Picture from one week home.
Kofi is 7 1/2 and his first year in our family has been great overall. He has embraced his new life here (which is key to attaching) and he understands why he was adopted. He lived his life in Ghana, he remembers the hard times and I am fortunate that he talks about his experiences freely. At the same time he loves his country and culture, which he is now separated from. It is huge price to pay for him and there are days that the grief is so evident. We have worked through so much with Kofi this year, but of course more work needs to be done.
His biggest wish was to have a bicycle in America. Mission accomplished.
One of the things we are in the middle of is educational testing. Years of malnourishment, lack of education and trauma make it a challenge for Kofi to retain information. We don't know the exact root cause and so we are on a mission to find out. We have consulted with an adoption specialist who gave us many referrals in the coming months. Our school absolutely loves him, they have went above and beyond in providing educational supports for him.
None of the books prepared me for this last year. I received lots of tools from attachment books, but the day to day parenting is hard to learn from a manual. There are days that break my heart as I think of the life he used to live. And there are days that he longs for the comfort of that life no matter how hard it was. It was familiar and all he knew. Our life is still strange and different. But we do figure it out, together. We often say that just as he has never lived in America before, I have never been a Mommy to a boy from Ghana. We have enough common ground and love to figure it out together.
The next few months we will learn new things about Kofi. He will be given diagnoses (some we know, some will be surprised to us, I'm sure), we will learn more about them. But in this Momma's eyes, he will always have just one label: SON.