We are moving into a more realistic pattern of life and out of the honeymoon stage. Junior has become comfortable enough with us to mildly challenge bed times or even lose his temper at school requiring a call home from the teacher. He is learning to take responsibility for his action. During all of this I keep thinking of Junior's birth parents and how they have made choices which led to them missing so many years of his life. I am working to develop a relationship with Junior's birth parents as they should still be connected to Junior, in whatever form that takes after the adoption.
We are working with Junior to help him understand how his early childhood is connected to living with us; there are connections missing, gaps in his understanding of how each phase is connected. Then we add puberty, teen hormones and the restructuring of the brain to complicate Junior's understanding. The kid has a lot going on so it is amazing he is doing so well. He is caring, can be considerate, is gentle, friendly, helpful, funny, curious and precious.
Many people have asked me how long it will be until we finalize the adoption. I expect it will be next September, maybe later before we get to finalize and make Junior our legal son. Regardless, he is our son, we are his parents. He may not call us Mom and Dad right now, but we are parents in every sense of the word. We make sure he attends school, we feed him, we take him to appointments, we take him to church, we are silly together, we discipline him, we fix his scraped knees, we get the calls from the school when he is disciplined, we receive the praise from others who tell us Junior is a great kid, and we rejoice in the wonderful being God has created we call Junior. Yes, I have a 3-inch binder with large quantities of information on Junior I have to maintain. Yes, we have month visits with caseworkers and with birth parents. Yes, we have to report Junior's happenings to his social worker. Yes, I have several forms I have to fill out each month. We knew this was required when we became foster parents. What we did not know was who our child was going to be. It has now been two months to the day (August 18) since Junior moved in; I will be forever grateful for the leap of faith we took when we said we would meet Junior on August 10. Even if finalization is nearly a year away, we are living as a family, enjoying our time together and helping Junior develop into a young man of faith, integrity and courage. I love our son!