Saturday, January 31, 2015
I am very grateful to everyone of you who commented. Your experiences, resources, suggestions, and support have led me to much-needed information that has helped me greatly. I am renewed in mind and spirit as to how to proceed with mothering my children. I will share my current thoughts with you...
First, homeschooling is definitely not a point of pride, which is why I tried so hard to find an appropriate public school option last fall and had all the girls evaluated and attended numerous IEP meetings. And why I had the girls in private school part time last year. Would a break from my kids be nice? Absolutely, but I'm able to take that break in other ways and meeting my own needs has been put higher on the priority list now.
After all of that and all my recent research, I definitely know that homeschooling is best for my girls - for now. I think that with any parental decision, it needs to be revisited frequently to make sure it's working and continues to be what is best for the children and family and not be afraid to investigate new options, which I did extensively and continue to do. One thing I do know for certain is that we do not need any more major changes and/or challenges in our lives right now. We've been through enough this past 1.5 years and we need a break, especially as getting work going is also a rather big, but welcome, change.
I've come to realize, after talking with many adoption-knowledgeable professionals that socialization with peers is a much lower priority than I put it, for several reasons, most outlined clearly in every adoption book I read: mainly attachment issues, RAD issues and different emotional needs issues. My girls function well in a group and have a good time, even if on the fringes when it comes to more personal interactions. They are having positive experiences that are adding to their knowledge base and, after only 2.5 years home, they have excellent basic manners now which allows them to participate in many different social aspects of life, and that's enough and is considered doing well - for now. I again refer you to this book as a valuable resource for strengthening families:
I've just had another long, long conversation with a trusted educator who came to China with me for my first adoption, saw the orphanage, has a grandson with autism, another adopted from Korea, tutors in reading, has lived overseas serving a mission in Albania recently and is very connected to many professional resources in her professional field, also, she's been to our new home and town, spent lots of time with the girls, knows me well, what I was like before I became a mom, after I became a mom, but before my move, and she sees what things are like now after my move. She doesn't hesitate to speak out or give her opinion based on all her knowledge and intuition, followed by suggestions, resources and more.
We just spoke about education and socialization for the girls and she is in complete agreement with the decisions I've come to myself, after much prayer, research and seeking out of BTDT parents, psychologists, social workers, teachers, friends, books and more.
The issues that brought me to the recent low were my daughters' recent newest decisions and behaviors that we have now been able to work through in a positive manner, on top of some very real new observations that showed me things about them that were brought out by these newest decisions and behaviors. This does not change the fact that their needs and (dis)abilities and trauma are less, but it does mean that we've managed to come through a very hard period as a family ready to give it our all and try even harder and love each other even more, with new resources, information, boundaries and conditions.
On top of them learning and growing, it's important for me to learn and grow as a mother, too. I have made some adjustments in my parenting that were necessary and good. Parents always must check and double-check themselves and be willing to change. We all know that we aren't perfect, we have no manual, and those of us parenting children like mine have it extra hard - all the time.
As I said before, I never gave up hope, even when I wanted to, even in my bleakest moment, because I have faith that I was called to be these girls' mother by God and He would never have asked this of me without providing the means to do it, as long as I use what he gave me, and as long as I have breath in my body to pray and ask for His help and guidance and comfort. Parenting is full of ups and downs and this was a big down, but we are coming up out of it. Job Corps, homeschool, public school, things I've yet to learn about..... the options are there and I'll always strive to choose the best for my girls.