Yearly Adoption Gotcha Day Gift Ideas

One year ago, we walked into a stuffy, sterile office building in the bustling city of Hefei, China to meet our son for the first time and welcome him into our family by adoption (you can read more about that day here).  While that moment looked different than how most people meet their children, it was so special.  To mark the occasion, we celebrate “gotcha day” every year.

As part of that celebration we plan to gift him a small but special gift from China each year until he graduates from high school. So, that meant we looked and purchased 17 gifts while on our adoption trip in China. Some are sentimental, some are more fun. Some didn’t cost much money and some were more expensive.

I thought I would share this idea in case you are adopting and might want to do the same thing while on your adoption trip.

China Adoption Gifts Ideas

China Adoption Gotcha Day Gift Ideas

1st Gotcha Day Gift Ideas

gotcha day gift ideas for Chinese Adoptees

For our son’s first Gotcha day we got him a set of traditional Chinese silks. In addition, to the silks, we bought all of our kid’s sister and brother shirts.

gotcha day gift ideas for Chinese Adoptions

On his first Gotcha day, we opened presents, took pictures in his new silks and had Pizza Hut pizza on our living room floor. On the day we got him, we had Pizza Hut pizza delivered to our hotel room and ate on the floor so we thought it would be a fun tradition to keep. Other families enjoy Chinese food. It’s really up to you!

More Gotcha Day Gift Ideas

gotcha day gifts for toddler
  • Age 4 – Musical Instruments
  • Age 5 – Chinese Map Puzzle
  • Age 6 – Hand-painted fan
gotcha day gifts for kids
  • Age 7 – Dragon puppet
  • Age 8 – Waving Kitty
  • Age 9 & 10 – Lego Sets

We found the lego sets at the Beijing Lego Store. You cannot find these Lego sets in the United States at the moment, so make sure to buy them in China!

gotcha day gifts for teen
  • Age 11 – 3D Panda Puzzle
  • Age 12 – Chinese Checkers Set
  • Age 13 – Guangzhou Ball Activity
  • Age 14 – Great Wall of China Puzzle
  • Age 15 – Chinese/English Bible
Chinese adoption gifts ideas for teens
  • Age 16 – Name, Birthday & Adoption day Calligraphy
  • Age 17 – Chinese birthyear Jade Necklace
  • Age 18 – Personalized Chinese / American name stamp
  • Age 19 – Chinese birth year ornament

Adoptee Wedding Day Gift Idea

In addition to the adoption day gifts, we also purchased a set of pearl earrings for our son to give his bride on their wedding day. My sister-in-law who adopted my niece bought her a pearl necklace for her wedding day. We purchased the pearls on a day trip with our adoption group to the pearl market in Guangzhou.

Some Gotcha Day Common Questions

Where did you find the adoption gifts at in China?

We purchased many of the items on a day trip to Shaiman Island while we were in Guangzhou waiting for our visas to process. When we saw something during the trip we bought it since we weren’t sure we would see it again. It ended up begin a good rule of thumb.

How do you store the gifts?

When we got home I labeled each gift with a sticky note of the age we would give it to him on and placed all the gifts in a waterproof storage tote in our basement.

Where did you find your personalized gifts?

Our guide had a Chinese Calligrapher come to the hotel. Ask your adoption guide, they will know where you can find items like this.

How do you know what your child’s Chinese birth year is?

You can find out here.

Where can I learn more about your adoption journey?

Chinese Adoption Process
Gotcha Day Story
Orphanage Visit Story

Happy Gotcha Day!

No matter how you choose to celebrate, with gifts each year from China or not, gotcha day is a special day for adoptive families. Being able to remember our son’s birth culture and heritage is important to us and this is just one of the many ways we celebrate that with him. Happy Gotcha Day!


Until next time keep on keeping on with a simple purposeful life!

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gifts for adoptees

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