After watching the documentary Adopted and reading this insightful post written by T., I've been thinking a lot about whether we should continue celebrating Gotcha Days or not. Don't get me wrong, we have never made a really big deal about the girls' Gotcha Days; there are no parties and/or presents, but we have made it out to be a happy day for our family. Having watched "Adopted", I now understand that even though it was a happy day for us, the girls suffered a loss which should not be ignored.
I totally agree that adoption is a part of our girls, but it certainly does not define them. I definitely do not want to celebrate a day that reminds the girls that they suffered a loss which may cause them pain and/or sadness. However, I also do not want to ignore the way they came to us. May 14 and July 3 will forever be days that are ingrained in my mind, because they were two of the happiest days of my life. For me. But what about the girls? I have been struggling with this a lot. Tahlia was abandoned on her birthday, so should we not celebrate her birthday because that was the day that she suffered an immense loss? Jazzie was abandoned 5 weeks after her birth. Another loss. I honestly never gave too much thought to their losses and the effects of them until Matt and I watched "Adopted".
Which brings me back to our Gotcha Days. Matt and I talked about it and I think we will change the way we will spend those days. Instead of celebrating them, we will make them a day of honor and remembrance. We will light a candle for the girls' birth parents. I will no longer say what a great and special day it is (even though it is for me). I find this to be an incredibly difficult and complex topic. On the one hand I want to acknowledge the loss that comes along with adoption, but I also want to continue talking about adoption in a positive way with the girls, because it is a beautiful and amazing thing. Adoption doesn't define them, but it is how they came to us. I don't want to ignore it. I don't want my girls to grow up in a home where we didn't celebrate the miracle of adoption in some way; we just won't do it on their Gotcha Days anymore.
Thank you T. for making me think and thank you Barb Lee especially, for opening my eyes.