Adoption = Progress, Part 2

Continued from Adoption = Progress, Part 1

Our first five years in about five minutes (each).

Year Three

I sit, chin in hands, watching Despicable Me for the 674th time.

The boy and I sit on opposite ends of the couch, each leaning against pillows with our feet in the middle. The space between us yawns. Our girl, even further away, sprawls on her pink bean bag. She won’t sit with us.

This movie has been the soundtrack (movietrack?) to our lives. If you haven’t seen it, click the link above for a general storyline. This year has been better.

The adoption finalized in May. We moved to a new school in September; their special education department is phenomenal. My children will get the help they need. The school agreed that he may need an aide but the principal wants our boy to try school without one. She told him she believes in him. I watched his little chest swell as he shook her hand and promised his best effort. So far, so good.

He has a male teacher this year. I hope he’ll respond well. Thanks to the ineffective, unconcerned or downright malicious representatives of the female gender he’s had in his life, he arrived with an unhealthy disdain of women. I’m the exception, but it’s been a tough road. He still responds better to Hubby, but he listens to me most of the time.

I’ve developed a persona we call “Military Mama.” She arrives whenever he needs a drill sergeant (which was often, but she’s making fewer appearances these days). I think he actually likes it.

Someone once told me, “If you put sheep in a pasture without fencing, they’ll bunch in a group, terrified. If you put them in a pasture with fencing, they’ll spend all day reaching through the fence for the grass on the other side, pushing on the posts and testing for weakness. Kids are like that. They like boundaries.”

This kid definitely likes boundaries. And testing them.

He holds his belly, laughing hard at some predicament Gru (one of the main characters) has created. From his end of the couch, he moves his little socked feet to touch my toes but doesn’t look at me.

I stare at our feet in wonder.

Year Four

I sit on the couch, chin in hands.

I’m in my usual spot, but this time our boy is cuddled up with Hubby in the big chair. They’ve come so far; the boy now adores his daddy. Also, this time we watch Despicable Me 2. When it comes to movies, these kids are loyal and consistent. If only school involved Minions. Hmmmm….liiiiiight-buuuuulb! (Movie reference, sorry.)

This year, our son’s teacher is a longtime friend of ours. I’m a little terrified she may never speak to us again, but she’s a veteran, so I have hope.

Last year was sporadic; the teacher shared our boy’s love of science and we saw him blossom in some areas. He didn’t have the patience or training to deal with his difficult behavior, which was unfortunate. In spite of those incidents, we ended the year as friends and he seems interested in our boy’s continued success. He was part of the group that recommended this teacher.

The teacher calls me. “We’re going on a field trip. I know you attended all the trips last year as a one-on-one for your son, but I’d like to try this trip without you. We’re going to the military museum to look at Civil War artifacts. They have areas for all the major wars; it’s all very contained and we’ll be indoors the whole time. He’s been successful in the classroom, over all, and I think he can handle it.” I’m shocked, but agree.

I spend the entire field trip day alternating between fretting and fervent prayer.

She calls me after school. “He did great! He stayed right by my side. Our only minor issue was the artillery room.”  I hold my breath and wait. Had he climbed a display? Tried to touch something? Or—please, no—tried to pocket a bullet?

“We’re not allowed to talk about guns at school, you know. When we entered the artillery room, he had his lips pressed together and his eyes were just pleading. I told him, ‘in here, you can talk about guns all you want.’ He was so relieved, I had to laugh.”

After the call, I do a little happy dance, and our old German Shepherd leans against me in reproach. He thinks I have no rhythm.

As a reward, we watch a movie. Yes, on a school night.

If you’re not familiar with it, DM2 is about an adoptive family gaining a mother. At the end of the movie, Agnes (the youngest child) says, “She kisses my boo boos, she braids my hair…My new mom Lucy is beyond compare.” Tonight, my son quotes along with her, replacing “Lucy” with my name. He looks at me and says, “I love you, Mama.”

I stare at him, eyes brimming.



Writing 101 Day 13 assignment: tell a story through a series of vignettes (short, episodic scenes or anecdotes) that together read as variations on the same theme.


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 September 27, 2015, in Adoption, Blogging101, Writing101 and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 22 Comments.

  1. It is rewarding and so nice to read about the progress


  2. What a lovely post! All that hard work, from you and your partner and the kids, paying off! Well done- so lovely to read

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve got tears in my eyes and can’t see well and have to go get dressed for work. Again, you all bless me so much! Lots of love!

    Liked by 2 people

    • And I have to get dressed for bed, ha. Hope you have a lovely day!!! (Unrelated: I heard a South African accent yesterday and wondered how long you live there before picking it up. Or do you just keep the one you arrived with? I’d be working like crazy to get it as quickly as possible…) 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hope you slept well. 🙂

        People here say, “WOW! You still have your American accent after so many years!” And people back in San Francisco say, “WOAH! You have such a fun accent now.” I think some of my sounds have been rounded off, so I am closer to a Canadian accent than a South African one.

        I think the younger you are when you move somewhere, the more natural it is to pick up the accent. When I tried saying “bah nah’ nah” my girls said, “Ew, Mom! Don’t do that. It sounds so weird coming out of your mouth!” But I have picked up the vocab — otherwise I wouldn’t be understood. So now I can say, “Don’t use the hooter. I am coming just now. And pop the boot so I can load my koeksisters, crunchies and takkies.” 🙂


  4. This post was written beautifully and it was full of love and hope.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This series of yours is amazing and tear-inducing and inspiring all rolled into one! You and your children have a lot of courage


  6. Hi Casey
    The post is helpful for those looking to adopt and those who have. I’m glad you’re sharing the story.
    Hope you had a great weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Love this!!! You almost got my eyes brimming!

    Liked by 1 person

  1. Pingback: Adoption = Progress, Part 3 | Adoption =

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