Negative effects of "gotcha day"?

Anna - posted on 02/20/2009 ( 53 moms have responded )

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Hey everyone, I just adopted my son three months ago and when my husband and I discussed celebrating the day we brought him home, we thought that it might make him feel strange. When we have other kids, we don't want him to feel like he is different from them, or that he isn't just as much part of the family as the others. Has anyone who celebrates this day run into these problems? Maybe we're wrong...

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Pamela - posted on 07/22/2010

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We call it "Family Day" and celebrate our family. We buy our daughter a new outfit, go out to eat, or do something else to make the day special and to celebrate her joining our family. She loves it!

Amy - posted on 06/12/2013

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My situation is a little different my husband adopted my daughter last year, she was 14. She refers to her adoption date as her "new birthday." I like your idea of celebrateing tht day as a family day. As your child gets older he can refer to it however he chooses. My daughter wants it celebrated because its the day she got real daddy and now gets to be a daddy's girl.
You should do whatever feels right for your family.

Joanne - posted on 02/04/2013

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I celebrate gotcha and my son loves it however i did have a baby after we adpoted so we now celebrate his day in april whenwe found out that we were pregent that way they both have a special day. Hope that helps you out.

Jennifer - posted on 05/18/2009

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Quoting Stacie:

 There are so many kids being adopted now a days and kids learn little about adoption in their own homes. If I can do anything to help make it not a bad thing in their eyes I am going to.





This is So true!  A lot of the stigma is gone, but adoption is still not understood!  I had a kindergarten student who was adopted at birth, she looked just like her Mom and NOBODY knew any different except me whom her Mom had confided in, just incase anything came up.  The child knew she was adopted but didn't want any of her friends to know.  I kept up a relationship with her and her family (actually almost adopting through a friend of thiers at one point).  Three years later when she was in second grade I was blessed with my son through adoption.  She and all my students knew my story of waiting, being dissapointed twice and then finally "getting" my Seth.  This little girl came to me and said, "You know I'm adopted too!"  She and I (and her parents) began talking about it and several months later one day at lunch when her Mom was there she announced to her friends that she was adopted.  It was a huge deal!  She had great love and support and it all went well, but it broke my heart that it was such an emotional ordeal for a child so young.  I pray that I too can help through my son and future children and those we know to make adoption only a good thing!



However it is celebrated, or not celebrated, that is the important thing!  Adoption is good, for each and everyperson whose life it touches!

Pamela - posted on 11/02/2013

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My godson was adopted 40 plus years ago, his Mom called him every year to remind him of the special day they "got" him. After his Mom passed away a year ago, for the 1st time in his life, he missed hearing that from his Mom. I received a call from him a couple days after his Gotch Day informing me that, it is now my job to call him on his Gotcha Day. That day is apparently very important to him !! I am so honored to be able to make that call to him for the 1st time this year!
So no matter how you celebrate it or what you call it, it is a VERY special day to All involved!!

Our family is soooo Blessed!!

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Andy - posted on 03/04/2014

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A child does not want to feel different and by "celebrating" the day that they lost their roots it casts negative connotations on their biological family. I am adopted and know that it was bad enough being told how grateful I should be that I had been adopted.

J M - posted on 02/26/2013

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Terms etc, may be this should be in another blog may be :)

Attack? no was no intention, was a observation of a parent choice of words.... EG: and adoptive parent "noting the obvious difference in their own children adopted ,just different points of view.

So are you your Bio child's natural Mother? :) get the point.. then as an adoptive parent you are also the child's natural Mother.

Have a nice day.:)

Michelle Rose - posted on 02/26/2013

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To JMS:

Wow...feeling attacked on my first post! My kids are my kids. Period. I do not differentiate BUT because I thought this was a safe arena to express thoughts, questions and concerns that I am dealing with for the first time I wanted to clarify that my first child would not get a Gotcha Day as she was not adopted. I see how the use of "natural" could be offensive and I will be aware of that. I merely wanted to define my circumstances to women that I thought would understand.

