Here is the story.
Happy Adoption Day or not?
AJ's birthday is the day of his birth, the day he was born to his birth mother. His adoption day is the day a Russian judge signed papers to proclaim that we could be a family and we are proud of that.
Unfortunately, many people don't believe that we should be allowed this family celebration because they believe we, as adoptive parents, are celebrating the day he was "ripped" from his biological family.
What many people don't understand (and I am talking about some disgruntled adoptees) is that every adoption is different. When we went to Russia we unknowingly adopted a special needs child. We adopted a little guy who may never cognitively understand the concept of a birth mother even though he may somewhat grasp that he was adopted from an orphanage and that he lived there before we came to him.
He answers questions about his adoption day, about his orphanage or about Russia. But to him they are just scripts. At the age of five he tells us he lived in Russia but he does not understand it.
So, when we celebrate his adoption and being a family it is to remind him of who he is, where he came from, and just how much we love him. He had a difficult time attaching to us so it is so wonderful to see him smile at us and tell us how much he loves us.
So, what did we do to celebrate? We did what he has been wanting to do for months (and what every little boy wants to do). We took the train downtown to the city. We ran an errand to the Guatemalan Consulate and then walked down Michigan Avenue. AJ loves to window shop.
The one store he wanted to go into? The Disney Store...
After one surprise purchase at the store our hunger pains drew us to Ed Debevic's, a classic Chicago stop. Unfortunately, AJ's sensory issues got the best of him and he ended up eating his french fries on the train. He did, however, love the orange pop and the dancing servers.
On the tran ride home he boasted to every passerby that he got a new firetruck for his adoption day and he was as proud as he could be. For him it was about the special day and spending time with us not about being "ripped from his birth mother". As he gets older and asks more questions the day may be filled with more grief and the celebration may be more of just a dinner or a card but it is the day we remember becoming a family...becoming three.