MARY MEAUX — Celebrating my ‘gotcha day’

Published 12:05 am Thursday, December 1, 2022

I’ve only recently learned the phrase “gotcha day” referring to the anniversary of the day a person was adopted and joined a family.

My actual “gotcha day” was Nov. 1, 1968 but my mom always considered Dec. 1, 1965 as the day “she got me.”

Thinking about all of this lead me to dig into my important papers box and find the certified copy of my adoption papers. On the front it states “In Re: Adoption of Kechia (with my middle and last name), Minor.”

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I’m leaving out middle and last name on here though people that know me know my former full name and the story.

The legal document notes when affidavits were filed and how an investigator appointed by the court investigated my former home and the home of my parents.

It tells how I had been living with my then future parents and that my birth parents consented to the adoption.

My name change was also in the document, going from Kechia P. to Mary Catherine Vidrine.

I was told about the gotcha day from as long as I can remember but now as a grandmother and somewhat mature I understand the meaning.

My parents were 52 and 59 with two grown sons with families and eight grandchildren when I came into their lives as a 9-month-old bald headed baby. Mom kept the, for lack of a better word, gown that I had on when she got me and I still have it packed away. It is stained and not much to look at. I’m sure I never wore it again.

I grew up hearing how blessed I was and how loved I was and I have to admit, after a while I pushed the sentiment to the back of my head. But now the 57-year-old me understands what the older folks meant.

Some of that understanding comes from age, some from; I dare say wisdom, life experiences and my job.

I have siblings, four from my birth mom’s side and possibly one more somewhere. I knew of three of them from as long as I can remember and only “found” the baby of the bunch in recent years.

Through a DNA test done more than 15 years ago I learned there is zero percent chance the man on my birth certificate is my biological father.

And I learned through Ancestry only a few years ago that I have two half sisters by the man that was my actual birth father.

Yes there was some hanky panky going on even though the sisters on the father’s side deny it. I’ll just stop on that part of the parentage because some of that side lives locally.

For a time in my life I griped about being sheltered and how other kids got to do this or that.

If my (adoptive) parents were still around I would thank them for shielding me from the ugliness of the world and for loving me as if I was their biological child because I never felt any different.

Happy gotcha day to me!


Mary Meaux is a news reporter at The Port Arthur News. She can be reached at