My journey to parenthood was a long and difficult one. We struggled with infertility for a long time before turning to adoption, only to have the Guatemalan adoption process halt in its tracks just weeks after we were matched with our son but before he was allowed to come home. An already difficult and long process became more so.
My son finally came home malnourished and old enough to know that his whole world had just been abruptly turned upside down. The poor kid did not have an easy beginning and his challenges have turned into struggles that will stay with him indefinitely. Being diagnosed with ADHD, speech/language delays and learning disabilities will make school a complicated place for him.
My son joined a family where, though not “rich”, we are comfortable. He will not want for much and he will have the financial opportunity to go to college if he wants to. He will grow up with clean water and more than enough food. By chance or divine intervention (or whatever you want to give credit) my son joined a family with a mom that has some experience with students with learning struggles. As a former teacher, I knew when and where to go and get him help when his development was delayed. His life will be as different as possible from what it would have been in Guatemala.
People frequently say to me that he is lucky to have been adopted into this family. But you see-I am the lucky one. I am the lucky one because he made me a mom and there is no bigger honor in the world. He gave me my golden ticket to the best club in the world; a club whose membership had long been denied to me.
But even more importantly, I have the most extreme pleasure to be HIS mom. When I think about the difficulties this kid has had to overcome I want to cry. But he is the strongest, bravest person I know. Nothing gets him down. Every day he teaches me something about perseverance and determination. Many times I start to feel sorry for myself because we’re rushing from one therapist to the next or from one IEP meeting at school to a med check at his doctor. Sometimes the management of it all overwhelms me. But he is happy and never complains. He also teaches me every day about kindness and purity. He has such a good heart. He is never mean to anyone and he wants so badly to do the right thing. Even in my snarky moments he is good. He is my hero.
So how can it be anything else but me as the lucky one? I feel certain that he is teaching me more than I can ever teach him. God knows I have a lot to learn!