Tuesday, January 8, 2013


Four days.  That is all we had been home when she arrived on our doorstep for our first post-adoption visit.  Though employed by the agency who performed our homestudy, it quickly became evident that this newly assigned Social Worker knew very little of our adoption journey.  She spent much of that visit trying to gather a sense of who we are, as well as what would motivate us to spend many months, countless hours of paperwork, and thousands of dollars to travel halfway around the world to bring home a little guy with Down syndrome.  Additionally, she needed to establish a baseline of Little Dude's current functional level for her report.

Out came the developmental milestones charts.  She began questioning.  "At 4 years of age, he should be able to ________ ; can he ________ ?"

Thankfully my filter was working that day.  I gave her simple "no" answers, though I'm sure the look on my face said much more than my words ever could.

"At 4 years old, he should be able to wash his hands by himself.  If you tell him to go wash his hands, can he go into the bathroom, crawl up, and do that?"

Um, no.
Meanwhile, I had mentally crawled onto my soapbox and was spouting things inside my tiny, jet-lagged brain.
Yes, he's chronologically 4 years, 4 months.  He has been institutionalized for 4 years, 3 months of that time.  He's 23 pounds.  He wears 18 month clothes.  He learned to walk 2 months ago.  And he's heard spoken English for ONE WEEK... not to mention that everything he's ever known has totally changed during that week.  Oh, and he has Down syndrome, which really is the least of any concerns.
So no, he can't go wash his hands if I tell him to.

Yesterday, I told my son to go wash his hands.  He did.



  1. and he's so stinkin' cute doin' it!!!

  2. hehe..like the filter comment. And YA for little dude and washing his hands :)

  3. Love this!!!!! Definitely a milestone to celebrate, love how my perspective has changed and how adoption has gotten me to throw out the developmental books, the ones that tell us what our children "should" be doing. Silliness! And, couldn't agree more with Kim, he is definitely stinkin' cute washing his hands!