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Saturday, January 09, 2010


Barb Lee

This is Barb Lee and you are most welcome. I wish you and your family much love, openness and generosity toward one another. I hope you can all make time to see watch the educational companion DVD. There is a lot of information that we've designed to be helpful and supportive to our special adoptive families. All the best to you.

Donna (Double Happiness)

We don't celebrate Gotcha Day either. We celebrate birthdays and that's about it. There are 364 other days per year build strong family bonds so we focus more on that and don't single out any other day specifically. Just think of all the calories we save on all those missed cake opportunities! :)

I've not seen the movie yet but plan to put it in my Netflix queue. I've read MANY reviews of the movie and seen several clips and I think I have a pretty good idea of what will be in it (I have a friend who is in it too!).


Thanks for Sharing this Sandra.

joann in nj

I really want to watch this movie too and I think I will buy it as reference material.

We've celebrated 3 years of Family Day and will continue to celebrate it (March 28, 2006). The day we became a family is very special to all of us and Kelsey in particular is very sensitive about being part of her family. The conversations we have about family and if she sees sad people alone, she says they can't find their family shows me a girl to whom family is very supportive.

That said, I always say a prayer of thanks on the day I left my first husband and then our divorce day...two happy days for me, because I was finally on the road to MY family (Kurt and ultimately, Kelsey).

If Kelsey ever becomes uncomfortable, I will immediately stop as well...we all want to be sensitive to our children.


Funny thing - Family Day is MY birthday - actually the day her adoption was final - but none the less - being in Dec - it gets buried in the holiday stuff - we talk here there and anywhere about us being a family - and that day - we don't do anything special for it - I took the day of from work - as it is both days - and we spend it together or with family and friends - this year Nutcracker...funny how our views change as be change as parents and our little one grow up,,,


We don't Celebrate our family days either. In fact, some years it has actually come & gone without me really thinking about it at all. We do leave the door open to talk about adoption any time of year. Jami loves to hear about the day we met. She loves to hear about the day I met Lindsi too.

But, we don't do anything incredibly special or meaningful...however, when I do remember, we will often go out for Chinese food & talk about the significance of that date.


I agree completely with what Neuromama said.

I think things are different in families with both bio and adopted children. I can definitely see the argument for not singling the adopted child out by celebrating their Gotcha Day.

But in families (like mine) where there are only adopted children, the day we became a family SHOULD be a special day. It should be honored. I don't yet know how I plan to mark it... but I know that I will somehow.

PS. The movie arrived yesterday so I'll have more perspective after I watch it. But I doubt I'll change my mind on how I feel about "Family Day".


We will always talk about her adoption, look at the photos and she will grow up knowing her history. I think if we add 10 years to our girls age, we have to wonder if they really want to be constantly reminded of their adoption. Don't we just want them to feel whole and accepted and that we are their soft place to land, not their constant reminder of our one great moment of getting them year after year. I personally feel it's asking a child to much to expect them to tell you when they don't want to celebrate it anymore. I think as the years unfold, kids have enough to deal with in life besides being reminded that they once again didn't come into the family naturally. Adoption is beautiful and we can raise our girls to believe it is as well. If Eme wants to watch her video, look at photos of our time in China, then we'll do that, just like the boys like to watch the videos of them and look at their baby books. Each child has a story, adopted or not. Thanks for the insightful post as well=0) It's a great adoption community to learn from.


We have decided that we will not celebrate "gotacha day". We will use this day to honour our son's bm, who we did get to meet and by doing that I mean lighting a candle or something along those lines, nothing huge. We feel he will be reminded enough that he was adopted. We don't need make a whole day of reminding him.

Mum to one gorgeous Ethiopian boy

Tonggu Momma

I do love that movie. The Tongginator's Adoption Day, birthday and even the day she was abandoned are all within the same week, so it's one blur of emotions all at once. We don't celebrate what we call our Metcha Day, although we do go out to dinner together as a family. The Tongginator also tends to ask that we all sit down together and watch her adoption video together, which we do.


Our family does celebrate Adoption Day (not Gotcha Day) and we will continue to do so until our children say they don't want to celebrate it. I do think it is different if you have both bio and adopted children in your family. All three of our children are adopted, so no one feels different or singled out. Personally, I have a very difficult time feeling anything on their "birthdays" because we do not know when two of the children's birthdays are. In one case, it was backdated by an orphanage doctor by months. The chance of her birthday actually being on the day it was assinged is very, very low. So, I don't feel any connection to the day at all. On Adoption Days, it's really a day about celebrating the child without the materialistic stuff that accompanies their birthdays. There's no party, but each child gets to dictate what we will do that day (i.e., go swimming, have a snowball fight, read books, etc.). We do give them one simple gift that we bought in China on their adoption trip and we have a candle that we burn down every year (one of the birthday candles but we burn down the years to mark our time together as a family). We also watch the child's adoption trip video and talk about how scared s/he was and how we were so happy and overwhelmed, etc. The day is all about our family and our child.

I don't think that celebrating the day we became a family in any way glorifies or ignores that all adoptions start with a loss, a huge loss. The biggest loss came months before the actual adoption day though and the adoption sort of represents a new beginning for everyone (in my mind), even if that first day, or weeks, or months was rough. Hopefully, it was still the beginning of something beautiful.

Just my two cents!

Briana's Mom

I have not watched "Adopted" yet, but I have it and plan to watch it this weekend. I'm not sure if I am going to change the way I view "Gotcha Day" anniversaries by watching one documentary. I will watch the DVD and see how I feel afterward.

I do celebrate "Briana Day" with Briana. No cake or anything, but we say it is a happy day because we became a family that day. I do give her a gift, but starting this year, the gifts will from China (ones I bought there) or China-related because that is where she is from and who she is. If Briana ever feels uncomfortable about celebrating the day we became a family, then I will stop if that is what she wishes.

Like Tahlia, Briana was abandoned on her birthday or so I was told. Am I not supposed to celebrate that day because it is really a day of pain for her as well? I, of course, will always celebrate her birthday.

I really think it is a family by family decision how to observe their day. Each family is different and each child is different.


Our first Family Day got out of hand with a party and gifts (not from me), the next year it tappered back. Now it is a day we receive a few cards reminding us that it is the day we became a family; however it will always be a day we talk about how happy I was and how scared she was. About how I was waiting and waiting and about how she was handed to me not knowing who I was or why I was taking her.

We will always acknowledge our Family longer with a party or gifts, but with a sharing of memories of the day that we came together to form a family...and of what happened both positive and negative to make that possible.

Just like every other tradition, it's up to each family to find what is comfortable for them, and sometimes it's by trial and error - Lord knows I've made the errors:)


That same post has had me re-thinking our gotcha day celebrations, too. I hadn't ever really thought about the fact that the day that was so wonderful and special to ME was so traumatic for my daughter. We'll need to have some discussion before our next gotcha anniversary. I, need to rent the movie ya'll are talking about. I'm glad you and T have posted your thoughts on this subject, it's nice to have a community where we can talk about these issues and hopefully help one another make our children's adoption experiences as positive as we can.


I think all of this is coming to you at a perfect time...I really think that their will be lots of thoughts and feelings for Jazzie and Tahlia with you and matt having a "grand baby" on the way.

We chose not to celebrate gotcha day...we kind of just went with children celebrate birthdays not adoption days.

Good luck and I agree Barb Lee's film has given many of us an amazing different view of adoption.

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