Adoption Day. Usually, the day a child’s adoption was finalized is considered to be the child’s Adoption Day. Recently, celebrating an Adoption Day has become controversial. (Well, really, what hasn’t become controversial in the adoption community?) Many people from all parts of the adoption triad ask, “Why would you celebrate the day a child lost his family?”
My children did not lose their families on their Adoption Days. Legally, their birth parents’ rights were terminated very shortly after they were born. However, we’ve been in contact with their birth families since before our children were born. Our children have not lost their families at all. They’ve each lost the chance to be parented by their birth parents, and the lives that go with that, but they never lost their birth families.
On the flip side, my children gained an entirely new family with two parents, aunts, uncles, cousins (and more cousins, oh how many cousins!). They gained experiences that they never would have had, had they remained with their birth families. Some of those experiences—explaining adoption, Jackson being told that his Grandpa couldn’t be his Grandpa because “that man is white,” missing their birth siblings—are sad. Some of those experiences—Montessori school, attending birthday parties, playing sports, taking lessons—are happy.
Celebrating Adoption Day also guarantees us at least two days per year to talk about adoption. That may sound odd, but kids don’t always like to talk about adoption-related subjects. My son went through a phase where he didn’t want to really deal with adoption. (That was actually right after a phase where all he wanted to talk about was adoption.) Celebrating Adoption Day also means that our children know that adoption isn’t anything to be ashamed of. I’ve met so many adult adoptees online who felt that their adoptive parents weren’t open to discussing adoption at all. I think Adoption Day clearly communicates the fact that we are open to discussing adoption and all of its parts.