“This boy is my youngest (adopted) brother. His mother died of lupus; his father has a new family now.
At one point, as a family, we decided that ‘He would need to repeat 6thgrade.’ He would also agree and accept that. He would always tell us ‘I’m ok to keep repeating until I pass.’
One day, after school, he came running home, excitedly shouting ‘Mom, I will graduate!’ He sat down between me and our mama and he continued with ‘My birthday wish was granted because I wish I had graduated and then it came true.’
We were silenced. We realized that inside his child-like mind was a dream to graduate elementary, even with the acceptance of the possibility that he might be staying in that level.
We do not know what his condition actually is, but he has a hard time reading, writing and speaking. He is 12 years old.
Comparing to other children of his age, he is small, he couldn’t construct sentences well, he started learning how to read syllables, and memorizing the alphabet in 6th grade.
He likes playing games that 4- or 5-years old children play.
He couldn’t keep still.
He would constantly play alone with loud sound effects and stuffed toys.
He never had interest in academics.
We tried a lot of times, especially when his mother died but every time, we would try to teach him how to read or try to familiarize him with the alphabet, he would always cry in front of his notebooks or study materials.
He managed to pass the 1st to the 5th grade in elementary with his general average ranging from 76 – 78.
An 80 on his card would make us really proud.
We never knew he had assignments, his classmates needed to pass by the house to tell us instructions.
Up to this day, he has a hard time constructing stories and relaying messages.
He graduated in Elementary on April 1 with a general average of 76.
Many people might question ‘Why was he allowed to graduate with that kind of average?’ or ‘he is barely able to read and write, how did he pass?’
The thing is he tried and kept trying.
He tried to focus, but the urge to play is stronger.
He tried to listen, but there are things that he is more interested in doing.
He tried explaining, but he did not know how to.
We never scolded him, we never made him feel like he did not know anything. We never made him feel bad about himself because we know that behind those almost failing grades, behind those unexplained explanations, were dreams and a great character.
He is a great brother. He does not understand yet that we are not biological siblings. He knows we came from different wombs, but he thinks that it’s the same with being biological.
He grew up with us. His family was really close to us that our families stayed together since his birth that is why being left with us in the absence of his biological parents never became a problem for him.
He is a great son. When he has money, he would buy mama’s coffee and his nephew’s biscuit, leaving him with little money, but he never complains. He puts what is left in an improvised coin bank, and when he feels like we have nothing to buy rice, he would always sacrifice his savings for us.
Grades will never define him. He may have low grades, but he has a great character, an attitude that we will never exchange for anything. He can’t explain himself clearly with words, but his actions speak for him.
We love him no matter how low or high his grades will be.
We love him for being him.
Someday, Wayne, we know you will understand everything. We know that one day, you will begin acting your age.
We are proud of you, what you are now and what you will become. Continue following your dreams. Mama Alma is always watching over you. We love you so much.”
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