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Gotcha Day

Hope Goudy


November 10th is a special day for me… November 10th, 1997 was the day I was adopted from DaNang, Vietnam. I was 6 months old… We call this day my “Gotcha Day” and we celebrate it every year…

Growing up I always celebrated it with my family. We’d always have Vietnamese food and it was a second birthday. And it was always just as extravagant as my actual birthday. After I moved out and to Nashville I celebrated it in different ways… I got to understand what it meant to be adopted and how thankful I am that I was…

I recently partnered with Holt International, which is an adoption agency that also runs a camp I went to from the age of 8-17. I had the privilege of going back to camp this year (after not going for four years) to perform and hangout with all the campers. It was so much fun and I got a lot of press opportunities! But right before I went back I had to reflect on my adoption and how I felt as an adoptee. If I’m being honest, I didn’t feel much at the time. I was so young when I was adopted and I had based my perception off of stories that I had heard from my family.

My parents video recorded my adoption and the tapes been sitting at my father’s house in Oregon on a shelf… And I had never watched it…

After talking to my father about it, he sent me the tape, and after 21 years I had the honor to watch it with my Grandma and some of my aunts & uncles... It was amazing to watch… I can’t describe all the emotions that I went through watching it. But it put every story I have ever heard about it into perspective for me. My family had told me that I was sick and fighting a ear infection and wasn’t very healthy… To see that was crazy to me. Like “Whoa, they saved me…”

I want to note that I was incredibly well taken care of. One of the hardest things to watch was to see how loved I was by my caretakers and how hard it was for them to give me away. But they did because they knew I had a better life to live with my family.

I am 21 years old now. My life post adoption has been full of hard times, struggles, loss, and tough lessons learned. But I now reside in Nashville, TN living a life that I always thought could only be just a dream. I always say if I wasn’t supposed to be someone and make a difference in this world I would still be in Vietnam… I know a lot of adoptees have mixed feelings about adoption and I am not going to tell other adoptees how they should feel about their adoption but I want to say that I am proud and thankful to be an adoptee and I am beyond thankful for the struggle my adoptive parents had to go through to adopt me and then to raise me…

Every situation is different. For example, my older sister and I have very different adoptee stories with their own negatives and sadness. But with every negative comes a positive. You just have to find it within your story.

Thank you to everyone who was a part of my adoptions and life and to everyone that has wished me a happy gotcha day.