The Dumpster Kid

He came through the door like his rear was on fire.  “Mom, mom I have something to show you.” All I keep thinking is that it’s a 5 day weekend and I really don’t want to have to restrict his privileges.  What I really mean is that I don’t want to be punished either. I brace myself for the impact and attempt to prepare my speech and then he charged in with a SMILE on his face.  Um, who stole my kid and replaced him with this one? “Mom, I have my interim we got them today.” Yippee, not.  When you have a child with special needs the less communication you have with the school means your child is managing ok. In the past when I worked for the school district I had electronic access to all of his files.  Now, it’s a little different.  I am ready, I tell myself he holds it up so I can take a picture of it on my IPad which enables me to enlarge it enough to see the details, every last one of them.  I blinked 5 or 6 times to make sure the little vision I have left isn’t failing, then made sure it was HIS and not a friends. 

My parents are people who worked hard their entire lives and when it came to the people they loved giving up was never an option.  I treated the kids I worked with this way and it worked.  They knew I would be there for them and their families no matter what the issue was or even when they were no longer on my case load.  My son was one of those kids.  The day I met him I immediately felt a pain in my heart like I never felt before. I hadn’t told anyone and that day I wrote a poem about him.  I will add that to a later post.  I had read a little of his file before looking into his beautiful big brown eyes with the longest lashes and wondered how the heck anyone could have put him in a dumpster?  He was traumatized and needed intensive interventions, support and luck but that didn’t stop me.  He was in the first grade and didn’t recognize his birth name by sight even though it started with and “X.” Once we worked through the peeing and defecating on me he softened because he couldn’t push me away.  The next several months he blossomed socially and academically.  Would you believe that by the end of that year he was on grade level in most academic areas.  He had friends and actually came in with a smile at least until he was being forced to go to another foster home.  My heart sank and I knew something wasn’t right. I fought with anyone and everyone who would listen to me.  I even called the governor I wasn’t going to allow this child to be taken away from completing what he had started. He let me in and showed me his pain and trusted me to keep him safe.  How could I do that with him 50 miles away?  Without thinking I blurted out “I have a home with no other children, he can stay with me.”  He hasn’t left since.  We joke about him being born from my heart but honestly it’s true.  I love him the way a biological parent loves their child.  Even though he has emotional and other disabilities I held him to the highest standards.  Now he is standing before me with his 7th grade interim where he achieved  A/B Honor Roll.  Middle school has been very difficult for him since he is emotionally behind his peers and being part of an interracial family he is unaffected by the stereotypical ideas his peers discuss.  He looks like a linebacker but is gentle and sensitive. I can’t tell you how I would love to plaster his interim on a billboard to show all the people who tried to stop me from adopting him, wanted me to give him back and all those who said he would never make it, see that he did make it. If I expected him to fail then he would fail but that isn’t an option in our family.   You know what else I would love to do?  I would love to put two other people in a dumpster and nail it shut.  Children aren’t garbage the adults are. Mama loves you!

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