I am nothing but excited about the addition of my son to our family. It's disappointing, to feel verbally attacked. I am not certain what your experience has been but if it's put you in a position that you feel the need to reprimand a stranger with such fervor, that is sad to me.

J M - posted on 02/24/2013

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To the last post, persons wording... Natural child vs ones that are not "n a t u r a l" to you?

I may be misunderstood here but.....Why do people refer one child as been their " natural child" and other being adopted , when whats matters most is an adopted child "is every part natural" and should be to a Mother, and much as it " that you feel it naturally belongs to a family". :)

In some countries would be considered and offense to call a child anything else but your child.

I know what others mean, but very sad still a parent would refer a child as been not their natural one (refer to an adopted child as not their natural child), obviously not a biological child but every bit very " natural to still have them and love them as any child wether adopted or not.

I mean if people came up to us and said is our child our natural no one has or would dare to, I would ignore them, or may be I reply depending how nosey person was, with sarcastic humor,"asking are they themselves the natural one in their own family, would you get it how a person may feel with the label of not been the natural one?

as is so very natural to of got him no matter how he came into being, our child is our child full stop.

Sad when see here that adoptive parents refer to bios as been the "Natural ones. As this gives permission for those who have never adopted before or care to adopt, to ask wether your other child that may be not look like you, ask is your " natural child", as if parents don't know this, do they have to spell it out, or confess it, um simply no.

And if parents feel their adopted child is not natural to have them in the first place , that would be sad indeed.

Michelle Rose - posted on 02/22/2013

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Hi Anna,
We fostered our son for nearly 2 years before the adoption actually finalized last week. I love the Gotcha Day idea! In the years to come we will celebrate that date as a family day because we consider it the day we became a complete family. Our natural child, who is now 6 years old was very informed and involved throughout the entire process - even before we knew who would be placed in our home. She went with me the day I picked him up and has always felt loving toward him and not left out of the excitement and anticipation.

This year because we are planning such a blowout the celebration date will actually be the anniversary date he was placed in our home but moving forward we will use the final adoption date as our Family Day. I love the idea of just the family intimately celebrating and reflecting on such an amazing and pivotal day.

Jen - posted on 02/13/2013

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I think it depends on how old the child was a the time of the adoption. Our son is 4, and was placed with us 12 days after his birth. We don't celebrate that, as it's SO close to his birthday. Though a term I learned from a friend who adopted 2 kids, 3 months apart, from Ethiopia is "FAMIVERSARY" which I think is much nicer sounding than "gotcha day." For her, it makes more sense to celebrate that, because her kids were a little older and both kids were placed with them at the same time. We'll eventually adopt a second child, and depending on how old s/he is when s/he is placed with us might affect if we make a bigger deal of our famiversaries. If hubby and I can have an anniversary to celebrate the day we married, then I like the idea of a famiversary to celebrate the day the three of us became a family. Right now though, my son doesn't even have a concept of what adoption is so it doesn't mean much to him. Maybe that will change as he gets a little older.

Christene - posted on 02/04/2013

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We have never had negative effects we celebrate it as family day. I think it is the way you treat it for a long time it was just our adopted son then seven years later our biological son arrived. I was concerned too but we treat it as a family day and everyone does things together. We reminisce about our time on that day with our oldest but we also do the say with our other son about his whole birth. Our adopted son does not get the privileged of hearing about his birth but about our anticipation of him coming into our arms and so I feel both things are special so we just celebrate. Now my children are 10 and 3 so as they grow I may have to revisit it.

J M - posted on 12/31/2012

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Agree with another blogger here,(Debra Brunt - posted on 09/20/2011)


Beyond baby, toddler....
That blogger above that said she was Adopted, and the term Gottcha seemed perhaps tacky, stereotype, or simply not right for her personally, I would take her / adoptees cue and thoughts into consideration as well.

So guess sensitivity and including the adoptees thoughts as they grow into their own person's in their own right. Most important to communicate how they the ones adopted as they grow feel and want things to be, and not just parents wishes, that "will give you the best future ideas" form your children themselves..

