Nine years ago this week, I met my daughter for the first time when her dad brought her back from China (read our story here).
|One of these girls is my daughter!!!|
The day adoptive parents meet their new family members is often called Gotcha Day.
It's a celebration of a long journey that ended in love for all. Since my husband brought Lily home from China, we actually don't celebrate the day he met her; rather, we celebrate Family Day. That's the day my son and I met Lily for the first time at Newark Airport and it's the day our family came together for the first time.
Whatever you call it, here are
6 Ways To Celebrate Gotcha (or Family) Day
|My darling daughter|
- Go out for a special meal. We have our “usual” Chinese restaurant, but for Family Day, we go to the “fancier” one where you dress up and sit down.
- Look at photographs. We have lots of photos of Lily when she was in China. It's wonderful to reminisce with her about her journey here and how long and hard the wait was for all of us. Also, I tell her how VERY MUCH she was wanted and how she was in my heart long before I met her.
- Talk about how many ways there are to become a family and how families come in all shapes and sizes. I love the book We Belong Together by Todd Parr; even though it's for little kids, it's so full of love! We'll be reading it this week. (For more of my favorite books on adoption, click here.)
- Spend some special alone time with your child, especially if there are siblings involved. Going for a simple walk, with the cellphone turned off, is a great way to reinforce the bond with your child.
- Write letters to each other. Letters are a great way to celebrate. You can write them now and open them in 5 or 10 years.
- Talk about family traditions and how the child's presence had an influence on them. Each family forms its own traditions and the addition of a family member offers the opportunity to create new ones. For example, we never celebrated the Chinese New Year until my daughter came into the family.
Lily (whom I used to call Diva in my blog until she asked that I change it) has been one of the greatest blessings of my life; the other blessing is her brother. I couldn't ever foresee myself adopting and now, I can't imagine my life without her!
If adoption has touched your family and you're looking for ways to celebrate Gotcha Day or Family Day, give the suggestions above a try.