Progress

This one will be short and sweet.

We first met our son, Kris, in June of 2014. That’s right, ten months ago.  He first landed on American soil on July 4, 2014. Nine months ago.  We finalized his adoption and he entered school (9th grade) in November of 2014. Five months ago.

There have been lots of good times and laughs in those ten months.  There has been a huge leap in adjusting to family life and the American scene.  There has also been some very tough times during that process.  At times those meltdowns would rattle the very foundation of our family unit but we stayed the course.  We didn’t give up on each other.10553576_10204174536434265_4277685635505497917_n

When he first began school he had a lot of difficulty with the education system here and its stark contrast to the “crowd-control” system in his old country. He struggled somewhat with grades but more with his self-confidence. We all worked together to help him build up his self-esteem and give his self-confidence a needed boost.

He likes to succeed. He is highly competitive. He is also a big trickster.  So yesterday he comes home from school and reports that he got an “F” on his American government test.  “I got a 69 and the teacher gave me an ‘F””  After playing along with his April Fool’s joke he shows me his test.  He got an 82 – a “B”.  He was grinning from ear to ear.  HSAMSUNGe is also doing extremely well in English and Ceramics and he’s doing pretty good in Math.

Last evening, he is watching a cartoon video on Netflix.  He calls to his brother, Peter, to join him.  He sets two chairs in front of the computer and they watch it together.  All the while Kris is adding commentary to the video to personalize it for his brother.  “See Peter! This is you and me in the video, bro.  The one with the muscles is me and the chubby one is you.”  Peter laughs.

Priceless.

Walking to School

I live near an elementary school and because I live in a small city,  most kids walk to the neighborhood school.  Most of the kids and their parents escape my notice except for one.

She is usually bundled up in a coat, hat and scarf.  Sometimes she wears mittens.  The backpack she carries must be heavy for she compensates for its weight by leaning forward as she walks.  She appears resigned as she trudges along to her daily meeting with destiny – teachers, friends and schoolwork.

He usually walks behind her.  It is always at a relaxed and easy pace.  He holds her hand as they cross the street – waiting for the crossing guard to clear the way like Moses parting the waters.  They walk safely to the other side and continue on their way to the school.

He is much older than she is.  He may be a father who had a her late in life but I am thinking he is her grandfather. He just gives off that aura.

They rarely talk as far as I can tell but their bond speaks volumes. She walks with an assurance of safety because he is there.  He is there no matter how cold it is or if it is raining or if he would rather be home drinking his coffee.  He envelopes her with such love and affection that it is palpable by her and by others they pass on the street.

I imagine that at the end of the day he is waiting for her at the school gate. Perhaps they talk about her day as they begin their walk home. She waves goodbye to her friends and then they return home, walking in love and security.