Did any other adoptees ever feel that their birthdays were not made into a big deal by their adoptive parents - growing up that is? Looking back, I am sure realizing a lot of things about my childhood that make me see clearly how much in denial my parents were about my origins. One of which is that the day I came home (Gotcha day or whatever) was made into SUCH a huge deal but birthdays were so minimal. For awhile I thought it was cool, when I was very young, and didn't notice. But then as I got older I hated the whole gotcha day thing and just was secretly ticked. And I never understood why we didn't have big birthday parties or big gifts for that. It's not like we didn't have enough money...Now I'm starting to think that my parents were trying to not make a big deal about the day I was born, because in a sense the day I came to THEM was more important. I don't think they consciously did this, but something strange was definitely going on.
We never talked in my house about the few months BEFORE I came home, it was always coming home and then what happened after. :-/
I'm not an adoptee so take this for what it's worth...nothing....But
My parents didn't make a big deal out of our birthdays either. In fact, I can only remember 1 maybe 2 birthday parties. I am the total opposite with my kids. We have big birthday celebrations with big gifts. My mom just doesn't understand it. She will say things like "My goodness they so have so many presents you would think it was Christmas" Or "This is NOT Christmas you know"! Irritate the fire out of me. I usually respond with something like "No, its not Christmas, but it is their special day! I want them to know how special they are"! She still don't get it!
So maybe your parents are just clueless like mine. She loves me and she loves all her grandchildren. She buys them birthday gifts, she just doesn't understand why we make such a big deal out of it. Which makes me not understand HER!
By the way, we adopted our youngest child. We never celebrate "Gotta Day" or the day the adoption was finalized. I remember the day, and always make mention of it, but we save the celebrations for birthdays. But that doesn't mean I love my kids more than my parents loved me. It just means we do things differently.
Hope my rambling helps in some way:)
Birthdays are huge in our family - always have been and always will be.
As a side note, I've read a time or two on these boards that some adoptees don't really "like" to celebrate bdays either because for them, it's a day of sadness too, so it's kind of one of those situations where it's case by case...
We don't celebrate our boys' finalization days - in fact, I would have to look up the date because I don't remember - just that both were some time in September. I mean, there's the day they were born, the day they came home, the day we went to court the first time, the we go with what we know...
Growing up I felt like my adoptive parents (and most of my extended family) didnt really make a big deal about my birthday. I didnt normally have birthday parties or anything. Usually I would be allowed to pick something special to do and invite one friend along.
They never acknowledged "gotcha day"...if they did it was something that would have been done between themselves. I think I would have been very annoyed to have celebrated that....especially as an event more recognized than my own birthday. I get that for my family, they were not there for my birth...they dont know what time of day I was born...or anything really about it. I did not even meet them for another 3 weeks. Irregardless, it was the day I was born, and that makes it my own special day.
I am one of those adult adoptees that doesnt really like to celebrate it and make it into a big deal, but I do like to be remembered and have the people in my life say "Happy Birthday". I have a thread on here from my birthday a month ago. This time of year brings on a lot of mixed emotions for me. I think my aParents sense that and try to keep everything as upbeat as they can.
My parents told the story of bringing me home, and how happy they were, but I don't recall them ever celebrating the day separately in any way (akin to a birthday), and thankfully, they NEVER called it "gotcha day."
As an adult adoptee I have finally stopped celebrating my 'birthday' as it is really one of the saddest days of my life, and it is now well known that adoptees had their birth dates changed quite regularly, which I suspect was done in my case.
My son has expressed to me that he doesn't really like celebrating his birthday. He doesn't say it's adoption related, but I sometimes wonder if it is. Since we reunited, I am so happy to be able to send him gifts and a card. Knowing now, though, that he doesn't make a big deal out if his birthday, I keep the gifts simple. He does appreciate them, but I think if I got too overboard with it, he'd feel uncomfortable.
