At the risk of upsetting the adoption experts’ apple cart, I wanted to share this little tidbit. We don’t celebrate Gotcha Day, Family Day, Forever Family Day, Adoption Day, or any other day that focuses on the adoption of our children. We made this decision long before we became adoptive parents. As a family blended by birth and adoption, we felt it was not right to exclude anyone. By celebrating, we would have excluded our child by birth.
I appreciate the profound emotions that adoptive parents have for their children. I am one of them. I have walked this journey more than once. It began in hell. It ended in heaven.
My thoughts on the Gotcha Day are these:
- While their intentions are noble, are adoptive parents actually creating more issues for their children as they grow older?
- Are they focusing too much on how their children came to them? On how they became a family?
- By celebrating such a day, are they themselves making adoption an issue for their child?
Now, don’t get me wrong. I firmly believe adoption should be disclosed and discussed from the get-go, in sensitive and age appropriate language. I also believe that the conversation needs to be open and you (the parent) need to be in the moment with your child as you have these critical conversations (many unplanned – at least in my family). And, as my children enter their teen years, the discussions evolve. Talk turns to how we are just two parts of the three (a.k.a. the adoption triad). The third, although unknown to us, is present in front of me - living through my child. We (my child and I) focus on acknowledging and embracing the third and making peace with it, assimilating it all into one well-adjusted confident person.
My family celebrates family every day, taking joy and pride in what we are – a blended group of human beings that have been brought together, through marriage, birth, and adoption and across oceans from different parts of the world. A family that deeply loves, respects, and is grateful for each member. That, we got…