I had The Ninja’s annual review meeting yesterday. It went OK – nothing I didn’t expect to hear. His teachers talked about how he started off the year with a good attitude, then changed around December. He became less cooperative, motivated and organized. Now, in April, he is getting his act back together. He and I talked about this on the way home. He doesn’t have an explanation for it. I have wondered in previous years, and I wonder again, if this could have anything to do with the abuse he underwent when he was 15 months old.
He and Toots (age 4) were being left at the home of a relative/friend of their birth mom’s (we’ve never been sure, but Toots refers to her as “auntie”). Unbeknownst to the adults, both Toots and Ninja were being abused by one of the older children. This was discovered when Toots was badly injured by being placed in a tub and having scalding water turned on her. They were taken out of this situation in February 1999, and went into foster care. Based on the little we know, it’s not impossible that the abuse started the previous December. Coincidence? Who knows? Could he be acting out a reaction to events that took place 13 years ago?
Anyway. During the meeting, we got to talking about how everyone in our family has a different last name. When we finalized the kids’ adoptions, they agreed to their last names becoming “Original Last Name – Dad’s Last Name.” (I use my “maiden” name.) Six years down the line, both of them are tired of having a hyphenated name, and would like to change back to using only “Original Last Name.” It seems to mean a lot to both of them. I don’t have a problem with this. I did a little research, and it appears that for the effort of filling out a few forms and paying $210 per person, we could change their names back. Now, $420 is a good little chunk of change that we could put toward other things. I have mixed feelings.
Anybody have an opinion on this?