Johnathan Emerson (JE) and Brian Miller (BM)
BM: When I adopted you, they had said that you had something called post-traumatic stress syndrome which I didn’t understand except from soldiers that came back from a war that had what they used to call shell-shock so um, yeah, I don’t think you knew how scared I was the first six months.
JE: I think I used to throw things–desks, pencils and pens, I believe.
BM: Yeah, it was probably the first year, and you were at school…I used to tell the staff there, ”If he’s not paying attention to you and he’s not doing what you ask, call me.” And so one time they did call me and you went around after the calls and you ripped the phones out of the wall.
JE: I, uh, I was very distraught, yes.
BM: And I thought, I said, I think he’s worried that if I hear bad things I’m going to give him back. I don’t know, is that true?
JE: You know, it’s kind of hard to explain but, yeah.
BM: Yeah… The first year or two, sometimes I’d have to take the television away for whatever reason, you’d look at me and say, ”Wait till I tell the judge this one! And I used to have to remind you, ”It’s over Johnathan, you’re adopted!” There’s no more judges in your life. I think it didn’t sink into you for a couple of years that the adoption was final. But the moment that it hit me was when I was in church and you were in some little skit in the Sunday school and you did something and the whole congregation started cracking up and everybody looked at me and I was sitting around going, ”Yeah, that’s my kid.” And I remember, one day when I worried about you, ”Well, what if Johnathan got into a car accident,” and I just started crying. And then I said, oh, that must be what parents feel. And that’s what I feel like. People tell me, ”Oh, what a wonderful thing you did, you know, adopting a seven-year-old boy, I said, You don’t understand, I didn’t do this to save some little child, it’s father and son but it’s also, you know, you’re my best friend. There’s no doubt about it. You know more about me than anybody else. I’m glad we did this.