Michelle - posted on 04/11/2012

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7RIN So sorry you feel so badly about your adoption. I as well as my 2 children are adopted. Although we do not celebrate a gotcha day. We do celebrate the fact of our adoptions. I am blest to have my children in my life. I am also blest that my birth family had the courage to give me to a wonderful family that raised me to be the person i am today. I thank God everyday for the gift of my children. We are teaching them to respect every persons status and place in this world. They know that there is a reason and perpose for everyone's life. It is a precious gift to be celebrated anyway it can be. Wishing you peace and hope in working through the loss that you feel in adoption. It really is not ment to be like that.

Debra - posted on 09/20/2011

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I have 2 adopted children and never cared for the term "Gotcha Day." Maybe because I am adopted myself. I have always referred to this day as "Family Day" because it was not just about them "getting" parents. It was also about us becoming a family. If I had bio kids, I would continue this tradition because this term, "Family day" is all about the day we all became a family.

Roxanne - posted on 12/16/2010

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We celebrated the one year anniversary of our son coming to live with us in November. We decided that we will mark that day every year. I was an important day in all of our lives and a special day just for us. If we adopt again we will do the same with that child as well.

Heather - posted on 09/08/2010

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We have two children who are adopted and do not celebrate Gotcha Day. We celebrate their birthdays. We have an open adoption and discuss adoption whenever questions come up. We also keep giving small reminders of how much their birth mother and family love them and introduce new information about adoption every so often (recently it was introducing the phrase Birth Mother instead of just the bm's name and that they grew in her tummy)
I tend to feel it slightly disrespectful to the birth family to celebrate the day we adopted them in a big way. Also.. in our case, it wasn't actually a day we really knew of until after the fact (in both cases) as it takes so long to get the paperwork back from the judge. If anything.. we maybe could have celebrated the day we signed the adoption papers but the actual adoption order date was not something we knew of until months after it was signed by the judge.

Michelle - posted on 08/15/2010

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We do celebrate our childrens gotcha day but we consider the day of there finalization their gotcha day and that is about 6 months after their birthday. It is a more private celebration with just us and the kids. We do still celebrate their birthdays as the bigger celebration.

Tabetha - posted on 06/06/2010

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i just adopted two boys and will be adopting my little girl here soon hopefully and i think that celebrating with them the day that they entered your family and sharing with them each year how wonderful you felt when they came into your life will make them feel loved and apart of your family. I will be celebrating my kids day to also let them know that it won't hurt me or the family to talk about their birth family if you have that information. My children are adopted through DHS and i happen to have met their familys through visits prior to termination. Sometimes adopted children feel like they are betraying you who they love by talking about their birth familys and questions they have you could use that day as a way for them to know its okay to talk about their first families, if that applies

Christy - posted on 04/05/2010

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I'm thinking that Gotcha Day will be family day - it's the day we all will become a family. A forever family. It's going to be celebrated together - we won't do gifts on that day but a cake or special dinner and some balloons to celebrate that we're a family sounds great. We should celebrate that we're a family every day!



Also, my husband was deployed when DS was born and they met when DS was 4 months old. We always acknowledge that day. This year we were traveling home from Florida so we didn't do much but we talked about it. Most years I try to have a special dinner, etc for it. I believe it's the same idea.



I do worry that b/w this special day and Gotcha Day (or whatever we decide to call it) my DD may feel a bit left out but I think we'll always just keep these days as Family days - special days for our family and we will ALL celebrate. Of course we will tell the story of DH meeting DS and tell the story of our child coming home (whenever that happens) but cake, dinner, balloons (my kids love balloons so it's a special once in a while thing) will be for all 3 kids on those days.



~Christy

www.threelittlemonkeysjumping.blogspot.com

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In our house "gotcha day" is Becky Day. Becky is now 26 and we still celebrate it, it's a special day for all of us. To us it's like having a second birthday. It's a special day and should be recognized.

