Adoption = Heartbreak, Part 2

Watching the process of healing—especially when progress is slow—can bring molar-grinding frustration. Last night, I was incredibly discouraged. Our little guy has been doing so well. We’ve come so far from the “insane hyena” stage in just a couple years. I couldn’t help thinking, “Why tonight?” as he struggled to explain his desperate sadness and anger.

Their counselors said the amount of time needed for healing will likely be at least twice as long as the trauma (so depending on whether years in foster care count–and I have a feeling they do– he’ll be able to hit a good level of healing by age 9 or 15, and hers will be either age 15 or 21). On one hand, that’s a little discouraging, but on the other, it gives us a good level of expectation and keeps us from getting frustrated with lack of immediate progress.

If it had to happen, the timing couldn’t be worse as far as I’m concerned. His entire school is in full throes of end-of-year testing. I understand that the event was probably triggered by the stress radiating from every little body in the building (and from some not-so-little bodies, as well).

A wise man once said, tears last for the night, but joy comes in the morning (Psalm 30:5).

This morning, he was still a bit out of sorts, unfocused, spacey. But his face no longer held anguish. Of all things, he forgot his glasses and I didn’t notice until I dropped the two of them at school. “Where are your glasses? You need them!”

Ever the sage, he nodded. “Good point.”

I zipped back to the house and brought the necessary accessory to the office. Since testing was beginning, they called him to the office rather than let me walk to the classroom. In general, he’s not open with his affection in public, but when I handed him his glasses, he hugged me tight, then tipped his toes up to kiss my cheek. Twice. I can count on one hand the number of times he’s kissed me outside our house.

“You’re gonna do great, buddy. Just remember the patterns we studied last night and decide if you need to add or multiply!” He’d called the patterns requiring the same number added between each number “adders,” and then we had a discussion about snakes called adders (because it’s totally relevant to math, of course). He grinned up at me. “Add the snakes!”


This afternoon, I picked them up; both kids were cheery. Right now we’re at therapy (occupational for him, speech for her, back-to-back appointments). He asked if he could go sit outside in the grass. Since half the building is glass and I can see most of the front and parking lot, I agreed. He keeps looking back, giving me the ASL sign for “I love you,” and every time the door opens, he calls in, smiling, “Love ya, mom!”


Some nights are incredibly hard, but joy shows up each morning. If you’re dealing with ongoing night (as we did the first few years), know this…morning is coming!


Image belongs to Casey Alexander.

Video from Jesus Culture. I assume the Spanish subtitles are correct. 🙂 I’ve been brushing up on my Espanol…


About Casey

Adoption = my life. I'm determined to give my kids the chance they deserve. Adoption isn't always easy. I promise, you're not alone in this. Join me at - we're in this together.

Posted on May 27, 2015, in Adoption, parenting, Writing101 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. You probably already do, but save up those morning moments like hot coals to keep you warm on those cold, cold nights.


  2. Everything changes, everything is just a stage. This too will end. It’s a good concept to hold onto when going through those tough times. All the best 🙂


  3. You are doing a great job and the gift you give to these children is huge! Keep it up!


  4. LOVE This and so NEEDED it, for yes I am experiencing the night but I know morning is promised! Hug your little boy for me!


  1. Pingback: Adoption = Heartbreak, Part 1 | Adoption =

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