seeing him anew

One of my sons came home from Korea at the age of 20 months, leaving behind his beloved foster mom as well as everything else he knew. His first year home wasn’t easy. It took him awhile to get brave enough to really trust that I was going to hang around.

During that tough first year my biggest concern was relationship-building. I prayed. I worried. I carried him everywhere. I slept with him at night. I read every attachment book known to man.

I always had hope for him. But mixed with the hope way down deep was a tiny fear that he would always be afraid of connecting with other people, that he would spend his life lonely and afraid to reach out.

Yesterday morning at the first break in Iowa testing, my son, now 9, got up to stretch and was immediately approached by another little boy for a conversation. My son knew him from our monthly homeschool skating day, but I didn’t really know they’d developed a real friendship.

My son greeted his friend happily and they chatted easily for awhile. I was pleased to realize that they felt comfortable enough to chat even when roller-skate tag wasn’t involved. I marveled at his ability to help the conversation keep flowing, and to dish out and receive the teasing jibes that are so central to boys’ conversations with each other.

Soon he was approached and greeted by a girl about his age as well, also known from skating. I watched bemused as the circle acommodated her as well, my son glowing in its center.

I thought suddenly of my son’s recent eagerness to chat with friends on the telephone. I then remembered how often lately I’ve caught him deep in game-playing with other kids at church.

Somehow this son who was so tentative with relationships as a tiny child has blossomed into a boy who relishes relationships. A boy who is good at them.

I am scurrying to ‘catch up’ my perception of him to embrace the new, maturing person that he is. And in my eyes are tears of delight at the friendly, happy young man he is becoming.

What a gift it is to witness this.

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  1. I love this for you. It is deeply satisfying to see our children develop great traits! Thanks for sharing it.

  2. sillyspring says:

    As a foster & adoptive parent, I totally and absolutely empathize with your post. It was as if I was reading my own blog. It’s great to hear of his growth…..mine are growing, too. God bless!

  3. Aw! You done good, Mom. Just reading that made me feel happy and proud of him, and I don’t even know him! Yay!

  4. Wonderful!

  5. May I live to see the day.

  6. Aww. He sounds like he is growing into a wonderful young man.

  7. This is wonderful. What a special thing to see that your boy has adjusted so well and is secure about himself. 🙂

  8. Sniff. I’m happy for you (and touched by the wonderful way you expressed this).

  9. Aww! That’s lovely!

  10. Yay for him 🙂

  11. Thanks for sharing that sweet story. My dd (7) came home at 20 months but had nver attached to anyone before. She was kept in a box for 16 months and then went through 5 foster homes before us. She is diagnosed with RAD and FAS but in the past year I have started seeing a change in her. It is so exciting to see even though the steps are small. She has told me she loves me three times this week and she didn’t want anything. Such a blessing to live through. SO glad things are going well with your son.

  12. He’s a great kid, Mary 🙂 keep up the good work!

  13. This really struck home with me since we just arrived home less than a week ago with a 17 month old from Korea. I have the same fears as you. I’m glad it worked out so well with your son! I’d love any specific tips you have for toddler adoption!

  14. Isn’t it wonderful to look at today and remember the tears and prayer of years gone by and see how bountifully they were answered? We need those encouragements, and isn’t it nice when we stop for a moment and notice?

  15. Thank you for this post! We are in the adoption process and I have no idea what age our child will come to us and what her situation will be. The thought of them leaving someone they loved so dearly crushes my heart, but this is great encouragement to know that life will continue to go and they will heal and love!

  16. great post…even greater reason to celebrate!