I know many other adoptive parents, most foreign adoptions from Korea and they all celebrate it in one way or another.

Emily - posted on 01/28/2010

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We don't call it Gotcha Day, We call it Coming Home Day or Family Day. Our adoptions were finalized on my 31st birthday, so we always have a party for mom and we also celebrate the kids. However, Coming Home Day is definitely the one that means more to me, because it has the story to go along with it. Like many of you here, ours was the culmination of waiting for the right family - both on our account and our children's. They had been shuffled between 9 foster placements in a year and a half. The day the came home was the first day of the rest of their lives.
We did have a huge family/friends party the first year after the adoption was final, but we haven't repeated something that big since.

Jeanne - posted on 01/26/2010

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I'm an adoptee, who is also an adoptive mom. We choose to celebrate gotchya day on the day we finalized our adoption. We don't make a big deal with presents, instead we plan to use it as a day for family and friends to share positive loving things about our child and collect them in a journal. his adoption took roughly six months, so we decided that if we ever had biological children we would celebrate there half birthday the same way.

Hayley - posted on 01/25/2010

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I have one adopted and 3 bio kids and we celebrate our daughter's gotcha day every year, and our bio kids are just as excited to help us celebrate! We usually go to dinner and dress her in her "Chinese outfit". It isnt such a big celebration that the other children feel left out.

Faith - posted on 01/24/2010

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Hello to all. My husband and I adopted our son thirty years ago during a time when most of our friends were still DINKS (double income-no kids). We had been married for eight years before starting the adoption process. It was two years before our son came up for adoption. Anyway, it was a life changing experience for us, as it is for most first time parents, bio and adoptive. He was a preemie and had to spend the first two months in the hospital, then foster care for another three months. He had just been cleared for adoption when we were contacted by our social worker. We had decided to name him Nicholas and it turned out that we brought him home on St. Nicholas Day, which is observed during the first week of December by some Christian denominations. It was and still is a special family day for us. It was the day we became a family, so by today's standard it can be part of many families' traditions. We are now grandparents and our family day has grown to include friends. Ignore negative comments and embrace the love and dedication that brought you together to share the journey!

Kimberley - posted on 01/23/2010

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I didn't read ALL the comments here, but we WILL celebrate a 'Gotcha Day.' We also celebrate the day Mommie became a Mommie (the day my daughter was in my arms at 2mos). This is not a huge drawn out celebration but a time of reflection for me and my close family. God only knows if I will have biological children, but I don't see a problem arising from any celebration. One lady indicated she wanted her childs life to be 'normal' ... who's definition of normal? There is nothing normal about my daughter .. she is special, bright, intelligent, blessed, graceful, etc all the qualities of a special child and not 'normal.' We homeschool, she goes to work with me (Lactation Specialist, CBE, Doula, Infant massage instructor, etc), she sleeps with me, I carry her on my back (25lbs 12oz currently), we don't eat or wear animal products, she sees a chiropractor monthly, we selectively immunize ..... are these things one might see as 'normal?'



Anyway, we LOVE times to celebrate and we will. I have spoken to older adopted children (currently 15yrs - 40yrs) and each of them see the advantages for my daughter in the lifestyle we live. My bestfriend adopted a sibling set of 5 AFTER she had already adopted her first. The oldest n the sibling set was 9yrs and she couldn't wait for their gotcha day celebration. She actually had hers first (her father's rights were terminated before the other kids') and she was beaming from ear to ear and loved her name changed. She was telling everyone .. "I'm a ____ now."



I will say in all this I have allowed God to work it out and I will continue to do that. God has placed a peace in my heart regarding all the things I have done for my daughter thus far. Including inducing lactation and breastfeeding her ... she still recs breastmilk at almost 16mos of age and we will continue. : )



Good luck and I encourage you and your husband to search your hearts and parental instincts for what will work best for YOUR FAMILY.

