Thursday, February 5, 2009

Birthday/Adoption Celebrations

I'm just curious, for those of you who have adopted....How do you celebrate your kids' special days? Adoption is a little more complicated than birthdays since there are so many special dates to remember. Do you celebrate the day you first met your child? The day you were matched? The day of the official adoption? The day you brought them home? Do you just keep it simple and celebrate their birthday only? Or a combination of the above?

For me, Ava's actual birthday is not as significant to me. After all, I wasn't even there! I am leaning towards celebrating Feb.7, the day we flew into the Tulsa airport and were all together finally.

Just curious what everyone else does?

15 comments:

Meredith said...

Our court was the day before E's birthday, and K's bday is 5 days after hers... and we came home about 2 weeks after that... so I think we'll have one big gathering to celebrate the 2 adoptions and 2 birthdays and poor Brianna will be the only one left out (but her birthday was last month ;) )

I'll check back, interesting to hear what others do!

Amy said...

Hi Charissa,
We celebrate the day of Caleb's adoption which was also his Gotcha Day because I got to go get him right after court (10 day was waived). His birthday is 4 months later and we have a regular birthday party but his 4th was something extra special, for me at least!:)
Amy

Anonymous said...

We keep it simple and do birthday only. Now, we have been home for almost 8 years but even after the first year we still did birthdays only.

Amy said...

We keep things pretty simple as well - we celebrate a gotcha day - we usually go out to dinner or lunch - depending on the day of the week. Sometimes we will watch some of the video and look at pictures of the adoption trip and talk a bit more about Ukraine...
You can really choose whatever day you would like - since it is YOUR day! :)

La Viajera Insaciable said...

We celebrate the day we met our daughters, but It is just a small celebration with our immediate family. We either go out for a special meal or make Colombian food here at home. And we always get the girls a little gift from Colombia. Birthday parties are bigger and involve more people.

DoveFamily said...

Zack and I talked about the other days as they happened (Metcha Day: the day we met him; Court Day; and America Day: the day we made it back home). But we celebrated Gotcha Day: the day we took custody of William, the day he left the orphanage forever. We didn't do anything really big - we took him to Build a Bear and he created an animal to remember his first anniversary. Then we had his favorite foods for dinner.

AZmomto8 said...

Kara's Gotcha day was December 10th, the day before Meghan's birthday. We just celebrated Kara's actual birthday October 28, though I told her about every special day, the 13th of November; the day we met her, the 22nd, the day our adoption was final. We would hug her and tell her how happy we were God found her for us. Maybe when she is older she will understand the manitude of it all.

AZmomto8 said...

Oops, i realize I skipped Amanda, but her special days are upcoming, so we have not done them yet. LOL Her birthday is next month.We will have a party for her!

Anonymous said...

We actually celebrate from the day we left the US to the day we met them and the return to the US. It was 18 days door to door for us, so we relive each day. We have a special meal on the court date, but we spend the whole week before saying, "Six years ago today we got on a plane to come find you." "Six years ago today we met you." etc. We read what we wrote in our journals and look at the album. It's actually the most fun 18 days of they year for us.
Cath in Minnesota

June Berger said...

We only do birthday's only. It just makes it easier. My bio children love their "birth" story on their birthdays, it's part of the celebration. So for our adopted children we do their "adoption" story on their birthday since we don't have a "birth" story for them. It makes them all the "same" but different, know what I mean?

Anonymous said...

We celebrate birthdays only. It's simpler for us plus since we have 2 adopted and 2 who were not, just don't need any competition. We discuss the adoptions and the trip when "Daddy picked you up" through out the year as things come up. but no official celebrations. If we did anything, I'd probably lean towards when we finalized the adoption in the US, since all the kids went to the hearing and we have a picture of all of them together, so it seems like more of a family affair.

Jan

McKenna said...

I've wondered the same thing, Charissa. There are a lot of interesting comments. I have been thinking that gotcha day will be our special day that we have a small celebration for Reese on. I have thought we would do dinner and she would receive a small present...maybe a new nesting doll each year? Hmmm.....

Shelley said...

With Xander, it was actually an easy decision because his Gotcha Day and his birthday are the same week. His Gotcha Day is more special to me and probably always will be. But, we do birthday cake and all that to celebrate his birthday. Since it's the same week, it was easy last year. As he gets older, we'll put more emphasis on his Gotcha Day and that will be his special day to choose where to go to dinner or whatever.
With Grifyn, his Gotcha Day and birthday are months apart. We will continue to celebrate his birthday(actually he and Xander will probably have a big joint b'day party), but like Xander, Grifyn's Gotcha Day will always be more special to me. We will honor both days for Grifyn too.
Maybe my opinion will change as the boys get older, but I can't imagine not celebrating their Gotcha Day. I remember the day my first 3 kids were born....that exact feeling when I held them for the first time and knew that they were mine. And for my boys, I remember how it felt to walk out of the orphanage with them in my arms knowing that they were mine and that their life had just begun. So, maybe we celebrate Gotcha Day for me :)

I think you should do whatever feels right in your heart. Since Ava's birthday and Gotcha Day are the same month, you really can't go wrong either way.

Missy said...

The days that I first met my kids are their "Adoption Days". I take each of them out to dinner alone, just the two of us, and we reminisce and tell the story of when we first met, etc. They feel really special and it keeps their "story" alive in their minds and reminds them that adoption is a good thing (despite what they might hear at school - ugh). :o) We also exchange cards and small gifts. My kids love their "Adoption Day".

Missy

Hevel Cohen said...

I know I'm months too late for this entry, but I'm an adoptee. For years my birthday was ignored and only adoption day celebrated "as they are so close together" (28 days apart). I even had adoption day parties with my "friends" (other embassy kids). I think my adoptive parents were incredibly self centred and selfish for doing that: nothing that was me before they took over (my name, my religion, my birthday) seemed to hold any value for them, because they changed everything.

Adoption day and birthday are about two very different things: adoption is about the family, birthday is about the child as they are. They don't have to be special to adoptive parents "because they weren't there", but you know, your child was there and she was there for years before adoption day. Just think about what you'd think if someone decided to celebrate some other event instead of your actual birthday. Also it makes her jsut plain different from siblings, who do not have adoption day but have a birthday. Plus adoption day party invitation to elementary school kids look just funny, but it's totally weird for a high schooler.

Don't take birthdays away. They are a celebration of the individual who was formed and shaped by experiences before and since the adoption.

Adoption day is important. But it is, for many adoptees, not a completely happy experience. It is a reminder of all that we lost: everything we knew before. It's a bitter-sweet day, that I would think is a great family event--for the nuclear family. Time to talk about where she came from and how much she has become part of your family.

Just my two cents.