From now on — 5 Minutes for Special Needs

From now on

by Karin


I’m too young to have a child taking the ACT.

I’m too young to have a child taking the ACT.

I’m too young to have a child taking the ACT.

I just dropped my son off for the ACT.

I got my eyebrows waxed. Stopped at Panera for a scone and some coffee. Did my makeup. Listened to the news. And now I sit outside of a testing room in a science building on a very large college campus. Waiting.

Two hours to go.

Then I subtracted my year of birth from 2011.

I am 34 years old.

Too young to have my baby taking the American College Test.

Or am I?

I call him my baby. I call them all my babies. I always have. I probably always will. They are my babies. He is my Valentine until he meets the love of his life. (Which, coincidentally, he does almost daily, now.)

Loving each other

But really, I never knew him as a baby. He was eight years old when he became my son. He lived eight years as someone else’s baby. Someone else rocked him. Saw him off to kindergarten. Put bandaids on his knees. Held the bucket when he threw up.

And judging by the child study inventory we received at the adoption finalization, he had quite a few “someones” who did those things in those first eight years.

But here I sit. On an uncomfortable bench, in a very long, white hallway of classrooms staring at a clock. Wondering when he will walk back through those doors. Praying with every cell in my body that he is able to calm his nerves and his brain enough to just do his best. Holding his coat.

Remembering the eight-year-old boy I fell in love with. Recalling all the life that we have lived in the last six years. Mourning what precious little time we have left.

I want to tear through that door, kneel in front of him, and tell him just one more time all the things I’ve told him 1000 times.


Instead, I sit on this bench. Listening to Bruno Mars and John Mayer. Watching the clock.

I’m hopeful.

More hopeful than usual. That someday we’ll be able to cross some of those acronyms for the disorders he carries off of the list. That someday I will stand at his high school graduation. And college. And boot camp. And whatever else he decides he wants to do with his life.

I will be the one sitting there. Waiting. Watching. Anticipating. Proud.

Because it is my baby doing those things.

My baby. Even though he never was. He is now.

From now on.

For the last six years. To today. And every day after today.

I’m just the right age to have my baby taking the ACT.

I’m just the right age to have my baby taking the ACT.

I’m just the right age to have my baby taking the ACT.

Dashing smile

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1 MarjH February 12, 2011 at 5:24 pm

I hope he did really well!

2 Karin February 12, 2011 at 6:26 pm


3 Barbara February 13, 2011 at 10:27 am

Those feelings – the mix of the numbers not matching the experience – has not ever stopped for me. Our baby is in college. How can that be? Our 2nd baby is soon to be. How can that be? Expecting the shock of reality to continue.

4 Karin February 13, 2011 at 7:05 pm

So, you’re saying this doesn’t get any easier? This process of letting go is just as emotional as the process of becoming parents.

I’m determined not to miss a minute of it.

5 Maggie February 13, 2011 at 6:41 pm

What a beautiful sentiment and post! He is your baby through and through because being a Mom comes from the heart… and it’s in yours! Let us know how he did!

6 Karin February 13, 2011 at 7:07 pm

It has been a long, long process to becoming my baby. Because of his RAD, there are days that feel excruciatingly long and painful. But the days he does things like this (take the ACT), give us something to bond over. They give him a reason to need me. And I do so like to be needed.

7 Maggie February 13, 2011 at 6:42 pm

BTW – I’m 48 and my babies are 9 and 5 and 5 (twins). By the time I’m sitting on that bench I’ll be almost 60 for my oldest, and past 60 for My Boys.

8 Karin February 13, 2011 at 7:09 pm

Maggie: I had to LOL at your comment! I’ve given Isaiah (the 14-year-old) MANY lectures about how I am not at all interested in becoming a grandparent before I leave my 30s. And really, my 40s seem early, too!

9 Maggie Mae February 16, 2011 at 9:03 am

Karin — Knowing my kids and a family propensity to marry on the late side, I’ll be a new grandma at 80 LOL.

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