D has been with us for one year! I can't believe it. He came two days after our first placement (the twins) left. I remember watching him hop out of his social worker's red car. His fro was half his height, an actual 14 inches! He had grey sweat pants on, one leg pushed up. He was 2 and a half, but had experienced more than his little potty mouth would ever tell us. His superman sweatshirt went to his knees, and his superman backpack to his ankles. He had swagger as he crossed our busy street. I thought they'd told me the wrong age. This little man crossing the street is not 2?!
But then we opened the front door. And his facade was gone. He realized what was happening. Because after all, he'd done this before, six other times. Another home, more strangers, different rules, he'd been there, done that. He had to be pushed through the front door, where he immediately hid his head. I would pay 1 million dollars to know what he was thinking in that moment. And the moments that followed. He was a scared baby boy.
For months he slept with the light on in his room. Not the lamp, the over head light. I would turn it out in the middle of the night on my way to the bathroom, and on my return trip, it would be back on. He would wake up screaming throughout the night. But when I would go in, he did not want me to hold him. I remember nights just sitting by his bed as he would scream and writhe in fear. But I couldn't touch him.
I can't even imagine that boy now. He is so different. He has come so far.
In many ways this year has been the longest year of my life. The constants of what it means to be parenting a child from such hurt. The overwhelming joy in seeing healing. The emotional roller coaster of foster care, the ups and the downs, the fear, the joys, the sorrow, the surprises.The adoption completion, oh wait, that was just the beginning...
And, he and I push each other more than any of the rest. But it might be because we're more similar than the others. We are passionate people who don't give up:)
And when it all comes down to it, I can't imagine our lives without him. And I can't imagine him without us. We really do make each other whole. Before Demetrius Luke we were not us. We were missing him.
On the day of his adoption I wrote this. And I still mean it all. He is the most caring and loving boy I know. He is so protective of his family. He is often anxious and scared when he perceives things are not "right". And often times his perceptions cue the rest of us in to what is going on. He is the most wonderful. He is in tune with people more than anyone I've ever met. He is courageous and bold, he dreams big, he loves big, and he is ours forever.
Here's to another year... And another, and another, and another, and another, and forever.
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