School hasn't even started yet, but we're already having to practice more flexibility to accommodate the boys' athletic schedules. Thankfully, David's team never took a break this summer. They've continued with practices the same two evenings every week, and they played a game almost every weekend. Juan David had the whole summer off, though, and kept himself in shape by working out at the gym.
His break officially ended on Monday. We noticed that his last school had not added Athletics to his schedule for this year, so we went to the high school to inquire about it a month ago. They told me the computer system would be down for at least three weeks. Exactly three weeks later, Juan David reminded me we needed to go back. The lady in the office sent me to the registrar, who sent me to the guidance counselor, who sent me to the football coach (since I hadn't heard back from the soccer coach). Juan David had expressed a desire to possibly play football in order to make the right connections and stay conditioned for high school soccer, but he didn't know much about the sport since they don't play football in his country.
We met the coach one day last week, and by that afternoon, Juan David had a locker assigned to him and all of his equipment stored in it. He started practice on Monday of this week. I'm now an official Football Mom, in addition to being a Soccer Mom.
My son is so brave, and I'm really proud of him. He went to practice on Monday not knowing a soul, nor did he even know a thing about the game. This is his first year in a traditional high school, and he only knows a handful of kids that attend the same school. I asked if he was nervous about not knowing anybody, and he just said, "A little, but you know that I make friends easily."
I hoped we hadn't made a mistake by letting him join the team, not taking into consideration the challenges that his first year of "real" high school will bring this year. But after attending the parent meeting last night, I know God led us to make this last minute choice. The coach is brand new this year and is bringing a whole new academic mindset to the athletic department. Not only does he work hard to teach these guys to be real men, but he is adding time to the football schedule to coach them through academics, as well. He's adding mandatory study hall for 30 minutes each day so any student struggling can get the help they need, plus he's adding mandatory tutorials one day each week. I believe this might be exactly the extra help and support Juan David will need this year. Plus it will keep him from slipping through the cracks.
The first two days of practice were long and tough, and we're trying to find a new routine at home to manage both boys' schedules and still protect family time. But I think it will be worth the challenge. I love the fact that my boys have great coaches who are positive male role models in their lives. Now Juan David will have two great coaches (since he's still playing for the same soccer team, too). For a boy who grew up with very few positive male role models, they are vital to his development!
- 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.