I'm thankful for a few things. I don't usually take any note of that at Thanksgiving - frankly, I usually find it kind of boring as holidays go. But after spending months trying to adopt an older kid out of foster care, I'm struck by an unlikely sense of gratitude.
More than anything, I'm thankful that we bonded with T. these past few months. I'm thankful we met him in the nick of time. I'm thankful that we humans are so odd that occasionally we match up with each other like puzzle pieces and form unlikely families.
I'm thankful that T. hasn't been arrested.
I'm thankful that our days of intrusive visits from multiple social workers who scrutinize our parenting skills and browbeat T. about his misbehaviors are about to end. I'm thankful we won't have to drive 100 miles every weekend to pick him up anymore. I'm grateful T. won't have 7 different adults sharing the role of "parent" in his life.
I'm thankful that T. is the neatest, cleanest teenage boy on the planet.
I'm thankful that the relationship between Tim and I survived and grew through this very messy, frustrating, drawn-out process.
I'm thankful for whatever miracle of biology and psychology produced a stubborn habit of gentle, optimistic thinking in T. It is so humbling to behold.
I'm thankful that next Tuesday DCFS is meeting to make the final call on placing T. with us full-time and all signs are go.
I'm thankful for my hot Irish temper because it keeps me going and keeps me from getting depressed.
I'm thankful to anyone who adopts one of the many foster kids waiting for a permanent chosen family in the United States. In way too many cases, we have really failed as a society to provide for them. But T. proves to us every day that kids in foster care, even kids on the cusp of adulthood, are still receptive and responsive to love and logic and commitment and guidance and, most of all, a sense of being precious to someone.