Not a birthday, not a holiday… but a special day. Gotcha day is the day that a child was brought home to their adoptive parents. Some families choose not to celebrate this for their own reasons, but others do. When I was a kid, my family celebrated it every year. We would go out to dinner at any restaurant that I wanted to and celebrate.
Gotcha day was explained to me as a day that only some families celebrate. This was the day that my parents came and got me from the adoption agency and brought me home. My brother and I do not celebrate gotcha day together, we have our own days, that way we both feel our own connection to our parents and family. Each gotcha day was special to us, my brother wanted to be left alone with a new video game while I, being a foodie would try out a new restaurant.
Explaining gotcha day to anyone who isn’t adopted is hard, not the concept, but the reason why I celebrate it. People seem to get the fact that it is a day that is different but don’t understand why you can’t celebrate your birthday and gotcha day at the same time. Well, because they aren’t the same thing, my birthday was the day I was brought into this world and gotcha day is when my family was made whole.
I didn’t always feel this way, when I was a teenager I didn’t really want to celebrate it anymore I felt that it really made me different and since I wanted to feel a part of something I asked my mom to stop celebrating it. Instead, I asked her if we could just cook something special at home. It took me until my senior year of high school to realize that ‘umm my mom isn’t going to be here forever and maybe I should like being a part of something different.’
To me, gotcha day is something that you celebrate as more of a family event. It is when my family became whole. Gotcha day is a way to see how your child is feeling about their adoption because one year you can accept adoption but the next year you can’t understand why you were given up.
Gotcha day to me is something special – a day just to connect with my family one on one. It made me feel special and I felt a part of my family. I felt like I could go to anyone in my family and talk to them about anything that was bothering me. Gotcha day has also made me realize the importance of showing that my adoption was something to be proud of and family is important. You don’t have to be blood to count as family.
On a funny side note, my aunt is very involved with my life and she has decided to write a children’s book on gotcha day. She wants me to be a co-author and inspiration. So if you have any suggestions on what to put as the title of the book let me know.
“The adoption took time the love was instant.” -Anonymous