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.
Posted on November 19, 2014, in Adoption, advice, parenting and tagged adopt, adopted, adopting, adoption, child, children, foster, goals, grades, parent, parenting, school. Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.