What? Me Worry?

What? Me Worry?

With apologies to Alfred E. Newman.

My wife and I have been devoting a significant amount of time to worrying over one of my kids.  He’s having a very hard time adjusting to our move and is very homesick.

Plus, he’s at an age where image is everything and is tied intimately to what one’s peers think of you.

We hurt very much for him, because he’s a great kid and know that his new friends will love him once they get to know him like we do, and like the friends back home did.

Last weekend, a girl from his old school wrote an email asking if our son was OK because of the hurricanes.  We wrote her mom back and said that our son would call Saturday to let her know everything was OK.

The next day, we spoke with the girl and her mom.  The little girl got up at 6 AM (!!!) because she thought my son could call at any time.  This is an 8 year old girl, BTW.

Like all parents, I think my kids are super special.  But by any objective measure, not many kids engender that kind of devotion to friendship from a classmate, at 8 years old.  And this is not isolated – my son is just a good friend.

And that is why we are pained so – for the moment anyway.  He is finding this new school really tough to crack.

I know he’ll do well, and this will be a happy memory (one day!).

But for now, we’re bracing for a report card period that will probably be less than stellar and are pouring as much additional attention and praise as we can toward my son until he can find his way.

You wish always to minimize hurt and pain for any of your loved ones.  Sometimes growing up is just hard.

Any advice from more sage parents would be most welcome.

Mistakes? No – Blessings

Mistakes? No – Blessings

Both of my sons are adopted.

Both were open adoptions, and we met the birth moms before each was born.

My oldest son got to meet the birth mom of our youngest.  In fact, one of the most touching family moments we ever had was when my five year old son went to the birth mother of our youngest son and said “thank you” – spontaneous and unprompted – in the hospital when we took him home.

Anyone who has ever been in a hospital room with a birth mom about to surrender her child knows that it an emotionally charged atmosphere.  I lack the words to adequately describe it – but think of the hardest thing that you have ever had to do, and then mix in knowing your intense happiness involves the despair of another human or family – and that comes pretty close.

We have gone through this process four times; twice with birth mothers who decided not to go through with a placement, and two times that resulted in placements.

Today, the politics of “family values” was very front and center and appears will be front and center for much of the news cycles this week.

What has caught me off guard today – though I am keenly aware of it – is the pejorative way in which a large number of people view adoption.

One person on Twitter said that they “didn’t want to adopt someone else’s mistakes.”

Intellectually, I know that many share this feeling – but it is always like a cold slap to the face when you find yourself confronted so nakedly.

For my wife and I, our sons are the best things that have ever happened to us.  And they are by no stretch “mistakes” – they are real people with real hopes, dreams, and potential.

I’m writing this neither to be Pro-Adoption or Pro-Life or to make any political statement whatsoever.

I’m writing this only because I’m a father who loves my family above all else.

And I celebrate the love that our son’s birth mothers had for their children, allowing us to be the parents of the most precious gifts anyone ever gave us.

To anyone who cares to listen.