Susan - posted on 01/21/2010

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We celebrate Family Day, not Gotcha Day, as we adopted both our children the same day and it's when we became a family. It honors our children and their story, and they love it. Even during the periods when they want their adoption to be private, they look forward to Family Day. I would definitely celebrate with your son. It's your history of how you came together, and you don't want him to think you're ashamed of it.

Sam - posted on 01/20/2010

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We have adopted two children domestically from foster care. My children were both in bad situations with their biological parents and were realy saved through adoption. There are many foster kids out there who have not had the opportunities that my children have. Think about the pictures of the orphaned children in Haiti that may never have a home. THink about the orphanages in Romania where the kids are not allowed to be adopted outside the country. Children in other countries who parents can't care for them so they sell them to be slaves. My son was saved only through a miracle as well. Each year we celebrate his gocha day/ also adoption Day (Nov). We remind him of the miracle of adoption and are grateful for him as he is for us (He was in limbo for 4 years). He is proud of being adopted and says he wants to adopt kids or help others adopt when he gets married. He has also been an amazing example to other kid's his age. Both my kids serve as advocated for adoption. Think about the horrible movie "orphan".. that is not the image of adoption. ItAdoption is an amazing, gift, a inmeasurable blessing! They are different... they are not normal... they are extra extra extra special!

Christy - posted on 01/18/2010

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We're in the process of adopting our 3rd - our first two are bio kids. We do have a small celebration on the day my husband and son met (not gifts or anything but a special treat and maybe a balloon). My husband was in Iraq when my son was born so they met 4 months later. We'll probably do something similar on the day we adopt our child. I'm not sure I like the phrase right now either but we can call it what we want. We don't have a phrase for what we call the special day we celebrate. By the way, all 4 of us are included in the celebration so it's enjoyable for all. My DD doesn't feel left out or anything. It's just a celebration of us becoming a family.

Kendra - posted on 01/16/2010

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Hi Anna, in our family we have two adopted girls (10 and 11) and we celebrate their adoption days (the day the adoption was final). They love it and we make sure it's not about a bunch of presents just a celebration of how we came to be a family. I personally don't care for "gotcha day" because to me it makes the child seem like a possesion, but I understand that it's not intended that way. If you end up having bio kids, I think your celebrations can certainly continue because everyone has their own heritage and adoption is just a fact of that. However you handle these issues is how your children will handle them, so if you're at ease, they will be too. If you sense that you will have trouble with this later on, or aren't totally comfortable with this idea and how it fits into your family long term...just don't do it. You and your family will work out meaningful traditions naturally over time. Congratulations on your adoption...I remember both of mine like they were yesterday!

Jenni - posted on 01/15/2010

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Hi

We call it our "Family Day" and plan to use it to do something like planting a tree or volunteering. It is nice to mark the day that we recieved our son and think it is preferable to use that day for the adoption story than banging on about adoption all the time which could make him feel insecure.

It is also a great day to teach about empathy and the difference that our family can make to someone else.

Suzette - posted on 01/14/2010

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We call our special day "Family Day" to celebrate the day we became a family. We have two boys, both adopted. We try to do something special all day as a family, sometimes a day trip or weekend trip somewhere to devote all the time to our family! We don't really focus on the fact that it is the day they were adopted but instead a day to celebrate our family. That way there is still recognition of that special day without making them feel "strange" or different. They are 9 and 10 now so we let them decide who knows they are adopted. As mentioned in previous posts, some misconceptions still exist. Some other children their age just really don't understand what adoption means.

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We chose not to celebrate "gotcha day". We celebrate our kids' birthdays, just like everyone celebrates their birthday. I agree with you that it might make the child feel strange.

Gidgit - posted on 12/28/2009

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We are in the process of adopting our daughter. She is 3 weeks old and i was in the delievery room and brought her home from the hospital. We are not going to celebrate the day she came home since I got to care for her from day one. We will celebrate the day her adoption is final and her BM is great with that. My daughter is not loosing her bio family as I am her bio family. My sister gave birth to my daughter and was more than happy to be a doting auntie to her. We know we have a very unique situation and feel so thankful and blessed! I hope you find ways to express to your child(ren) how special they are weither adopted or bio.

