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'Gotcha Day' celebrates adoption

"Gotcha Day" is a common celebration among adoptive

"Gotcha Day" is a common celebration among adoptive families. (Credit: iStock)

Every Dec. 8th, my 10-year-old son and I share a special moment unique to adoptive families.

“Gotcha Day” is a term used in adoption circles to celebrate the anniversary of when child and family were united as a forever family.

As a regular on a Yahoo group for adoption of Russian children, I noticed that parents celebrate in all sorts of ways. Some families have a full-blown party, often with a theme relevant to the child’s cultural background. Others, including me, pick a more subdued approach. And yet others believe that “Gotcha Day” focuses too much on the differences between biological and adoptive children and bypass the notion all together.

As a single mom, I am often focused on having my son form bonds with others, and am thankful for a large family who dote on him. But for our third “Gotcha Day,” my son and I will do something alone together — perhaps bowling as we did last year.

After, we will curl up on the couch and read passages from my diary, an emotional journey of my initial trip to Russia and the very first time I saw him — looking up at me as I descended down the glass elevator at an Arkhangelsk hotel. And funny moments having to do with language barriers, such our first night alone in Russia when he ordered a milk shake and ice cream for dinner and I didn’t understand that until the food was brought to us.

We will laugh and remember, and celebrate our little family.

Tags: adoption , parenting

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