I was adopted by my parents on December 22, 1984. (I know it’s the 23rd in Korea right now, but it’s the 22nd in the States, and that’s what I’m basing this post on. So there.) While the adoption paperwork was not legally finalized, December 22 was the date when a Korean lady handed me off to the people I now call Mom and Dad. We call this day my “anniversary.” It’s the day that I gained a family, and it has a significant meaning to me.
When I was little, my parents usually gave me a small gift, and we went out to eat. This usually meant going to Pizza Hut – the only restaurant where my mom would tolerate my sister, Dad, and I shooting small spit balls at each other with our straws. I remember announcing to random strangers that it was my anniversary and getting strange looks back. It wasn’t until much later that I learned that the word “anniversary” was usually thought of as a wedding anniversary. It was also a shock to learn that this custom wasn’t one limited to my family. When I went to college, I became friends with another adopted girl who also celebrated her adoption anniversary. Living in a small town with little exposure to other families with adopted children made me to believe that everything that my family did was restricted to my family alone.
So it makes me curious. What traditions regarding adoption did other families have? Is it similar to my experiences?