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.