Fourteen years ago, Finn was born and he changed our world. For the better, the oh so much better. Three years and one miscarriage later, Hays came along. We poured our life into our children. Homeschooling them, creating an amazing life full of adventure and fun while preparing a firm foundation in Christ.
During these years, many of my dear friends we adopting. Both abroad and domestically. Sweet Mercy, let’s make this clear: I never had a heart for adoption, fostering, adding any more kids into our home. Not a bad thing, just never felt that is where we were called as a family. Then, out of necessity, we took in a nephew a year and a half ago. His age is right in between our boys. He is a sweet hearted, kind boy whose foundation was a bit shaky with a few issues that are natural with his background. After seven months of banging my head against the wall because I could not figure out why homeschooling was so hard, I was given the background on his previous years’ schooling issues. Yes, some important information that would have helped in the beginning. So, I bobbed and weaved, trying new curriculum, different teaching methods.
I have cried out to God regularly during this time, alright, screamed at Him a lot. He is a big guy, He can handle it. I was trying to “FIX” the boy, and, I was exhausted. The other two children were put on the back burner because the new boy’s life was on fire. Up until then, they had a pretty ideal life, this adversity has not been bad for them. You can’t grow during the easy times. But, admittedly, it’s hard to watch.
Two weeks ago, after doing school with our new boy until 6:30 p.m. three nights of the school week (as homeschoolers, we were usually done by Noon every day), my husband came in and said, “Enough!!! Your health, your well-being, and the boys can’t withstand this anymore. I need my wife to not be so stressed out and unhappy.” (paraphrase) So, we found a small Christian school that allows our new boy to do work by subject on his grade level and enrolled him. He is doing well, and likes it. It’s a good fit for him in this season.
Well……that’s not the shocker. My husband then asked, “Well, what about Finn?”
With my most innocent, bewildered face, I asked whatever was he talking about?
During the past year and a half, we have been to several homeschool groups/co-ops because Finn, bless his heart, is so much like me and loves to be around people and involved in things. We live 30 miles from any town, so that makes it hard sometimes. He has a friend Caleb that lives 45 minutes from us and we do not see him often, but that is about it. The diligent seeking of friends and activities for the boys has not gone well. Many of the groups did not have kids around the same age, or we lived too far away to get together often or have VERY different lifestyles. We do have a wonderful community on our mountain who have taken us in as family, but they are an older, retired community. So, no kids around.
If you ask our children what we want them to be when they grow up, they will say “to love Jesus, to love people, and to be happy.” Finn was not happy. He wanted friends. He was having a hard time adjusting to the new child in our world and other issues. He wants to be in a robotics club, maybe be in a play one day. He wants to go to ballgames and even a dance.
So, this homeschooling mom of 14 years took her oldest to an academically challenging and hopefully FUN school for his very first day of school outside of our home this morning. He was excited, yet nervous. I have not cried today as I know he will thrive. He is ready for this new adventure.
Well, I cried for three days straight last week. I might have got it all out. Maybe.
Hays will start school in January at the same school as his brother. He is excited to play sports and make friends. He is academically ready, but I want the next 9 weeks with just he and I, to enjoy some of the time missed over the past year and a half and to just enjoy what a cool kid he is.
So, the Lord has a new thing for our family. I never thought I would be here, but I am. Some days I feel like I failed as a mom, as a teacher. This has been very humbling. And then, I pick myself up and make sure Finn has a clean school uniform and see the smile on his face because again, I just want him to love Jesus, love people and be happy.
I will sacrifice whatever I want or need for that to happen.