How is home schooling going?
Well, that depends on the day.
As would my answer if you asked me how my children are doing, or how I am feeling, or if I have showered.
I have said in the past that my children would always attend private school. It was the only way for me. My children were not going to attend a public school (gasp) and I was not going to be one of those moms. (You know….the ones who home school. And cook everything from scratch. And garden. And churn their own butter.)
I also said that our family was complete after 2 children.
I also said “Fine, God. I will adopt ONE child UNDER the age of 5!”
God has a way of changing our plans.
Quite honestly, home schooling has been perfect for our family at this point. It has provided us that thing that we need the most – time together. I am so thankful that I decided to do this! We get to sleep in late, hang out in our pajamas, take field trips together, and pause for MANY recess activities. Just today our schooling was interrupted for rides on our neighbor’s tractor and experiencing the majesty of a hail storm. (And as of yet, I have not started churning my own butter.)
Not everything about home schooling is fun. It has been a challenge to balance the curriculum and needs of 6 children. Especially when 4 of those children require so much help understanding and following the most basic of instructions. I oftentimes find myself having Hannah and Joel complete their “studies” by reading the chapter and answering the questions while I focus on the other four.
But overall, I wouldn’t change a thing.
Today Leah started school.
Public school. (gasp)
Several weeks ago a counselor suggested that we put Leah in school. There are many reasons for this, most of which I will not detail here. But, we are hopeful that this opportunity will provide her a chance to be a 4th-grade-girl, surrounded by her peers, learning English and Math and how exactly to be a child again.
This has been a very hard decision for us to make. We thought about this and prayed about this for the past 6 weeks.
And I realized a few things.
First of all, this is the right decision for Leah for right now.
And secondly, I care too much about what other people think.
As we struggled through making our decision, I found myself too often wondering about the response I would get. What about the adoptive community? Are they going to say that I did wrong by not providing enough bonding time with my new daughter? What about the home school community? Are they going to say that I gave up too easily? What about my friends? Maybe they won’t think I’m as “super” of a supermom because I will only be home schooling 5 children!
And if I am being brutally honest, nothing has changed. I still care too much about what other people think! Maybe I always will. But I know that I desire to care more about what God thinks. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:9
And I owe an apology to any of my friends who I ever “gasped” at when you told me your children went to public school. That was wrong of me. I am sorry.
God is using this adoption journey to mold me and change me in so many ways. The further we get into it, the more I hope that my heart changes to be more like His. I pray the same for my children.
Leah, if you one day read these words, all the many stories surrounding your home coming that I am sharing in this blog, I hope you can feel the love that supports every sentiment on this page. I pray that right now, be you 15 or 50, you will realize afresh how much we prayed for you and agonized over you. How our hearts were filled with such a combination of concern and hope for your future.
Leah, you are our biggest challenge. Not because of YOU, but because of what you have endured. The challenges that you have faced. It is so hard to show you, a 9-year-old girl who has never known anything other than being a caretaker to your sweet sister and brothers, exactly how to be a child. We are so proud of your attitude! How you are willing to try new things. The way that you show no fear (even when I know you are feeling it inside.) Just look at this picture of you on your first day of school – ready to take on the world!
When Leah came home this afternoon, she was full of nothing but excitement and pride over her first day in 4th grade. She chattered on about her new friends and about how the work was “no too hard!”
Only God knows what our future holds. Maybe mine holds more home schooling. Maybe it doesn’t. Maybe my kids will be in public school. Maybe they won’t. (I am pretty sure my future does not hold any butter churning, but I can’t be absolutely sure.) I am just going to trust that God will direct our paths as we struggle through this parenting thing.