Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Gotcha. Forever. Whatever...

We plan to refer to ourselves as our daughter's "Forever Family". We made the decision some time back to substitute Forever in place of "Gotcha" with Forever Day replacing Gotcha Day.

We did use Gotcha early on not spending a great deal of time analyzing how it could come across to our daughter, as we were too giddy with learning lots of new international adoption "terms". And besides, over analyzing anything soon becomes a lesson in not seeing the forest for the trees type of thing. If you have chosen to use Gotcha, go for it. If, like us, you have chosen to use Forever, then by all means, do it.

Here's an article that speaks volumes about the term "gotcha". From the magazine Adoptive Families, the article is entitled "Get Rid of Gotcha" by Karen Moline, it makes many good points:

I find the use of "gotcha" to describe the act of adoption both astonishing and offensive. Aside from being parent-centered ("C'mere, little orphan, I gotcha now!") it smacks of acquiring a possession, not welcoming a new person into your life.

Please take the time to read the comments on this article as they are very insightful and give several "sides" of the story. Here's one unique comment from Tania:

As usual, people read way too much into a silly/fun word. My daughter, adopted at 14, refers to her special day as "gotcha day" because it is the day SHE GOT US! We never used the term, she did. She will walk up to me at random times (not just "gotcha day") throw her arms around me and say "gotcha....and I am never going to let go." Who am I to tell her that her feelings of happiness and belonging are politically incorrect? Not every adoption is the same. Not every adoptee was an infant. Not every birth parent lovely relinquished their child in nobility. Not every family is overly sensitive to terminology. Maybe it is about time other people stopped telling me how to refer to a HAPPY FUN FILLED EXCITING day for my child.

Gotcha or Forever. Call this "most wonderful of times" what you will. It's your call, just as it should be. And ultimately, it boils down to what you know works best for you and your family!

17 comments:

kris said...

Yep, I don't like it either. I'm using my daughter's name followed by Day I think "Name Day"- unless I can come up with something better. Forever Family Day is good, but I struggle with implying that her first family isn't forever, you know? I mean, I don't know the circumstances of her being left, but those who she may never meet or know are still very much her family too.

Half Gaelic, Half Garlic! said...

A very interesting article...it makes you think!

As you said, you kind of just follow the adoption lingo that is out there!

You are getting closer....come on referrals!

Lisa

a Tonggu Momma said...

We never used Forever Family Day, nor did we feel comfortable with Gotcha Day. What stuck with our family was Metcha Day -- because it's the day we met her and she met us. As you said, it's whatever works for you and your child.

Donna said...

I have to agree with Tania. If you try hard enough, you can almost always find some reason to be offended about anything. I decided long ago to assume the best and not sweat the small stuff. It's worked well for me all these years and it's something I teach my kids too. I think they'll be better/happier people for it.

Donna
Our blog: Double Happiness!

Anonymous said...

Is it possible to maybe just have Family Day? As an adult who was adopted at birth, I kind of feel sorry for kids who have to deal with Gotcha Day and other assorted adoption nomemclature.

Alyson & Ford said...

anonymous:

Appreciate the comment. Family Day sounds cool to me. In fact, I think this family may just start a new tradition and do just that. Celebrate our Family Day... Honoring and celebrating those past, present and future.
peace
fm

Beverly said...

I see the point but my kid got me has much as I got her but she didn't want me at first. She did however get her grandad and wanted him from the start. Maybe ours should be grandad's and g's mutual exclusive gotcha day, heh.

rubyiscoming said...

totally agree about Gotcha - but LOVE how diplomatic you always are, Ford :)
I vote for Ford as Obama's running mate! :)

Cheers -
Kim

Eileen said...

I like "Gotcha Day" and we use it. :-) I certainly respect someone's choice not to use the phrase though. What I don't like about what Karen wrote above is this statement "C'mere, little orphan, I gotcha now!" - that is *hardly* my attitude toward the whole thing and not what I'm saying by using the words Gotcha.

Jill W said...

Great post! And great comments, too. We've used Gotcha Day, but now you all have me thinking. I like Family Day--Since Macie was 7 yrs old when we adopted her, I think I will let her decide.

Tracy R said...

I'm a lurker, but I've been following the blog for awhile. My twins were adopted domestically and we refer to the day was took custody of them as Family Day -- the day we became a family. We honor that day by doing things together as a family and also talking about how we came to be a family, the different types of family there are and what family means to them. We also use the day to discuss or acknowlege the family they were born into. Everyone's situation is different, and Family Day just seemed to work for us from the beginning. (However, I'm not at all offended by my friends who have 'gotcha' day or any other name.)
Tracy
PS: I'm getting so excited, hoping this is the month for you two!!

rubyiscoming said...

mea culpa.....great post, Alyson - you nailed it! :)

Kim said...

I never thought about it that way. So many other adoption terms are scrutinized over. It is hard to know what is right - I guess what is right is what makes parents and child comfortable. nclm

Fliss and Mike Adventures said...

I agree... whether it is Gotcha or Forever... it will be a great day...

Nina, David & Ariel said...

I am SO with you on the "Forever Day" term instead of "Gotcha Day"! But semantics aside, it's the moment of a lifetime. It's like birth.

And you know what is incredibly exciting? You are SO close!

Now, come on, rumors!!

AZMom said...

We use the term Gotcha too. Both my kids love it and say the same thing..it was the day they got us ;-) They are very proud of their Gotcha Day but if they ever start to become uncomfortable with it then we would use forever family day too.

Whatever works for your family is what is BEST for your family! ALWAYS remember that first and foremost!

Cindi said...

I, too, prefer to 'rename' that day... We plan to call it "Ahna Day" or "Ahna Forever Day". And we will be doing so in just a few short weeks!!
Cindi from RQ