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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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Thursday, January 26, 2017

Miracle of the Moment - Steven Curtis Chapman

I think I've posted this song before at least once, but God brought it to mind last evening just as I decided to sit down to write for a little bit. I find it pretty fitting for this season of life, actually rather soothing. A good reminder to breathe and take in each moment fully. I keep seeing and focusing on the miracles in the making when I should be soaking up the miracles already happening right in front of me.

This year feels like a roller coaster of emotions, taking me up to the highest highs, down to some pretty low lows, through some moments of panic, with only a few calm moments to breathe every now and then.  Juan's senior year--enough said. Finding and reconnecting with his sister--enough said. David in high school. College searching. Exploring career interests. Travel opportunities. Big dreams. So, so many changes on the horizon and  decisions to be made.

I knew Juan's senior year would tug on my heart strings, but I didn't expect it to feel so rushed that it would send me into panic mode more times than I can count. I've backed out of so many activities, I'm actually scheduling time for self-care/me-time, and I am learning how to say no to things that normally interest me for the sake of being physically, emotionally, and mentally available to my son in his last semester of high school.

His entire high school career has been quite complicated, so the fact that we're even looking at graduation is a huge accomplishment.

  • Year one: he didn't speak English AT ALL, so he spent the first year in a newcomer school. However, he only earned half the credits, so he had to start all over again as a freshman in the regular high school the next year, taking a mixture of freshman and sophomore classes, as well as taking a few classes online. 
  • Year two: we call it his "fresh-more" year. He did awesome in all of his classes and passed his first STAAR exams (state required tests for graduation) surprising all of us, but since his classes weren't normal college-prep classes, his GPA stayed pretty low,' even with all A's and B's. His counselor encouraged him to do all he could to bring his grades up even more so he could have a better GPA before starting to look at colleges. He also played soccer on the JV team.
  • Year 3: He took all Junior level classes, but they still had him coded as a sophomore, so he missed some critical college-prep advice, e-mails, SAT tests, etc. He still took online courses at home to keep catching up, and he brought his GPA up to a 3.1, a qualifying GPA for college and even to apply for scholarships. He passed the remaining STAAR exams needed to graduate, even the English one that many native speakers need two chances to pass.  Plus he played soccer on the JV team and played as an alternate player on the varsity team when they won the district championship.
  • Year 4: Senior Year. Here we are. The Fall felt jam-packed and super rushed, looking at college possibilities, making a college visit, scoping out scholarships, filling out the FAFSA, dealing with all those  added complications due to his orphan status extending past the age of 13--yes, that really makes a huge difference on your FAFSA, taking both the SAT and ACT (only to find out he's still under the score needed for college admission), getting accepted  at DBU through a special program that will monitor him the first two semesters, extra SAT practice to help him improve his score, more on-line courses, working a part-time job, driving, (and dealing with a stressed out mom). This semester seems a bit calmer now, so we can focus on scholarship applications, more SAT practice, church involvement, one more online class, and one last high school soccer season. 
Sigh. I get teary-eyed just typing those words--one last high school soccer season. 

High school has been so much more complicated for him than for his peers (also considering that he learned how to merge into a new family and culture at the same time), but he's outperformed many of our expectations and proved us wrong on many counts regarding his abilities. We may get on him all the time for being lazy and not taking much initiative around the house, but when you look at all he's overcome in the last four years, I don't really see lazy. I see perseverance and determination to succeed despite all the odds stacked against him. We don't ever see him study, so we're not sure he will even know how to cope in college, but we didn't think he'd do this well in high school, either, and he proved us wrong. I think college will be a huge challenge for him, but I also believe he can make it.

He's got his heart set on DBU, and he already got a Christian Leadership Scholarship for 20 percent of tuition. However, the remaining amount is still very daunting, so here's to hoping some other scholarship opportunities will present themselves. He's willing to do community college at first if he needs to, but we are holding onto hope (and faith) that God will make a way for him to spend at least his first year as a full-time student on campus. We truly believe that first year experience on campus at a small Christian college will shape his future in a huge way. 

So, back to the rollercoaster we go. I really want to enjoy each moment of this ride with my son, capturing every moment rather than trying to "figure out" the miracles still in the making. Each day holds a treasure, one that I don't want to miss. 

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