I don't know if his parents did the whole "gotcha day" thing. I hope to god not! I mean, it's one thing to have a separate celebration of when he became part of their family, but if it replaced his birthday and they called it "gotcha day" I'd find that to be horrific.
I do have a friend who is close friends with an adoptee. Her adoptive parents did not celebrate her actual birthday, but rather the day they "got" her. That bothered me when I heard about it as a kid, long before I had my own son. The mere thought that my son's parents could possibly do the same really upset me.
P.S. Chickadee, I haven't been on here in a long time and just got your PM yesterday. I did respond to it, so you may wish to check your PMs.
Each year has been a bit different for me.
I've realized tho, after making a huge deal out of my last birthday myself, that I like that sometimes. I had no expectations from anyone, and tried to make it all about the day, and about me, good and bad. Which is hard to do!
Especially being a mother myself and knowing how I feel about my children's birthdays, which I feel are sort of my birthdays too! So it's no wonder it's hard to remove my mother, and the loss of her, from my birthday. I don't try to anymore, I celebrate her too. It's almost like having a funeral every year on the same day too, since I accepted that it's been easier.
Last year on my 50th I even gave a bit of a speech between all of the fun , sort of a memorial to our loss on that first birthday. My loved ones that were there listening "got it". It was a really good day, I got hugs of joy and hugs of comfort, it was awesome.
My Mom (amom) was always constant on my birthday, nothing big or extravagant, but always something to mark the day even if it was just a card and a call when I was far away. I'll always be thankful to her for that, even tho she expected me to be nothing but happy for another year. She stays on the sunny side always, nothing good to say, say nothing. I can't dog her for that anymore, I can only accept that about her.
I think Christmas was always our "gotcha day" in the back ground since my adoption was official a couple of days before christmas. I'm glad no one brought that up tho!
This year I think I am more focused on getting older than anything else! But on the other side of that I hope I have many more and get much older. Mine is coming again, so quickly, in a month. I'm already thinking about it! Glad 51 is kind of a boring year as far as birthdays go.
I think what has bugged me the most is being expected to be nothing but sunny and grateful for life thruout the day by most people. Like it's bad to grieve on that day too. It's really not that easy, and I can't imagine expecting it to be so easy for anyone else like me. It's an awkward thing for everyone I guess. I've learned it's OK to be happy and sad on that day, no matter what others think and say or want from me. It's not their birthday, I'll do what I want:woohoo:
I've always felt very vulnerable on that day, with good reason. I did loose my mother the second I was born, and even if it were days, weeks, months, years later - how could anyone not reflect on "the birth" "birthright" and especially their mother on their day? It's just not that easy for some of us.
:) Peachy, I'd never ask, and I'd never expect my mother to go overboard on my birthday. But as uncomfortable and joyfully painful as it could be, knowing it would surely bring me to my knees - I think I would welcome it completely!
I imagine it's sort of a dream for a lot of us, like Santa bringing a pony or dirt bike, but not something I would ever expect or admit LOL
I'm not an adoptee, but my mom never made a big deal about my birthday... and as a result I've never made a big deal about it into adulthood (so much so, my sis has to remind me how old I am!) I do acknowledge my DD's birthday, but we have yet to have the super duper huge birthday party. I want to have one, but circumstances have made it so that it never quite worked out. I don't celebrate "Gotcha Day"... I reflect on it personally, but I haven't made it a big celebration.
I guess I'm just not a special occasion, celebratory person. We tend to have fun and do special things all year long... so when an important date rolls around, I simply acknowledge the date, but move on...
Wow, it certainly seems that I'm not the only adopted person that hates my birthday. For many years I actually got sick on my birthday and until quite recently (with all the healing work I've done) even basic tasks were difficult to complete on my birthday as I was often overwhelmed by stress and anxiety.
I was brought home at 11 days old and those 11 days have usually been the worst, each year, though that has really been mollified with the work I've done.
Nowadays I try not to celebrate my birthday and am really happy to have a nice day with my partner and eat my favourite meal (steak) and chill. If I do meet friends then its almost always a few days ahead of my birthday.