Monday, August 6, 2012

T Minus 9 Days

     Summer is winding down.  We've spent absurd amounts of money on wide rule paper, pink erasers and new jeans.  Molly is thin on patience and the boys are actually getting a little tired of going to the pool.  It's time for a new season.
     Etienne is going to kindergarten in 9 days.  Typing that, I feel a knot in my stomach and my heart beat quickens.  9 days and than he isn't going to have me to slyly pull his thumb out of this mouth.  9 days until he  won't have Blake to laugh at every sentence that makes no sense.  9 days and then he gets thrown to the wolves.  Other kids, I mean.
     Believe me that Ryan and I have made a million pro and con lists.  Our community is surrounded by home school families while our own family is full of public school teachers.  For over a year now, I have attempted to teach him his letters, numbers, colors and opposites.  It has mostly been a frustrating disaster.  I am a descent midwife but I am no educator.  It has become very clear to us that our job in Etienne's life is to teach him LOVE and FAMILY.  We also know that he needs the resources that the school district offers.  Ultimately, prayerfully, the decision to send him to the neighborhood school is the right choice for now.
     A while ago, I was sitting with E in a gym at the YMCA when I realized how difficult learning was for him.  We were counting basketballs but he couldn't comprehend numerical values.  Honestly, this hit me hard.  At that time, I  had a lot to process.  Selfishly, I probably thought somewhere in the corner of my brain that because of our work as parents, our children would do well in school.  Struggles academically were for kids whose parents didn't read to them, right?  A year and a half later, I can honestly say that I don't care when Etienne learns to read.  Seriously, it doesn't matter anymore.  I care that he his classmates embrace his non-stop jibberish, that his teacher sees how gentle he is and that the school community gets a glimpse of God's love for us through our adoption of Etienne.  He may not learn to read until the rest of the kids have moved onto multiplication.  So what.  It's safe to say that Etienne has survived more in his lifetime his counterparts will ever see.  God is at work.  Beauty out of ashes.
     So many changes.  Change here usually leads to some rough days.  This change is hitting Zeke and Mama hard.  I choke up thinking about how I can't protect him and just mentioning  Etienne going to school brings tears to Ezekiel's eyes.  He is so heartbroken to be left behind.  I try desperately to put a positive spin on it.  "Zeke, you get mama all to yourself!  We can go on hikes and to the library and bake cookies and learn to read!"  His reply?  "I just wanna drink a lot of water."  Sweet Zeke-ee baby.  We can drink it by the buckets, buddy.

When he sucks his thumb, my heart hurts that he never really got  to be a baby.

1 comment:

  1. Hugs and prayers for you both... my first year of teaching (kindergarten) I had 3... count em... 3 children who came home via adoption. It was a steep but sweet learning curve for me. You are so right... you are blessing a teacher with him and entrusting him to her. I learned so much that year. And God put the seed of adoption in my heart that year through seeing and getting to know my students who were adopted. I'll be praying specifically that he feels safe at school. That he finds a dear friend immediately... a loyal and gentle friend (there are 5 yos that are like this... may he be drawn to your son, Lord Jesus!). And that his teacher sees his heart and not his behavior, that she sees the more important and deep goals that he needs to meet and helps him get there!!! I'll pray that you can relax and trust God with him while he is out of your care. And you are spot on... who cares... who cares if he is acheiving at levels that his peers are defined by... that is a really shallow goal. He will learn to read... most kids do eventually (I didn't learn to read until 3rd grade... it was embarrassing, but I love to read now and have a huge compassion for people learning now)... but learning to love, trust and be a man who relates to others is far more valuable ... and a goal that quite honestly many (who havent' experienced trauma) never really learn well. Great job mom! You can do this!!! I've committed to praying for you and your sweet boy all week long. Be blessed!