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I am a wife, daughter, mother, bilingual teacher, poet, author, women's Bible study teacher, world traveler, orphan advocate, and an adoptive mother.  Our adoption journey has been filled with a lot of hurt and loss, along with even more hope, grace, and healing.  Through it we have experienced more of God than we ever bargained for and have watched Him miraculously redeem our story when we surrendered all the broken pieces to Him.

Surviving the Valley Series

Surviving the Valley Series
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Sunday, September 1, 2013

First week of school

Photo: One starting middle school and one starting high school. Who's more nervous? That might just be me!
Photo: Anyone feeling this way? 

The boys did great this week.  David's whole transition to middle school has been a bit overwhelming to him, but he's getting more adjusted every day.  We're thankful he's found a couple soccer buddies at his new school so he's had someone to connect with.  His bus didn't show up the first day (well, it did, but almost an hour late, so Mike had to come back home to take him to school).  I'm sure that didn't help with the anxiety and nerves when you're stuck on a street corner all alone waiting for a bus to come for over a half hour.  We found out that the same thing happened to one of his friends, whose mom had to come home to take him to school that morning, too.  The rest of the week it got better with the bus.  He doesn't get home till around five, so that, too, is an adjustment.  Lots of change in that boy's life.  He's doing well, though.

Juan David, our social butterfly, was counting the days until he could go to school.  His bus came right on time the first day.  There are only two people who ride his bus--him and one of his classmates from Honduras.  He loves it because they can practice English together and still talk in Spanish as much as they want without feeling awkward.  He loves his classes, his teachers, his school, etc.  Thanks to peer pressure, he's even becoming aware of the mass quantities of food he's been eating and has realized that most people don't eat that way.  Maybe my grocery bill can start coming down now!  Anyway, he's super excited about school and is very proud of the English he's learning (even though we still are not seeing much of coming back out of him).  God has given him an amazing start at life here in the United States.  He gets home pretty early (around 3:30ish), so Mike has arranged his schedule to be home when he gets off the bus.

My week was definitely a whole new experience for me.  I'm constantly on my toes, learning new "tricks" every day as I adjust my brain down to connect with kids on a four year old level.  I didn't realize how hard it would be to teach kids what a line is, how to walk in one, and why we walk in one.  I forgot that the majority of these kids have never been in a single structured environment in their life before.  I can tell the ones who have had parents read to them because they know what a book is.  Others are absolutely clueless. I can tell which ones have discipline in the home and which ones are the babies of the family and treated so.  They definitely are cute little things, though, some of them as tiny as can be.  My morning class has done very well.  We have a great time each day, they're catching on to this whole school thing, and they leave me feeling confident when they leave at 11:00 each day.  Then the afternoon class shows up at 12:00, and my confidence goes out the window.  What a challenge they are!  It's pretty obvious which ones have run around their house all morning without a lick of structure or discipline.  They'll get this whole school thing eventually, but it's definitely going to take them a little longer.  

My biggest challenge is keeping up with the paperwork and organization of 48 kids' supplies rather than the 22 I've been used to.  I'm not able to communicate with the parents as directly because there's so many of them, nor am I able to respond to any notes from them as quickly as I'd like to because I don't get a break until they're gone.  The beginning of the year is quite tedious.  My biggest blessing so far has been having an assistant to help me out with all of that organization.  She's been a PreK aide for 12 years, so she's helped me out a lot with how to do things.  We seem to work together really well, too.  I'm so thankful for her.  

This week David started up with his regular soccer practice one evening a week, both boys attended the student ministry night at church on Wednesday, and they also began training for a Marathon relay that they're going to be running with a team on December 8th.  They are running on a team with David's lifetime buddy, Drew, and it goes to support Scottish Rite.  There are five people on the team, so each one will run a different part (several miles) of the marathon on their own.  They're going to be paired with an adult team so that an adult will be there to keep an eye on each of them.  I think it's going to be a good experience (physically and mentally) for all of them, and I think it will also be a good bonding experience for David and Juan David. 

So, that pretty much sums up our first week of school.  David is excited, challenged, and overwhelmed.  Juan David is as happy as can be, and Mom is doggone exhausted.  Mike is thankful for a nice, quiet morning to be out working in the garage and driveway.  

Oh, and Mike bailed the dogs out of jail on Monday morning.  We had to pay a $25 fee per dog for getting picked up, plus we had to pay for them to get an up to date rabies shot (they were a few months behind) and to get registered.  So, $95 later, they are home.  They seemed remorseful for a day or so...... They stunk horrible when they got home, plus they were exhausted.  I'm assuming they didn't sleep much in dog jail.  Serves them right.  We have two boys that are very thankful to have their dogs back, though. 

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