i'm K, n my late twenties, married to M, living in the usa. i am mom to my sweet boy S. we are a transracial family formed through foster care adoption.
this blog began as an adoptive mommy's notes to and about her future children... and along the road during the process of our first adoption, became the story of S our first son who is currently fourteen. we are blessed beyond compare to know and love this boy as our own. he has been home with us since september of 2012. his adoption date will be next year.
i have a passion to see older children and teens who do not have parents get a forever family. we have decided not to have children of "our own" and to adopt all of our children. "be the change you want to see in the world."
these kids in care are not "too old" to be loved or be part of a family. thank you for reading our story and i encourage you to think about fostering and adopting older children yourself!
feel free to inbox me/ask me questions. i love to hear from you.
my son’s adoption will finally, FINALLY be finalized on monday. fourteen years old was not too old for a forever family. this boy lights up my life!!! so thankful for him and the love he brings, the love he teaches me every day…
it has been a little over six months since my son has come home… and i have to say, what a difference this time has made! my son is comfortable here now. in the beginning, he was so closed, cautious, and afraid. it was like yanking teeth to get him to talk about anything real, or to get him to face problems/fears. these days? he actually responds when we ask what’s wrong. he trusts us to be there and help with the problems. he’s learning to talk through his emotions, which is huge. HUGE. he volunteers information liberally about school, his social life, and even his past. he just talks to us now. like any other kid does with their parents. in the beginning, he was silent and suspicious. now, he comes home from school and is all “maaa! hug me! look at my art! i got in trouble at school for talking back to the teacher. can you make rotel for dinner?” lol. oh bless his precious heart. i just love him! and i’m so happy to see how our family has grown together. we are so blessed.
he is so funny, too, about always trying to make sure i’m going to react like a mom would. he’ll tell me he did something, like disobeyed what i said, and i’ll start telling him how disobedience is not acceptable, and he’ll says “just kidding! i know you were gonna lecture me, just like a parent… you’re such a mom!” but you know what? discipline, overall, delights him. he loves knowing his dad and i are not letting things go or putting up with certain stuff. he got put on restriction this weekend and actually thanked my husband for it. he thanked him because “that’s what parents do.” why does he value it so much? because before, he had no adult who was that invested, who cared enough to stand up to him and guide him. he gets that. this isn’t to say there aren’t huge arguments and blow ups, because there are. but we walk away from them able to have reassured him that we’re not going anywhere, it’s okay to be mad, but there’s a better way to deal than to cuss your brains out and break things.
i think a lot of people are afraid to parent a kid like my son. but it’s not his fault he doesn’t know how to do some things, like handle anger and apologize. that is what we’re here to teach him. and he has come MILES. he has a huge problem saying “i’m sorry” but yesterday, i told him he needed to apologize to his dad for something… AND. HE. DID. oh God in heaven thank you!!! this is just a huge, huge step! i am so inspired by this kid. he is truly special. he is so, so precious. he is so, so deserving. God knew what he was doing when he put this little family together.
me: i love you son. do you believe that?
my son: no, not yet.
me: when do you think you’ll believe it?
my son: when you adopt me, i’ll believe that you love me.
me: can you tell me what the adoption will change in your mind to allow you to believe me?
my son: i’ll know you aren’t just saying you want to adopt me… i’ll know you really meant it.
me: son, adoption is not just a courtroom process. from day one and before day one, i saw you as my son. no judge can change or add to that. from day one i have loved you. and the adoption will not change where i am right now, which is here: i’ll never leave you. i’ll never send you away. i’ll always love you, no matter what happens or how you act. this is your forever family right now, not just after a court process.
my son: (hugging me tightly and staying there a few minutes.) i think i believe you now, mom. as long as i have you and dad, i don’t need anything else. not even video games!
me: well, since i am here to stay forever and ever, i guess we can trash the xbox huh?
my son: (laughing) … (suddenly nervous) wait… you ARE joking, right?
it’s christmastime!! best christmas ever… my son is here, and this is where he’ll have christmas every year to come. his older brother is staying with us this week too—K is in foster care, too, so getting the boys together for the holiday meant a lot to us and we’re glad we could make it happen. the cakes and pies are made, the stockings were opened this morning, under the tree is bursting with surprises. i’m so thankful for the best gift this year, which is my son safe and sound and home to stay.
today i put on my cream and yellow striped cardigan. i hadn’t seen it in awhile. in fact, i realized when i pulled it out of the closet, the last time i wore it was the day i met my teenage son at the adoption party for the first time. when he got home from school, he hugged me and then looked at me thoughtfully. “you were wearing that when i met you, weren’t you?” it was so sweet and meaningful to me that he remembered, too. we are definitely not your normal family… and i wouldn’t have it any other way.
on a night car ride home…
him: mom, tell me a story.
me: uhh… okay… err… umm… once upon a time..? there was… a … uhh?… frog… who…
him: no, no! not a made up story. the story of how you came to love me.
