Adoption = Occasional Victories

For the last three years, on four separate occasions each year, my friends posted jubilant messages on every possible social media outlet.

“My son is amazing! All A’s! Future Rocket Scientist, here!”

“Suzie Queue got Honor Roll. AGAIN!”

“My Ralphie with his award for Citizenship. Check out that tweed jacket. Cutest pic ever!”

“We are so proud. All eight of our children made honor roll! So blessed.”

Here are my imaginary reply posts.

“My son decked his Kindergarten classmate! Super amazing. Pretty sure he’ll be an MMA fighter when he grows up.”

“My daughter is doing Second Grade. AGAIN!”

“My kid doesn’t know the meaning of the word ‘Citizenship,’ but we’re pretty sure he was dropped off by the Mothership.”

“I can’t imagine having eight children. We only have two. Thank God.”
It’s not easy to watch the success of others, especially when it comes easy or “gets handed to” them, but it’s exponentially more difficult to watch the success of someone else’s child when yours is struggling so hard. For the last three years, I’ve bitten my tongue more times than I’d like to admit.

“Who gives a rip if your perfect kid made honor roll. Of course she made all A’s. You’ve been personally tutoring her since birth and making sure she has every opportunity to learn. My kid made a D on his test, but he FINISHED the test. Since it’s usually a struggle for him to even complete the assignment in the allotted time, this is a huge win for him.”

“My girl finally grasped the idea of subtraction last night. She hates being the oldest child in her class, but holding her back was the best thing we ever did for her. We’re building a foundation for her life that no one else bothered to build. Watching the light come on in her eyes when she understands a math concept — now, that’s priceless.”

It has been a very long road. The last three years were very difficult (also known as HellonEarth, as I’ve explained before). This fourth year appears to  be a time for cautious optimism. We may be turning a corner, or it may be the eye in the center of Hurricane Hyena. It’s a little too early to rejoice or even relax, but Hubby and I are starting to believe again. This was actually a good idea. We can save their lives. They can learn, grow and be successful. God’s love can make a difference.

They brought their report cards home last week. Neither had grades below a B. This is the FIRST TIME neither has had a “D” on their report card. If, three years ago, two  years ago, or even last year, you’d tried to tell me this day would come, I probably would have laughed, a little sadly. “I wish. They would be so happy.” We’re truly not worried about the grades, other than the fact that they reflect learning and retention. We always tell the kids that C is great, and anything higher is bonus. Honestly, this “Honor Roll” thing was a goal they set themselves. And to see the look in their eyes when they realized they had attained their “B Honor Roll” standard was nothing short of amazing.

I didn’t post their success on any media outlet. I didn’t call my friends. I actually thought about not writing this post. Why? I know there are others out there who are still in HellonEarth. You may not want to hear it, because it shows in stark relief the long road you have ahead. I decided to go ahead and write this post, though, because I want you to know: IT CAN HAPPEN. If our kids can succeed in spite of all they’ve been through, so can yours.

Keep in mind, though, it’s not about grades. Growing up in my house, grades were a big deal. Here’s what I’ve learned in the last three years: celebrate every victory, no matter how small. Don’t worry about what everyone else’s kid is doing. Your child is special. Uniquely gifted. Absolutely one-of-a-kind. Be sure you don’t overlook the smaller –but still amazing– hills they take as they climb the mountain range. Find out what THEIR goals are, and support them.

We’ve already had our shot at glory. Now it’s their turn.

About Casey

Adoption = my life. I'll give it to you straight. Success, failure, truth.

Posted on November 19, 2014, in Adoption, advice, parenting and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. thank you. thank you. thank you. as an adult adoptee ( and adoptive mom) I want to say I went down Alice’s rabbit hole and disappeared for a long time in my 20’s. grace from my parents pulled me out 1 tiny step at a time. they were 3,000 miles away. don’t know why i’m saying this, just hoo ha for the assortment of what success looks like.

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  2. I knew there was a reason I couldn’t sleep tonight, was supposed to get up and read this 🙂 AWESOME post!! So happy for you and your kids and the wisdom you once again show! Can personally identify with this and what you say in the end is so true about the hills they are climbing! Thank you for a inspiring post again and now I may be able to sleep 🙂

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  3. Thank you for posting this.
    I wonder if we will ever see a light at the end of the tunnel.
    Perseverance pays off.

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  4. Followed the link you put on reddit. Yep. My daughter uses 90% of her daily energy just to get thru school each day, let alone work on grades and such. Yet she does it. But we spent several years getting here and it was not pretty, lol!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Even though I Have said this before, yours are posts I cannot get tired of reading (honestly). I love this! Truly inspirational.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Wish I could hit that “like” button a few hundred times! THANK YOU for posting this!!! It is an amazing bit of super encouragement. (Think I will, once again, print it and read it to the staff tomorrow!) This is what we need to hear. This is what we need to see. YES! It is a long, hard road. (I tend to forget how many years it was between leaving Egypt and settling in the Promised Land and all the hell in between.) Your story blesses us and inspires us to carry on! Please excuse me while I go back and read your piece again. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  1. Pingback: Great Chocolate. Bad Advice. Part 1 | Adoption =

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