Tag Archives: gotcha day celebrations

Effecting Langauge

In a post over on adoptedintheuk.co.uk I (again) raised the point of how important the language is that we use around adoption. In the post, it was to happily demonstrate how some organisations are listening to what’s being said by adult adoptees.

In this post, it’s trying to work out why we’re saying things seemingly so at odds with the other, while simultaneously all expressing similar reactions to the side-thread momwifelawyer @ threw in the meleé.

Much as the Establishment don’t like it, we’ve GOT TO do something major about changing the language around adoption is used if we’re ever going to stand a chance of taking some of the socialisation pressures off adoptees.

It’s why I’m so glad Nicky Campbell favourited my tweet pointing him at the thread linked on Adopted in the UK. It means we’re slowly starting to make a difference. And if we can get Nicky C. on side, I see no reason why we can’t start getting Sir Martin Narey to understand a bit more too.

Support or Celebration?

This thread (which I have no idea how it will go because it’s only just started) highlights a key problem surrounding adoption – celebrating the loss an adoptee experiences.

The link provided in the first post relates to an article where it has been demonstrated that children who lose a parent to death can suffer adversely from this for their whole life. While this is a fact that I would expect most people within society to agree is likely, I raised the point in my reply that the converse is expected for adoptees. Instead of our loss being recognised, we are expected to both celebrate our adoption, and to be grateful for our adoption.

I further commented that adopters are encouraged to celebrate ‘Gotcha Day‘, and provided a link to a Squidoo article entitled Celebrate Your Child’s Adoption Day! that show cards, t.shirts and mugs saying “Happy Adoption Day”.

Another of the hits on Google is a page from Adoptive Families Magazine that asks the contributors to “Share Your Story: Gotcha Day Celebrations” in which stories of big party celebrations are shared, as well as quieter celebrations.

Thus, my question is, why is there this double standard?

Why is it that if a child loses one parent, it is wholly expected that the child will face some psychological consequence and need support – yet for adoptees we are expected to celebrate the loss of not just one parent, but both of our parents *and* the entire rest of our families, in addition to the expectation that we will also express our unending gratitude for this loss?

Why does this double standard exist, and what can we do to help eliminate it, and instead replace it with support for adoptees’ loss?

EDIT 1: @iAdoptee also posted about this recently, in I lost my parents too.

EDIT 2: The Daily Bastardette posted about Gotcha Day stuff yesterday too, @ Below and Beyond Offensive: Gotcha Day book review.