“it would be nice to have another kid here with us.” - my son earlier this week. i’m glad he’s open to the idea, because i have a sneaking suspicion that it won’t be that long before our family grows again… :)
“i’m so glad you’re my mother… you and dad have shown me things i never even knew about. i can talk to you guys about things no other adults would talk to me about.” - my son. my sweet, surprising, amazing and strong son.
i want to use this blog to vent for a minute. usually i maintain a positive attitude and there is no place for complaining in my life… however, this is something that i need to talk about.
i have a lot of friends who are adoptive parents of all different kinds. some have adopted babies at birth (most of what i talk about below will not apply to domestic adoption), some have adopted internationally, some have adopted from foster care. out of all of these parents only a couple of them respect or acknowledge birth families. one of my friends calls her children’s biological parents “the donors.” i know these particular people were drug addicts, child neglecters, abused their children, are half insane—have failed as parents—but they are PEOPLE… and they created the children you now call your own. honor that and respect it! these people matter. they will always be part of your child’s heritage and existence even if you don’t like it. don’t act like they exist or like they are the scum of the earth. that’s just wrong.
another thing that bothers me so, so much…. i see things on pinterest and adoption circles that say things like “you didn’t grow under my heart, but in it.” no—sorry—but your child that you adopted grew in his or her biological mother’s womb. stop trying to erase the truth from your life and your child’s life. adoption is COMPLEX and people need to stop trying to make adoption comparable to pregnancy. my mom even did this to me. i would get more paperwork and she would say something like “oh honey, it’s like morning sickness, the annoyance of the paperwork!” love you mom, and i know you were just trying to make me feel good but no… it wasn’t. and i don’t have to be pregnant to be happy about the way i’ve chosen to become a parent. i chose this path and have little to no desire to ever be pregnant—because my heart is with the kids who are already here on earth with no family. adoption is different than pregnancy.
and what about all the catchy adoption t-shirts/quotes/posters i see these days? “you were the child God chose for us - you grew in my heart, not under it - keep calm and adopt on - adoption is the new pregnant - no morning sickness yet, but the paper cuts are horrible! - i heart adoption - i did not create you in my image, i created you in the image of my heart.” etc, etc, etc…
all of these cliches make light of such a tragic circumstance and make the adoption all about the adoptive parent’s desire for a child. it’s selfish! i am so uneasy when i read these things, because it reminds me that very few consider the child’s story when they wear these t-shirts or post these sappy quotes on their facebook wall. they forget: a child has lost their first family, the ones they belong to by blood and heritage. maybe by sickness, death, abuse, neglect, poverty, relinquishment—who knows. each child will be affected differently by adoption. yes, a child who needs to be adopted being adopted into a loving home is a WONDERFUL thing… but consider, please, what adoption means to the child and the life-shaping nature of this hole in their identity and childhood. is it really something to celebrate that this child lost everything? i know that my son just wants to be normal. that he struggles being a black son to white parents and misses his birth family beyond what words can say. i wouldn’t ever imagine saying to him that his first mom was a “donor” or that he grew in my heart, or that i love adoption. honestly, i feel strangely about adoption. saddened by it. wrecked in my heart that adoption is so needed across the world today. so sad that the children are marooned in foster care and orphanages because their original family didn’t hold together for whatever reason.
so, that was my rant for today. thanks for reading. send me a message if you want to comment or have questions. xoxo…
my son: “i love you, mom. [pause] i love you too much. i need to cut back on it.”
welcome to the mind of a wounded child… who has learned that anyone they love and grow attached to disappears, so to protect themselves, they avoid attachment or love so that they don’t have to feel the pain all over again. i am begging anyone out there who has a heart for kids and courage… BE THE ONE WHO STAYS. be the love that lasts. consider adoption of older children.