"Every child deserves a home." --Harry Holt

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

If I Don't Say Anything...People Can't Get Offended, Right?!

I like love to talk (mostly about nonsense). I think I really am one of those people that does enjoy the sound of my voice. There have been times throughout this journey (so far) that have both left me speechless (which previously, had never happened to me). Also, there are times when this journey has forced me to take a cold/hard look at issues that I previously had the privilege to never think about. Sure, I took multicultural classes in college and graduate school. I read the books, wrote the papers, participated in class discussions, and then I went back to my little privileged world. Now, we are stepping into the realm of becoming a multi-racial family. We knew this when we signed up, but I don't think we really KNEW what that meant, and truthfully, we still don't (gasp). We have and are reading books (ok, sometimes I read them and summarize them for Kevin and then we discuss...Mr. Man is too much of an engineer, he likes looking at numbers, not words--don't worry...he has done *some* reading too). 

Let me switch gears for a second. I would like to do a couple of posts on race and ethnic issues (I primarily use this blog as a journal and outlet for myself), but tonight I was reading THIS article about the controversy over the phrase, "Gotcha Day" Gah! Just when I thought I was getting the hang of the appropriate adoption language!!!!! (i.e. birth family, adoption plan, etc). "Gotcha Day" is the phrase that some adoptive families use to commemorate the anniversary that an adopted child becomes part of the family. Some, maybe you are reading this and think that I sound like a complete moron for not realizing that phrase isn't necessarily all rose petals and rainbows. Well, I didn't realize that...OOPS!!!!! The article that I linked above by Karen Moline, made the argument that the term "gotcha" is akin to killing a bug and saying, "gotcha!" Some adoptees in the article voiced their opinion saying that, while the term "gotcha" is cute and cuddly for the adopted family, it is disrespectful to the birth family and the fact that while the adopted family "got you" the birth family "lost you" and in the case of international adoption, the adopted child lost their home country and culture. Whew, you still with me? I'm not even still with me...

While I'm not particularly attached to the phrase, "Gotcha Day," I was of the persuasion that it was kind of cute and cuddly and I had envisioned us having "Gotcha Day Celebrations." Now, not so much. This is why, sometimes, I think it would just be better if I stopped talking altogether. I hate the thought of saying something offensive, especially when I said it because I was just too ignorant to know better...such a yucky feeling! Well, not talking isn't an option. So, what do you think is a good phrase? We are going to celebrate and commemorate the day, but what should we call it?! Some alternatives I read in the article and have seen other places are, "Adoption Day" or "Family Day."  Family Day resonates with me because we could celebrate both families. (On that note, the only thing I have come up with is lighting a candle for the birth family and talking about them and praying for them).  So, here I am asking for thoughts, ideas, opinions!!!!

Do you have any creative thoughts/ideas on what we can call, "Gotcha Day," and what would be a fun way to honor the birth family of our child? Negative or mean comments need not apply, and be really careful with your 'constructive criticism,' I'm sensitive and not all criticism is constructive ;)

6 comments:

Lori and Eric Stark said...

I had also heard of people celebrating "homecoming day" -- the day that you return home with your new child -- to avoid the confusion of... when is gotcha day? the day you pass court & they are legally your child? the day that you take custody but are still in a hotel in ET? the day that you arrive home? who knows?! I'm not one to get all worked up over semantics, we just tend to go with what we like, what feels respectful and right for our family. I kind of liked the idea of Homecoming Day, but now I'm thinking....err...does that dishonor the birth family? who knows. I think I'll wait and worry about it when we actually get to travel! :-) Good luck!!

Becky Nakashima Brooke said...

Lindsey you are so sweet! I didn't take offense to it, but I can understand how people could be sensitive. I think you are thinking of some great ideas. I will think on it and let you know if I come up with something. The fact that you have such a big heart and are willing to change the name of the day shows how much you care. You are already an amazing mother:) I can't wait to see you in action:) Also can I get the book titles of what you have been reading. Wait one more thing! Do you sleep? With work, a husband, blogging, and reading when do you sleep?

Mary Pat said...

I gave it some serious thought and I really like the idea of "Family Day." The day can be celebrated in a fun, special way for the child. Yet part of the day can also include remembering the birth family in prayer (as you mentioned) and helping a family in need in your community. A "hands on" activity. There are always so many choices as to how we can reach out to brighten someone elses day. You are a planner and a doer, Lindsey, so I know you will come up with ways to help others each year.
Oh how I love your tender heart!

kwahl said...

When I read "Adoption Day" or "Family Day", Family Day stuck out to me. There is just something about the word family that makes it seem special. Perhaps, it is because I have been blessed with such a great one! :)

Dustin & Megan said...

i actually really like homecoming day. it does get sort of confusing as far as court dates, embassy dates, when you actually come home, etc. in my case of when i was adopted they did not call it "gotcha day" back then and it is actually what we celebrate as my birthday. the orphanage had given me a birthdate of christmas day because they did not know when my birthday actually was. my parents didn't like that so they changed it to the day i came to america. we never did anything with the birth family thing, i am sort of torn about how i feel about that stuff. anyway, hope you figure out what works for your family :)

LBWV said...

Dustin & Megan (I'm not sure--is it Dustin or Megan writing???) I am so thankful for your response. I'm thankful for all of the responses. I'm curious to know more about the homecoming day celebration, and if you wouldn't mind, what it is that tears you up about the birth family stuff. If you wouldn't mind, please e-mail me!!!!!!

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