In the beginning, JD adamantly only wanted two children. I thought that four would be perfect. Once we caught God's vision of putting orphans into families, our plan was multiplied by God. We are currently blessed with 12 children; five biological, six adopted and one more waiting in Ethiopia. Our first adoption was from the U.S., the next three were from Liberia, West Africa, and our last two were from Ethiopia. We are supporting our 12th child in Ethiopia after her adoption could not pass court.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

First Day of School

I dove into the first day of school today in spite of my neck pain. I had my books and supplies ready about three weeks ago, but had delay after delay due to real life annoyances. Our public schools just started back yesterday, so in spite of it being so late, I'm not behind for our area.

I honestly wrestled with the idea of putting three of my children in public school this year. I have homeschooled for 13 years straight, but I'm very overwhelmed with the task before me this year. I would have felt the same way last year if my sister had not moved in and saved the day (or the year in this case.) The three children I considered sending are not a breeze to teach; each requires quite a bit of one on one attention and none of them can stay on track during the day with anything else going on. I had dreams of the school system "fixing" these flaws and returning me children next year that could read well, reason well and stay focused. The hard reality is that I don't believe the school system would have been able to do any of the things I hoped for and I feared the negatives that they may have brought home each day. What sealed the deal for me was watching a trailer clip from an adoption documentary. It was not particularly favorable and the Chinese woman in the clip talked about being made fun of when she was in school for being Chinese in a white family. I hadn't even considered this aspect with Ben, (OK, I realize I just gave away one of my three....) I think at this point that Ben has lived in our family for over two years and he has never had kids make fun of him for being African, being adopted or having white parents. I just thought how his little face would fall the first time some school bully would say something along those lines. Although I know there will be a day when I can't insulate him from people saying hurtful things, I still can now. And I will because he doesn't deserve that on top of all the other adjustments that he's dealt with the last few years.
So, reality is that today was day #1 of 180 days of year #13. I get a little overwhelmed with that thought, so I'll just take it one day at a time! The good news is that today went pretty smoothly, much more smoothly than many days will be this fall!
It is absolutely remarkable how messy the school and kitchen area are once we are done with school. We did My Father's World all together this morning, then we did clean-up and lunch, then the kids did their phonics/English and math. By the time we were completely finished, there were no cleared counters or tables and there were about 200 things on the floor. Those are the moments that you really hope no "friends" pop in !
There's a lot of competition for the school computers in spite of the fact that neither function really well. Apparently the children have down-loaded a few viruses that slow them down. Here's my brother, Kent, explaining Moriah's math to her while Elijah makes noise.
Tori loves her computer time! She didn't get it until official school was over, but she's a happy girl now.

Tonight we are heading to an African Children's Choir. I've wanted to see one for years and excitedly asked Ben if he wanted to go. His reply? "Well, if it's not too boring." Man, he's turned into an American!
Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe that your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires courage." Ralph Waldo Emerson.


  1. I think you are very brave to take on the task of homeschooling, I know I could have never done that (for many reasons,probably one being that I wasn't that brave), but secretly would have loved it very much! Not only are you brave for just taking on the task, but with as many children as you have as well! I am in awe of your perseverance and strength to see this task through!(I know where you draw your strength!)

  2. Bless your heart. I honestly don't know how you do it every day. I tried to homeschool last year and it just was so hard to keep up with everything. I didn't think I could do it again this year, but I struggled and still struggle with my decision. I am just amazed by you!

  3. I kept thinking the same things about Gabriel as you did Ben. He would have been this really big kid in a kindergarten class with a bunch of tiny kids and on top of that being African with white parents. I just couldn't do it. Public school kindergarten is a lot of fun I think-they do so many activities and crafts that I just can't pull off myself, but the negatives just outweighed the positives in my mind.