Our oldest daughter was adopted when she was 15. She is now 22 and loves the idea of having a baby sister. My girls may be 22 years apart but they will both know that through adoption we are a Forever Family and that is what matters most! If you feel you are disrespecting the bio family then find a way to make it about a thank you to them for giving you the gift of family!

Sally - posted on 07/18/2009

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My son is grown now...25 and in the Army. We adopted him from India...he arrived home when he was just over 14 months old. When we began this whole journey many friends who had adopted celebrated the day their children arrived home in several different ways. I don't recall anyone calling it "gotcha" day, but it was the same thing. We did make a big deal out of the day our son "officially" became ours and also the day he became an American citizen, but as for making an annual thing of it, well, it just never happened. It wasn't that we avoided it or tried to hide the fact of his adoption. That was impossible due to the big difference of appearance. It just never happened. I told him his "story" many times. That tapered off as he grew up, but the last time he asked about it was within the last few years when he was on leave and visiting. I'd say see how it works for your child and your family. Play it by ear, so to speak. You'll find that your child will communicate his preferences very clearly, not necessarily with words.

One thing I just remembered. My son HATED children's books about adoption. In particular, he did not like "The Ugly Duckling" and one given to him by a friend who also had a child from India...I can't remember the name...he wasn't even talking yet and hadn't been with us more than a few months. He destroyed these books and threw them in the trash. He loved other children's books just fine.

Aunt - posted on 07/09/2009

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Oh celebrate that day like it is a birthday. In away it is a newbirth for you child. Our daughter's real birthday is always going to fall around Thanksgiving and her adoption day is about 6 months later. So we are already planning on making a big party on her adoption birthday and a small celebration on her real birthday, just because of the time of year. It has nothing to do with it being the day bm gave birth.

Sam - posted on 07/09/2009

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OH! Congratulatons!


I have been a foster mom and respite provider for 8 years. We adopted Jason just before his fourth birthday so he remembers a little. My daughter Dorothy (Dori) was adopted before her first birthday. Jason came at 5 months and was returned to him mom at age two to be returned to us 3 months later and after 2 more years we finally adopted him. He had gone to another county with his mom. She appealed the first 2 years and won so when he was "pulled" the second time he went into the other county's jurisdiction and we would have never known. He was in another foster home and they had no record of what had happened on our county. Except for one thing. We had God and prayer on our side. When someone called the abuse hotline, the police had our address in the computer. They came to our home by accident. We were supposed to be away on vacation but we were detained by a leak in the bathroom. So we were home when the police came looking for him. We managed to get him back.





Our family is so grateful that God protected him. It is a miracle that God placed him with us and protected him from great harm and God who put him and us in the right place and the right time for him to be ours and us to be his. We celebrate GOCHA DAY by being giving thanks for him. He was adopted on adoption day. Last year he told his classmates his miracle story. We also go out to eat and he orders dessert first. He gets a little present It is the day special notes in his lunchbox. He knows how special he is to us. His friends at school wished they were adopted. Maybe they will be inclined to adopt someday because it takes the mystery and fear of the unknow and misunderstandings away. Jason knows he can ask about his adoption anytime, Other kids asked me their questions. Most importantly we are always respectful of his biological parents on this day and say extra prayers for them as well. We pray for other kids in foster care as well. Maybe when they are older we will bring toys to a foster kids shelter.

Dana - posted on 05/29/2009

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Hi Anna:



We have three adopted children and we celebrate both "gottcha day" and Happy Court.



We involve that family to each of these. We also do something special for each one.

Leeannne - posted on 05/28/2009

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We dont use the phrase "Gotcha day"
My daughter is 4 yrs old and knows she is adopted! she knows she was made in Jordans tummy as mummy's is broken! I think as she gets older we will celebrate the day as an "Anniversary" she will know that this is the day where she finally came home to be with her mummy & daddy.

