Grant heads to preschool and meets a special friend.
by TJ Gorman
Our match with Grant did not happen in a traditional way. We had received an e-mail with three child profiles and inquired about one of the little boys for a variety of reasons. We decided not to proceed. However, in talking with a social worker in Oregon about our decision, she mentioned two new referrals that had come in, both were boys. She spoke with our local social worker, Celeste, who passed on the information to us. We were told Grant had a congenital leg disorder, but the details about his actual diagnosis were hazy. We fell in love with his picture and that was all it took. We were matched in June and traveled to Nanchang, China in November 2011.
Grant adjusted fairly quickly to our family. It became clear that he was well loved and quite spoiled in his orphanage. I had initially opted to take a longer amount of time off from work when we got back, but he was doing so well, I wanted to save vacation for when he would have his surgery. He had gone with his father or me several times to drop off his siblings at day care and also to pick them up. We felt that it was good to have him witness the repeated action of “drop off and pick up,” so he would see that we would, in fact, pick him up when his time came. This method paid off beautifully. He had no issues being dropped off at his new day care when I returned to work. The staff took to him as quickly as we all have, and loved him immensely.
It was a difficult decision to switch Grant from the day care he had come to know to a preschool. We felt that it would ultimately be best for him to be in the same school as his siblings. He would also be provided with physical therapy and any language assistance he may need, and remaining with his siblings would provide comfort in the transition.
Grant excitedly went to the open house. He loved seeing the school and taking his new supplies to his classroom. While meeting his teacher, we were introduced to the three other paraprofessionals in his classroom. We noticed that one of his teachers, Becky Smith, was Asian. We introduced Grant to Becky, and didn’t think anything of it really. After my mother-in-law spoke more with Becky, we learned that she too was a Holt adoptee. She let us know that she was originally from Korea and is incredibly grateful to Holt for the life that she has.
We briefly talked about the local Holt picnics and other events, but we had to move on to the next classroom to meet our other children’s teachers. It was incredibly comforting to meet an adult Holt adoptee that was happy and doing great. It gave us a lot of peace. It also provided us with comfort knowing that there is someone in that room who will understand. She could truly empathize with his silences when he’s reflecting on the changes in his life, understand the tears when he gets rejected over the simplest of things, and rejoice in the accomplishments and growth that he makes. In short, knowing that someone there gets it, and knows the struggles an adopted child can face, let alone an internationally adopted child… it’s awesome.