day had on our entire existence by not acknowledging it in a celebratory way.

I am no fool though – I do know that the time will come when we have to acknowledge some hard truths with Meron – and I pray a LOT about that day. That God will give me the wisdom, the words and the love to approach it in the right manner and that He will give Meron the ears and heart to understand.

In the meantime – until then – this life is way too temporary for me to get all caught up in it and my prayer is that He keeps our focus on what breaks His heart and uses us in the best way He can.

Great conversation starter though – I am sure there are a LOT of opinions on this one!

Cathy Says:

20 April 2010 at 9:44 pm.

I agree a lot with Tymm. However, we celebrate adoption day rather than Gotcha Day especially because we were doubly blessed exactly one year apart. We talk about loss already with the girls so the impact when they reach that age of acknowledgement won’t be as devestating. We talk freely with Lennah about how her birth mom was sick and Lennah will actually say how that is sad so she is getting it and dealing with her loss already in some small way.

Tina Says:

23 April 2010 at 8:37 pm.

Wow! We’ve never even thought of “gotcha day” as a negative! The girls love, love, love celebrating their special day (we even celebrated Matthew’s again this year). Just like birthdays the girls take in cookies to share with their classmates, the principal announces the day over the intercom with the birthdays. It is their time to answer questions and talk about their adoption. They know that this day is as special as the day I got to hold Sarah in the delivery room. We talk all about the tears, the rejection and the leaving of the orphanage. Loss is definitely a part of Gotcha Day but the gains certainly out weigh the losses. For our girls gotcha day is really the only date that we know is for certain, especially with the outcome of Analiese’s bone scan! Each child is different. Grace really doesn’t think about her past while Analiese talks about it all the time. This is a great topic and I hope you get lots of chatter about it!

Karen Says:

26 April 2010 at 7:17 pm.

We celebrate our forever family day each year as well. It’s the day that we became a family, that we met Micah and he met us. We can’t and don’t deny the pain and loss associated with that day. Micah grieved so hard his loss was apparent. We will continue to deal with this loss as things come up throughout life. We will continue to celebrate our forever family day as long as it seems appropriate for our little guy.

amy Says:

28 April 2010 at 9:15 am.

We just celebrated our first Gotcha Day but it may be the last time we use that term. The term Gotcha (the word Gotcha) just seems like we ripped her from everything she knew, everything she loved and trusted. But I may be thinking too much on it. I do want to celebrate our family day but I dont make it all about us (example the day we became parents). it will always be a part of her life. I am interested in hearing how older adopted kids think about it. Is it a normal day since they have celebrated it since they were young when they began these traditions?

While we were waiting, I didnt think anything of Gotcha Day but as a time of celebration and a time to be thankful for the way God orchestrated events. At times though, I think I need to start thinking a little deeper.

About Our Family

We have been married for 26 years, and have been blessed with our youngest son from China. Our oldest son is from Nicaragua. He and his wife have given us two outstanding grandchildren. Our daughter is Thai and is married to a wonderful son-in-law.

This is the chronicle of our adventures as a family with Sheridan.

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