Jenn - posted on 05/25/2009

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We have an adopted daughter (18 months) and my husband has a bio son (14) and no matter how you look at the way your children come into your life is special and you will find ways to celebrate that in everyday life so in my opinion you, your little one and your family should always celebrate "gotcha day" and the came to each other. For example when my husband and I got married we included his sons birthstone in my wedding ring, my daughter will never have that but it is a special connection that my stepson and I have reminding us of the way and day we came together! My stepson was present through all of our adoption process and is currently wondering what kind of awesome party are we going to have on July 17th or do we get to go on a trip for his sisters gotcha day! :)

Jennifer - posted on 05/24/2009

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In many cases, though I would never tell the child this, the children we adopt were unwanted and/or abandoned, that is the case with my son. As I said I will never in any form or fashion tell him this, but I think he may sense it one day. I have had several adult friends who were adopted and have expressed such a feeling to me. So to me it seems that celebrating with the child how special thier coming into your lives is, thier being wanted, is extremely important. And having a special day to do it on is just a way of always consistantly rembering/reminding everyone. In my heart I have great love for my sons birth mother because she did leave him, we have a tiny bit of history on her and it is pretty apparent she couldn't of cared for him, but "others" have expressed thier feelings of "disgust" with her for doing such a "terrible" thing like abandoning her child. I pray that I can give my son a sense of love and appreciation for his birth mother, but with all the negativity he his bound to pick up feelings he will have to deal with. I feel that if I have raised him up knowing how much he was wanted, loved, and belonged with us then that will be a boost to him when that time comes.

Chance - posted on 05/24/2009

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Quoting Amy :



In one of my other adoption groups, adoptees have expressed negative emotions regarding the phrase "gotcha day"  Has anyone else heard about this?  does anyone you another phrase?  We are a domestic adoption so we don't really have a gotcha day, since it's only 2 days after his birthday.  It's a day that's special to me in my mind, but not a seperate day that we celebrate.  Just wondering about everyone's thoughts on the "Gotcha" part.






Yes - I have heard that as well in my adoption groups.  That adoptee do feel negitivly about this.  They say it so little respect to thier biological family.  As in order for thier adoptive family to have a "gotcha" day, then thier birth family had to have "I'm probably never going to see you again" day.

Chance - posted on 05/24/2009

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I know this post it old but I just came across and thought I would give my 2 cents on the whole gotcha day. I have adopted 3 soon to be 4 children from foster care. With my oldest (who is now five and came to us at 13 months). I celebrated the gotcha day on the one year anniversary when he came to us, and then again on the one year of his adoption when he was 3. I will no longer do that. I have grown a lot in my adoption journey including a greater respect for birth moms/families. In order for me to celebrate thier "gotcha day" then I am also celebrating the day that my children were removed from thier birth families. Or even in the case with the birth mother CHOSES to make the adoption plan for thier child, you are still celebrating something that the other mom is mourning. and to me is a slap in thier face. And as my children get older, yes we can talk about thier adoption, look at thier books together. But eventally I feel that as the child gets older and start to really understand what adoption means, they are going to have a hard time "celebrating" something great to thier (adoptive) family, knowing full well what it means to thier first family.



What I might suggest is that if you want to celebrate it, then do it amoungt you and your husband. You may still make that day special, go out for a dinner as a family. Give your kids a little extra hug and kiss. Tell them a little extra that day how special they are and how much you love them. but I wouldn't suggest making a big deal for the child. As they get older, thier adoption story is going to be hard enough grasp as in, without turning into a party that they might not be ready/willing/able to celebrate. I would make it more of a celebration b/w you and your husband.

Stacie - posted on 05/18/2009

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We have 1 adopted he is 9 then we have a 4 and 3yo that are bio. We celebrate "Gotcha Day". He knows he is adopted we don't want to hide that from him. His brothers understand everything. So we had a celebration, even at school so kids understand adoption a little better. There are so many kids being adopted now a days and kids learn little about adoption in their own homes. If I can do anything to help make it not a bad thing in their eyes I am going to. We had a really close friend of ours little boy come up to me 2 weeks ago he is 8 ask if Andrew was adopted I said yes he kept up REALLY? WHY? Why was he not wanted the whole ? thing 8yos are going to give you. I don't want Andrew to have trouble in school so we celebrate it their so they understand how lucky we are! We will do it until he doesn't want to anymore. It is nothing big cake and ice cream. But it is "our" day not just his! Hope this helps.

