After all, I AM a mother

When Coen came home, we had a few “issues”. He had never had toys to share, he was a biter the first week home, he stuffed his mouth so full of food he almost choked with each bite.. issues. We dealt with them and he quickly learned to share, that biting is not allowed and that there will always be enough food in our home. Over the past year, other “issues” have arisen as they do with all children. As parents, we huddle up and come up with a game plan for combating whatever is going on with whichever child. But, as a mom, it was pretty much my job to worry. Did we handle it correctly? What IS going on in his little head to make him do that? Am I just being crazy?


More and more we’ve been noticing things with Coen. Things that no one else might notice, but being his parents and being with him 24/7, we do. Things that when I would tell someone else I was worried about them, they would tell me not to worry. But I did worry. After all, I AM a mom. In order to adopt domestically or internationally, you have to complete adoption training. You’ll her that “every adopted child is a special needs child.” They may not have visible disabilities, but according to many professionals, the trauma that a child experiences when separated from their birth mother is, well, traumatic. Even a newborn at a hospital separated from who he/she has come to know as its mother in the womb will carry that trauma in some way.


In addition to his adoption, I find other things to worry about. Will the malaria he had twice effect his health in any way? Will the poor nutrition he received his first 20 months have a lasting impact? We have been extremely blessed with Coen’s transition. His world was turned upside down when he was brought here, but the “issues” he has expressed have been minor. As adoptive parents, however, we do need to remind ourselves of his “special needs.”


We recently had to pull him out of preschool. Our boys attend for fun, as a privilege. They enjoy the social aspect two mornings each week. In the beginning, Coen was a model student, but as the days went by, he started acting out in class. Something small here or there, but it grew. It grew to the point that his teacher said that she couldn’t turn her back for one second. I had already witnessed something similar with his soccer coach and people who have babysat. As he gets closer to them, he actively tries to push them away.


After speaking with his doctor this week, he agreed.This is very likely adoption-related. It’s something I wouldn’t have considered without the training and likely not with Carter as a model. They are different, yes, but there are definite milestones that a child should hit that a doctor may not ask about. We are now aware of some of these things that we will need to work on with him and may even need the help of a specialist for some. I’m happy that we are noticing them early in hopes of getting him whatever help he needs, but it breaks my heart thinking that stuff is going on for him, even if subconciuosly.



  1. It is not easy being a kid let alone being adopted. One thing for sure though. He has a loving heart and he and Carter really do play well together most of the time. New baby brother might be somewhat of a challenge for him as he doesn’t quite understand the attention a new baby needs. You’ll do just fine even if some days seem a struggle.

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