Sometimes I think my husband and I have lost our marbles. Why do we have so many kids? Why do we have so many dogs? Why do we have so many irons in the fire and spoons in the pot? Why do we always gravitate toward chaos?
The truth is, when you are committed to being a Servant of Christ, which is all about helping others, life is not usually tranquil and serene. It’s messy, and it’s busy, and it’s sometimes chaotic…….as a matter of fact, if success was measured by how much chaos is in your life, than we take the cake hands down.
It is the beginning of November, which is the first ‘Official’ month of our homeschool year. We love fall so much that we prefer our ‘summer break’ to be a ‘fall break’. All of those leaves in brilliant colors, the pumpkins, the apples, the crisp fall days (ok, that was a stretch because Virginia is still mostly hot in September and October). God’s beautifully artistic Hand is seen in these harvest months and we take the time off to appreciate it!
But, our reprieve from schoolwork is over now, and it is back to the grindstone. In actuality, I am very happy to get back to the schoolin’ of my wild brood, as I thank the Good Lord every day for the luxury of homeschooling my children. There is a heartbroken family in Germany who does not have that privilege, so I am careful to never take that for granted. **If you have not heard of this family who took drastic measures to homeschool their children for God, you can read about it here: http://www.thenewamerican.com/world-news/europe/item/16899-officials-refuse-to-let-persecuted-homeschool-family-leave-germany
This year will be a little different than last year, as each year seems to bring another child. Not in the traditional sense, with pregnancy (although all children must start with pregnancy!), but with a new foster child coming to live with us. This year’s newcomer is ‘Blue Eyes’, and he is a precocious little boy that has seen too many things, and experienced too many losses. That makes our job of homeschooling even harder, but as Servant’s of Christ, we are up to the challenge.
Blue Eyes came to us as an ‘adoptive placement’, which means that rights of the parents will most likely be terminated and he will become eligible for adoption. He is very much aware of this fact at the tender age of 5, and he desperately wants to have a ‘permanent home’. Wanting it and understanding it is two very different things. When a child has suffered as many homes, caregivers, and abandonment as Blue Eye’s has, attachment issues start to play a huge role in their lives. It has been a long and hard two months, but we are starting to see a flicker of progress, and in the darkness that these kids live in, sometimes that is all they have to hold on to. On the up side, he is extremely bright and intelligent. Although he must go to public school until the adoption is finalized, he loves learning so much that I use a Kindergarten curriculum with him in the evenings…….once he’s officially ‘ours’, he will fall right into our homeschooling routine.
The teens are dragging and kicking as usual, loving ‘lunch’ and ‘life studies’ above all else :-). Our oldest son is a Junior this year, and our oldest daughter is a Sophomore, and I am starting to become aware of an elephant in the room…….graduation. We all seem to be taking this year a little slower, relishing each activity, knowing that many of these things will be our last together as a homeschool family. I am not looking forward to the day when my babies leave the nest, but it is very excited to watch them blossom into faithful and caring believers, and I am diligently committed to giving them all I’ve got until they master their skills.
Coconut is doing amazing, especially considering where he was developmentally when we first got him. He speaks in sentences now……they may not be complete sentences, but it is enough that he can communicate with us now. He can actually say the word that he wants to say with some degree of articulation……no more wanting to say ‘spider’ and it coming out ‘bam-ma’ (that one still baffles our minds!) and he can sing the songs that he loves to sing with much more clarity. I know that we still have a long road ahead of us, getting him to his age level, but I will enjoy every moment as the blessing that it is.
Although I hold my breath each morning, waiting for the dreaded phone call that Goldilocks is moving on, teaching her is such a joy. She is such a sweet and happy child, and we are all going to feel her absence when the time comes. But, for now, we will enjoy every last second that we have with her, and all of her excitement when she experiences new things.
So, my house is not as straight and tidy as it used to be, thanks to taking in all these kids…….and the house will forever smell of dog, no matter how much I shampoo the carpets and Fabreze the couch, thanks to taking in all these dogs………and date night is sometimes simply locking our bedroom door and having a grown-up conversation with no interruptions (yeah sure!)…….but, I still thank God everyday for our chaos. After all, who wants a simple, boring ole’ life anyways?