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Chosen Child and 'Gotcha Day

I met an adad with a child from Russia last night through some mutual friends.
The "A" word came up and when he learned that I was a reunited adoptee, the questions started flying....
We'll be spending the day together boating today (no way to escape- other than overboard) lol

I know the topic will come up again today, He was really into asking about the adoptee experience from my pov. Right before we left for the evening last night he brought up telling his son the chosen child story and of celebrating gotcha day. In real life- I try and hold my emotions of my adoption back. I try hard to not let my tongue fly. But I do have strong feelings about these 2 things. So- all I managed to say nicely was that may put pressure on the child.

So how can I articulate my feelings about being chosen/unchosen- and celebrating the day (we) lost our Mother? I want to play nice and not be dismissed as a BITTER adoptee.


Asked by adopteeme at 7:03 AM on Aug. 1, 2010 in Adoption

Level 16 (3,092 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (13)
  • We adopted through the foster care system... so technically she really wasn't chosen so to speak.... i guess we were chosen for her... and i do not like "gotcha day"... she was with us for 11 months before the adoption was final... and we have not passed the 1 year mark (next month) she is still young and i think we will acknowledge it in a low key manner because being adopted is part of who she is...

    maybe you should tell this person your feelings, i do not think he is asking to hurt you but to maybe better understand the world of adoption and maybe tell him to search for other adopted adults to talk with... i dunno but maybe tell him that you might not be the best person to talk to if he wants a 'prettty picture' of adoption.......
    good luck :)


    Answer by chiana at 11:02 AM on Aug. 3, 2010

  • I have never liked the term gotcha day. Sounds to me like I went to the pound and picked a puppy out of a cage. As far as other parents - I do the same thing. I don't really say what my true thoughts are. At least not initially. When I meet someone I try to get their thoughts first. The reason being that I have very different views at times and I don't necessarily want to blow them off, be offensive, or have them decide I'm the one who needs to be blown off. So I wait and listen to their pov. I have a double edged sword b/c when a parent asks me, and knows I'm a therapist as well, it's like by my differnce of opinion I am saying "boy your a bad parent.". Which is NOT what I am saying but that is how it is taken. I have learned parents just want me to agree with them to confirm their belief they are doing everything right. In your case I bet it is similar. They most likely want you to confirm what a great job they

    Answer by frogdawg at 10:30 AM on Aug. 1, 2010

  • I'm not sure how to answer this without it sounding trite adopteeme.....
    We do not tell our daughter the chosen child bit...although we do make use of the "gotcha day" or "family day". I think it is also important to remember that children that live in orphanages lost their mother a long time before being adopted so that term is not truly associated with their parent is more their cultural loss, and caregiver loss...I know- semantics....
    Our daughter is from China so she lost her familial bond at birth when she was abandoned. She lived in an orphanage until we adopted her and was cared for by nannies. That is not to say she doesn't grieve that familial loss, I know that she does.
    It does not matter if you sound like a bitter are entitled to your feelings and your voice should never be silenced. If this man is asking intrusive questions he should accept what is said to him and be done with it.

    Answer by mcginnisc at 8:14 AM on Aug. 1, 2010

  • I think you should just tell him from an adoptees POV how those things would have made you feel. He did ask for your opinion. I think that as adults, sometimes we don't realize how something will sound to a small child. I've heard from some adoptees whose families celebrated these things and they enjoyed them, but I can see how not everyone would feel the same way.

    In my family, we actually don't celebrate either of these. We just celebrate birthdays. We don't want to make our kids feel that we are constantly reminding them that they are different from other kids.

    Are you a good swimmer? You can always jump off the boat if it gets too bad, lol!

    Answer by Iamgr8teful at 9:34 AM on Aug. 1, 2010

  • I am an adoptee and now a PAP, I hate the term Got ya day!!!!! This is a sensitive situation, and you are talking about a child, I would honestly try to be as honest as possible about your situation sice he asked, but also tell him it is only you situation and every situation is different. As for the term chosen child, I love it, my birth mother chose to bring me into this world when she could have aborted me. My adoptive mother chose to adopt me because she loved my birth mother and wanted to be able to make sure my birth mother was able to keep contact with me. Again my situation is different I am 28 and grew up in an open adoption where every wish that my birth mother and family had was kept, again a rare situation. I strongly feel that questions need to be answered, other wise people are not able to learn from it. I hope I was able to help

    Answer by MiddletonFamily at 2:55 PM on Aug. 1, 2010

  • I just don't like Gotcha day - the way it rolls out of my lips has never felt right to me personally. But when I think about friends who travel over seas...I know why they say Gotcha Day. What a special day for the family. We just use the term Family Day to celebrate the day a judge saw fit to make us a legally a family. We buy one gift for us as a family to do things together. I buy something for the women's shelter to honor his bmom who once stayed at a shelter after his birth.

    Answer by frogdawg at 3:50 PM on Aug. 1, 2010

  • Quote: reminding them that they are different from other kids.

    Iam, that's exactly what was on my mind last night when I said puts pressure on the child.

    I don't know, I'm just not up to being the angry adoptee today in meeting our new neighbors.
    ....can't swim very well, soo I think today's dresscode will be dark sunglasses, a big floppy hat and a zipped lip.
    Sick humor of mine- if it works for bmoms maybe it'll work for me. LOL

    and before ya flame me - I'm kidding ;)

    Comment by adopteeme (original poster) at 10:08 AM on Aug. 1, 2010

  • I strongly suggest trying to avoid him. I am familiar with your POV from reading here on cafemom, and I have to be honest and say that it can be very....brash. I think it is important for adoptive parents to be aware of the reality of their children's losses, but feeling negatively about adoption (the way their family was formed) is not healthy for the parent and therefore bad for the child.

    Answer by mommyheymommy at 11:33 AM on Aug. 1, 2010

  • Are doing. You could say something like " I can see what great parents you are to Johnny and it is obvious you love you love him. My experience as an adoptee is ........ But not all adoptees feel the same way, many do and some do not". This way you can answer honestly from your experiences w/ out making the parents out to be doing all the wrong things. Even with my MIL I learned she will never understand why we choose to "raise him black". So at all cost I avoid the color blind issue. Sometimes no matter how I try to avoid it - still it will come up. All I can say is if you didn't want to hear my honest response then why did you bother asking? Which all goes back to people want to be validated. So if I can find a way to validate them as good people first and then give kernals of my thoughts I will do that. Or you can jump over the side of the boat.

    Answer by frogdawg at 12:04 PM on Aug. 1, 2010

  • I am not adopted but in order to say anything I go by a is : Always say how you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind. So in saying that if you have something to say and you feel a certain way say is only those who don't matter that will mind. :D

    Answer by Ellie4040 at 12:16 PM on Aug. 1, 2010

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