Monday, May 27, 2013

Second Birthday

Last year, we had the privilege of celebrating T.D.'s birthday with him for the first time.

At that point, he had not yet moved in with us.  We were still praying about his future and just weren't sure about adding a teenager to our dynamic at home.  

A month later, Brian's phone rang at midnight, and a few minutes later he was heading to pick up T.D. for the night.  He stayed in our spare room that night and he's been there ever since.  

(Well, he's come out of the room on occasion to eat and play video games.) 

To be honest, I had quite a few concerns about bringing a teenage boy into my house.  
  • How much would he eat????
  • How would we set boundaries for a kid who had lived on his own for so long?
  • How would I feel about it when Brian was out of town? 
  • How would it be perceived by our family and friends? 
  • How would he respond to being parented by us? 

In the year since moving in, he has blown all my fears, concerns, and hesitations out of the water.  

If you have had the opportunity to hear his story, then you may know the number of schools he's attended, the number of states he's lived in, and the family tragedies he's endured.  His life has been tough at times, really tough.  

But he has chosen to view it as part of his story, and he has never, ever blamed it on anyone or held bitterness for any of it.  We love that about him.   

He is his bio mom's only child, so this is T.D.'s first experience with little brothers.  J-man actually says his name, enunciating each letter with with plenty of emphasis (it's one of the first words he's learned) and has a specific head nod he gives T.D.  He LOVES his big brother.  And though he won't always admit it, T.D. loves those little brothers of his. 

He's made such tremendous strides in school this year, working hard to catch up and get on track.  We are super proud of where he has made it academically and for the fact that he's actively started thinking about his future.

For never having had to listen to parent "lectures" or having a curfew or boundaries, you'd be amazed at how teachable and responsive he is.

It's not because Brian and I have some magic touch, TUH-RUST me, we just pray that we are saying and doing what is best for him each day.

He really is a special kid, who has managed to face adversity and come out stronger on the other side.  Not perfect, still full of regular teenage quirks, but with a willingness to want more for himself and for his future.  

Yesterday we celebrated the second birthday with him and his mom drove up from New Orleans to surprise him.  Loved seeing his face as it slowly registered she was actually there in the room with him.  

Tyson was excited for the party.  Then again, he pretty much always looks like this. 
Who doesn't love a good cookie cake? 

Based on facial expressions alone, you can tell they're related.   :) 



  1. Hi Leslie!

    I love your blog.. So touched by your story and your journey!

    We just adopted a newborn baby boy locally in march and he has brought our family so much joy! Would love to talk more with you sometime if you'd be willing.. Our baby is African American and living in a very "white" area it's been hard to find other adoptive mamas who are in our same boat!

    Anyway, my email is if you'd want to chat more! Thanks!! Katie

  2. This is so sweet! I love that you have welcomed his Mom to come and celebrate with you!

  3. So sweet of you to have his mom come for his birthday. What a gift to him!