Saturday, August 15, 2009

Hard Decisions and Update


I'm not sure anyone will read this ; ), but for the two people out there who still occasionally check my blog, this is for you!

We have been home 7 months now and some things are routine and simple at this point, others are still very hard. Speaking English has come along really well and both G__ and L___ understand most daily conversations and are communicating pretty well on their own. They have become very close with their new siblings and although we have daily sibling conflicts, they have very healthy attachments to each other. (In fact, H__ was devastated when the school --see below-- would not allow G___ to be in his first grade class with him and sit next to him! It was a beautiful moment to see as a parent.)

This month presented a new dilemma, one I had not anticipated, really. As the twins have grown and developed all kinds of new skills (like walking and opening doors and exploring unauthorized places) I am overwhelmed all over again with daily life. I attempted to homeschool the older four kids a few weeks back, just to test-drive our new situation and see what kind of planning I would need to do. It was a good wake-up call as I quickly realized I was in WAY over my head. I guess a combination of the baby chaos, L___ and G___ needing high amounts of individual attention from me and Henry being first grade, also still needing one-on-one attention. And then having S___ starting 5th grade with so much more intensity applied to new subjects.... after one day, I was in a panic. I realized that if there is a mom out there that can homeschool these kids under these circumstances, it was not going to be me.

In January I had waitlisted H___ and L___ at a local classical charter school as a sort of back-up plan, should this situation come up. I called them the day before school started and asked if they could fit G___ into their first grade and much to my astonishment, a spot opened up. I felt like this was confirmation that all three should attend school for this year. So here is a picture of their first day of school. H___ and G___ attend first grade while L___ does morning kindergarten. I'm still homeschooling S___ with the babies underfoot but we have found so far that it is a good arrangement for now. I do hope to bring them all back home again next Fall to homeschool, after they have each grown and become a bit more independent. But for now, this is the 'new normal'.

I have always been told that you have to hold on to convictions like homeschooling with a gentle grip. I think until now, I had always had the opinion that no matter what our life situation, I would find a way to make homeschooling happen for our kids. But this adoption has forged a lot of new frontiers for me, in some really good ways, and my horizons are broadening. I am seeing now that God can lead you down unfamiliar paths sometimes but as long as you continue to listen to and respond to His leading, He will bless you and be in the midst of what you're doing at that moment. That is my prayer for this year, that He would go before these 3 little ones at school and use this time to bond us into closer attachments with our adopted kids and mature and grow S___ and H___ through these new experiences.

14 comments:

Becky said...

So glad youre back :) We are a MN family of 4 bio children, on the new journey of adoption to bring home a sibling pair from Ethiopia. Thank you for sharing your story with us... Your family is beautiful. Praying for you, and today's "new normal", of school etc.
God's Blessings,
Becky & family

Ashleigh said...

Hey Beth! I read your blog. :) We'll be praying this year goes well for all of you and that all of the kids thrive in their "new normals."

AO said...

I was just telling your family's story to my mom yesterday! Be encouraged that you all are prayed for and followed by so many more people than you could ever meet in person. :) And your blog updates are eagerly read - every single one! Good luck with 'back to school' - new decisions, new schedules, and new normals.

-A fan of the Boundless show (which explains how we have come to learn about you)

a Tonggu Momma said...

My sister is sending her two boys to school for the very first time next week. They are entering 7th and 5th grades.

The Andersons said...

Glad you're back too :) We made the same decision and we only adopted one! So i have one in school for 5th grade and one at home for 4th and new baby Grace who should be crawling soon. Here's to a great year!

Dawn said...

Wishing you all the best with your new school decision. Hope everyone has continued to settle in well.

Rachel E. said...

I'm so glad to hear the kids are all doing well. You have so much courage and I so admire you for that! I look forward to your next update.

Becky said...

I was so glad to see an update from you... been wondering how you are doing! Would love to get together and catch up with you sometime! Praying for you! I know that it will all work out because it is part of God's plan!

Laurie said...

I'm a buddy of Andrea's, and I am so inspired by your story. I come to check every once in awhile for updates and was thrilled to see one! :) The kids all look fantastic, and I'm happy to hear that schooling is working out- probably as it needs to for now. Best of luck!

h&r family said...

Hi Beth,
I have read your blog for some time.
So nice to see you at the charter school. Hope the school year goes well for your family. see you around church & school.
Blessings,
Harmony & Family

Richard said...

Beth- I am homeschooling Jesse this year and find it almost impossible with a toddler and 3 year old who need me. Jesse and I read this together today. I needed to hear it and am so grateful for your honesty. We will be praying for you all often. Jesse misses Henry and we think of him often. Bless you! Lorraine

DaisyJ said...

Hi Beth, I still check your blog. Good for you making such a hard decision. Time will tell what is best for you all.
Jill

Kasey said...

Thank you so much for your update - I have checked your blog often throughout the summer looking for updates! I stumbled across your blog last spring through Boundless.org, and have been so inspired by your journey. My husband and I have a 2 year old biological son, and we are in the process of adopting from Ethiopia (we don't know who yet, and we are beyond excited!). Thank you for your honesty, you and your family are a huge encouragement to us.
Praying,
Kasey Ellis
http://ellisgang3.blogspot.com

Rachel E. said...

How are you all doing? Hope to hear an update on the 6 kids sometime soon.