I’m a new mom! I’ve already told you a bit about my three girls. Just over a month ago, after years of trying, we added a boy to our family – a healthy, beautiful 13-year-old boy.
Two years ago my husband and I started the process to adopt a child from foster care. It was a harrowing process. But we made it through unscathed and licensed to adopt. I could go on a tirade about the process… the selecting, the waiting, the not getting picked… the long terrible process. Meanwhile children are hurting, living without any permanency….
But a rant about the foster care system is not my purpose here.
In January, our social worker told us about The Boy (hereafter referred to as such for privacy and all that). In March, he moved in with us. We don’t know all the details about how The Boy wound up in the foster care system, and honestly, it’s not important that we know. What’s important is that we feed him, shelter him, keep him safe, and embrace him into our family.
With what he’s been through – taken from his parents, moving foster homes, changing schools, and all the disappointment and heartbreak that goes along with it – he’s still a vibrant, funny, smart young man. He’s living by our house rules (with some resistance). He’s accepting the girls as his sisters (and vice versa). He wants to do well in school and he wants to join in outside activities like sports and scouting. He’s really a good kid who’s been handed a bad deal. But he’s trying to rise above it – he’s not using it as an excuse to get sympathy or to accept less from his life, but as motivation to be more.
It’s not always rainbows and butterflies… There are bad days. The terrible teenager rears its ugly head and gets angry and stomps off and slams doors, usually in response to a “stupid rule” or crazy teenage drama or just distress from the situation he’s in. And on those terrible days, I feel scared, frustrated, overwhelmed.
But most days are good days. And when he smiles and laughs and his big blue eyes sparkle and he calls me “Mom,” all I feel is love.