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Growth Spurts: A Year

Carlos and Brandon have been part of our family for a year now. These boys, who grew up in Colombia, have quickly made Mississippi their home and have fully embraced being Partridges. They have bonded incredibly well with the members of our family; have experienced many of our traditions; have learned how we do things at our house; have enjoyed various school and sports activities;and have made amazing strides in acquiring the English language (I am truly in awe of this!).

They have also gained an interest in American football; have been quite happy with our video game systems; have loved having dogs to play with at home; have been delighted with trips to the beach; have been thrilled with the number of aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents they have inherited; and have even come to like my cooking (Though I would be remiss if I didn’t give a shout out to Kroger’s grab-n-go roasted chicken. Thank you!). I’m not sure they have quite adjusted to Mississippi weather yet, but they did endure their first intensely hot and humid summer.

Carlos and Brandon have been part of our family for a year now. When I read that back to myself, all sorts of thoughts and feelings rush over me. It has been an incredible journey for our family, but it has been an intense one, for sure. I mean, it rocked all of our worlds each time we brought another baby home from the hospital, so imagine the transitions that occurred/are occurring with bringing home a 10-year-old and a 13-year-old. Even more so, think about them! They left the only country, culture, and language they have ever known and came to join a country, culture, language, and family they have never known. I cannot fully grasp the intensity of this. And I confess that I do not always remember to fully empathize with the unique challenges and the depths of the changes that have occurred in their young lives. They have overcome more obstacles so far in their decade or so of life than you or I will probably face in our entire lifetime. And I confess that I do not always remember to admire them for it. If I slow down long enough to think about it (which is nearly impossible in this household on most days)–to really think about it–, I am overwhelmed by the courage and tenacity that my boys have had to have just to live their lives. So much has been out of their control and beyond their understanding, but they have pressed on throughout great unknowns.

Carlos and Brandon have been part of our family for a year now. They have brought a lot of laughter, energy, emotion, curiosity, and activity to our home. It has been challengingfor the seven of us to learn to live together in harmony, but that’s how it is for any family of seven–no matter how the family is formed. Personalities, ages, genders, hobbies, interests, maturity levels–all affect the ease or difficulty in which we live together. However, I believe that each one of us in this family (Carlos and Brandon included) has had to grow in areas of cooperation, understanding, forgiveness, responsibility, trust, patience, endurance, and love, and that can’t be a bad thing. In fact, I think it’s a really good thing that will, hopefully, enhance each of our abilities to get along and work well with people beyond our family ties.

Carlos and Brandon have been part of our family for a year now. And now for the rest of their lives! The Partridges…all seven of us…are forever changed.

Carrie Bevell Partridge writes more about adoption in this month’s issue. Read the article here.

About The Author

Carrie Partridge

Carrie Bevell Partridge grew up in Memphis, TN with her parents and four siblings. She attended Mississippi College, where she met her husband Kevin. They have been married for 20 years and have five children. They live in Ridgeland, MS. Carrie has written the “Growth Spurts” column and managed social media for Parents & Kids Magazine since 2011. You can read more of her work at and

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