Jennifer - posted on 05/12/2009

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We celebrated our first "adoption day" this year! We were on a mission trip in Mexico. It coencided well, because we had decided we would do something to "give back" to show thankfulness for our son's adoption. (And will do the same for future children's adoptions(can't have bio children)) We have good friends who have celebrated thier children's "gotcha days" for eleven years now and saw how special it is to the children. Our son was preemie though and so we started visits with him at 1 month in the NICU and then didn't bring him home until another month later (which was NICU graduation day ;-)). His adoption was such a rollar coaster we decided that was the best time to "remember". I LOVE celebrations though and will look for any reason to party!

Amanda - posted on 04/20/2009

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We don't celebrate a "gotcha" day because we want our son's life to be as normal as possible. We have adoption books and pictures of his birth parents and talk about his adoption as openly as possible, I guess we figure that's enough. But since our son was adopted at birth, we were in the hospital, we just celebrate his birthday. I know that doesn't work for every adoption.

I haven't heard anyone say anything bad about their child's gotcha day, and any day to celebrate your child is probably fun for them. But I figure bio kids don't have gotcha days so why should we?

I have heard people complain about the term "gotcha" being too possessive and disrespectful, especially to the birth parents. Other people have said that having a silly name makes it less of a big deal. I have heard some people celebrate the day they became a family. And that is one day for all their adopted/bio children to celebrate all at once. I like that idea. I used to have friends who were Jehovah Witnesses and since they didn't celebrate any holidays, they made up this one holiday they called "Berry Day" because their last name was Berry. It was a celebration of their family, they made a big meal, spent the entire day together, it was always fun. We might end up doing something like that after we adopt a second child, just celebrate a "family day" every year.

Amy - posted on 03/14/2009

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In one of my other adoption groups, adoptees have expressed negative emotions regarding the phrase "gotcha day"  Has anyone else heard about this?  does anyone you another phrase?  We are a domestic adoption so we don't really have a gotcha day, since it's only 2 days after his birthday.  It's a day that's special to me in my mind, but not a seperate day that we celebrate.  Just wondering about everyone's thoughts on the "Gotcha" part.

Christene - posted on 02/27/2009

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I would have to agree with the others.  My son wil be seven this year.  We celebrate it and let him know that we day is special because he was placed in my arms for the first time.  There are sooo many books about out there about "the night they were born" .  I do this in reverse.  I go over the excitment of getting on a plane and waiting in the hotel etc.  He loves to hear this story.  We have yet to get to the tough question about the birth mother.  I hope this helps.

Tracey - posted on 02/26/2009

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As of right now, we have 1 child through adoption. We celebrate her "gotcha day" (the day the adoption was final) with some activity the 3 of us can enjoy. It also happens to be one of her grandfather's birthday so it makes her feel extra special.

She knows all about her adoption - or as much as a 5 year old can understand. We don't celebrate the day she came home from the hospital (at age 3 days) because that would be confusing.

Anna - posted on 02/24/2009

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We're hoping to have more kids. Whether they'll be bio or adopted, we don't know. Anyone else with bio kids have any problems?

Vanessa - posted on 02/21/2009

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Hi Anna,

Are you planning on having bio kids? We have two adopted boys (2 and 10 months) and will continue to celebrate their gotcha days every year with them. While we don't plan on talking about their adoptions all the time, the gotcha day will be a day when we will tell them their adoption story and read their lifebooks together. If they don't want to celebrate it as they get older, then we will stop. But by celebrating, we don't want to forget that he is adopted (or make it seem like it didn't happen) so this will reinforce how much a loving part of our family they are. We can't have bio kids, so I understand your conflict.

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