Monday, January 11, 2010

Treading lightly

Lots and lots of talk in blog land about "gotcha" and the documentary "Adopted". Nothing I like more than lots of educated and heartfelt discussions. Being a parent is challenging. These have been some of MY observations.

  • Families that celebrate Gotcha day are not going to suddenly stop celebrating gotcha day.
  • It seems that many of the families that DO NOT celebrate Gotcha day have bio kids.
  • A movie will not change your mind about Gotcha day
  • A movie can change how you look and evaluate adoption.
  • You cannot turn Gotcha day into a birth story.....sorry you just can't do it, her life started long before that day.
  • Parenting is not for wimps, fairy godmothers, or ladybugs.
  • Saying that you will stop celebrating Gotcha day when your child tells you they don't want to celebrate it anymore puts lots of pressure on your may not think so right now, but when your teenager has to choose between friends and football or Gotcha day dinner, she will choose dinner so she doesn't hurt your feelings....she knows how much it means to you.
  • It is important to recognize that adoption is selfish..."I wanted to be a mom", "I wanted a daughter" etc. Not necessarily selfish in a mean and rotten way...but if the sentence starts with "I" friends it is about you....
  • I love hearing/seeing all sides of a discussion. I don't agree with all sides, and many of you don't agree with me...which is ok friends. It keeps things interesting and if a blog post can challenge me to be a better is all good.
Parenting is a journey, an uphill trek, a slippery slope. We can do the best we can, then try to do better.


Shari U said...

I'm loving these posts about gotcha days and kids adoption books. We've celebrated gotcha day and I'm not sure we'll stop, but T's post certainly has me thinking about it and how I want my daughter to view her loss and her adoption. I hadn't ever really thought about it in terms of it being such a great day for the hubby and me, but in reality such a horrible and sad day for our precious daughter. I think all this discussion is great, it's good to think about things from a different angle. I know I've changed my mind and my ways on many, many different adoption related subjects since we brought our little girl home 6 years ago. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this.

Sandra said...


Suzie said...

I've really enjoyed reading the posts and comments from both the blogs you mentioned. I'll be a single mom with no other children and have often thought about whether or not I would celebrate "gotcha day". All the discussion has really made me think about how I will handle things. I really appreciate all the advice and comments from those at all stages of their adoption.

I haven't seen the movie yet but am planning to buy it soon!

Are you and "T" planning to write your own book???

t~ said...

I really need to dig deeper, because I am on the hunt for one adoptee that wishes their parents would have made a big stink of the day they either 'Got them' or 'Adopted them'. I'm not adopted and can't pretend to understand what it would feel like to be in that complex situation.
It's stimulating conversation if I do say so myself & it's nice to see everyone playing nice and tossing their thoughts around. We all learn from each other.

Janet said...

I am actually really enjoying all of these arguments too. We haven't celebrated "Gotcha Day" per se, but I've definitely acknowledged it with the whole family. For me, it's about the whole family, and not just our adopted kids. So, if we're going to celebrate, it will be a family celebration. Because they already have their birthdays as their "special days" and I think my bio kids would wonder WHY A and J get TWO special days. So....we'll have to see. Much to think about.

Kris said...

we seem to all be on the same page. i wasn't going to post publicly, and my angle was different (at No Hands But Ours blog) but touches on the loss and struggles of the adult adoptee.

We never planned to "celebrate" Ellis Day. It was traumatic, hard, and not a day to be turned into "fun". She was kidnapped on that day, essentially. I will always cherish that we became a family, but I don't cherish the way it happens in China. It could be far, far better (Ethiopian adoptions immediately coming to mind). And she's my first kiddo- just as a side note. :O)

The Drinkwaters said...

I agree with your comment about how families might not suddenly stop celebrating "Gotcha Day" due to a movie.

But, I do think that the movie will help prospective adoptive parents to think about what they plan to do.

Michal said...

I stared out writing a comment here but it turned into an entire post for my blog. Guess I had a lot to say ( I usually do )

Buckeyes & Eggrolls said...

I'm loving yours and T's posts. I have to say that our adoption did not start with "i". We adopted to give a child a loving home. We've been scorned for that believe it or not. We didn't need another child (we had 5) Honestly, we felt called to adopt and while people think that's hokey, it's how we felt. I agree with T.. I'm Maddy's "mommy". I'm the one who is there when she is sick, when she is hurting, when she is happy etc. Mommy is a term of endearment that is earned. Just birthing a child does not make you a mommy. A mother maybe, but not a mommy!

a Tonggu Momma said...

On all of this, we agree. *grin* And I am of the opinion that it's easy to become offended when you first hear what someone has to say, but then - we you start to hear more details - you find more common ground than you realize. That's why I try to keep my mouth shut and listen as much as possible (although - being me - "as much as possible" is relative).

Goosegirl said...

We are probably a little different in how we handle this, and I am ok with that. We have two daughters, on homegrown and one who joined our family through adoption.

We do not celebrate "Gotcha Day". We celebrate "Family Anniversaries".
Our India was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes on Feb. 12,2003. That is the day that life changed for her and our whole family. It became a new, different life. We celebrate this day as one more year that the Lord gave us together. "Thus Far Hath the Lord Brought Us." This day is often filled with a lot of conversation, some tears, questions, resolutions, and then a special dinner of her choosing (usually steak and artichokes). India often grieves on this day more than other times.
It may seem a strange thing to celebrate something that has changed our lives so drastically, and caused such pain. But we celebrate life.

When Ahnalin came into our family, we had already determined that we would celebrate her anniversary, not her "Gotcha Day". Like India's anniversary, the day of Ahnalin's adoption has been one that brings about pain and sadness, as well as joy and acceptance. We have deep conversations. Ahnalin grieves, actually for about a month before and a month after. Her body just seems to know that this time of year brought big change to her little life. There are often tears, but also tears of happiness.
We choose to celebrate all the while being comfortable with the pain. We celebrate life.
Ahnalin usually chooses Chinese food, but last year chose steak and artichokes for her anniversary dinner.
"Thus far hath the Lord brought us."

I am enjoying this discussion.