Gotcha Day (Adoption Day Celebrations)

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Nowadays, many families celebrate the day their child was adopted. Families vary in what they call it: Gotcha Day, Adoption Day, Family Day, Adoption Anniversary Day.

There is no one "right" day to select as your adoption day. It might be the first time you and your child met, the day you went to court, the day your child got home, or the day the adoption was finalized. The idea is to celebrate the special aspects of how your family was created and/or expanded.

Listed below are some of the ways families celebrate their family's adoption day:

  • Similar to a birthday with cake, presents, and a party.
  • No party, but giving the child a choice for a special activity i.e. zoo, museum, park, and perhaps a special dinner.
  • Lighting candles to honor birth parents, foster parents, etc.
  • A family activity i.e. picnic, baseball game, or visit to an amusement park
  • Presenting a gift that represents the child's birth heritage i.e. the country, state, or city they were born in.
  • Reviewing a child's life book, and perhaps adding a page to represent the past year
  • Doing a presentation in your child's classroom about adoption and how families are different.
  • Sending in cupcakes or an activity that your child's class can participate in that represents adoption, families, or your child's cultural background.
  • Remembering the children left behind, children still in foster care or orphanages: volunteering with a foster care group or sending a care package to your child's orphanage.
  • Using the day to acknowledge other adoptive families that may be struggling by committing to provide respite a certain numbers of hours per month.
  • Writing in a family journal.
  • Helping your child to write or draw something in a journal about their life, their adoption, or their past.
  • Reading a book about families and/or adoption.
  • Letting the honored child sit at the head of the table throughout the day.
  • Make a crown to celebrate the special day.

In the past, adoption was considered a quiet, secretive event. Now, thankfully, families can celebrate the joy and happiness that has come to them through becoming an adoptive family.

Written by: Susan M. Ward, an older child adoption specialist, provides parent coaching and resources for adoptive families. Susan's training has focused on adoption issues relating to attachment, grief, and parenting. She's also the adoptive parent of a child healed from RAD (reactive attachment disorder). Her website is Older Child Adoption Support

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peterandrew yeger - 4 years ago
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march 15 on friday #1

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