Hello again! I feel like we’ve been even busier than usual over the last month (how is that possible?!?), so blogging hasn’t made it very high up on the priority list.
Since our ER visit…
- Boy and Girl started school on August 22. Regression/crazy behavior ensued. Multiple people, including our therapist, asked me in a very concerned manner, “are you doing ok? Because your kids are…kind of crazy…and they must be really hard to take care of.”
- We received CPS approval to homeschool Boy on August 26: a rare event in the foster world, but one we are so thankful for. I started the appeal process in early July. Our case manager and adoption social worker were both very supportive and worked to get the appeal moving quickly. I wrote hundreds of words regarding Boy’s need for individualized education and my plans to provide it, spoke to many CPS officials, begged God for a miracle, and waited. The appeal went through somewhere between five and ten levels of approval, up to the assistant commissioner of CPS in Austin. For us to receive permission to homeschool a foster child (CPS is not typically homeschool-friendly) speaks to Boy’s need for significant educational intervention. It was really a great encouragement to me as I take on the task of educating our son who missed kindergarten and first grade and didn’t grasp second grade. CPS really thinks that I’m the best person to do the job. Awesome, because that’s what I happen to think, too!
- We got a call on August 27th from a local charter school saying that a spot for Girl had opened! We have been on the waiting list since receiving the kids in April, so we were really excited to be able to send Girl to a school with smaller classes, more individualized attention, and many staff members who have experience with foster and adoption issues. God’s hand over our kids’ education was so evident: we were only able to accept the charter school invitation because we found out the day before that Boy could be homeschooled. Without homeschool, I wouldn’t be able to have two kids in two different elementary schools on similar schedules.
- Upon receiving homeschool permission, I frantically ordered curriculum materials, wrote lesson plans, and finished household projects and errands that I had started in my extra free time while Boy and Girl were at school.
- On September 6th, Girl started her new school, Boy started homeschool, and Baby had an EEG as part of the follow-up for her seizures. Oh, what a crazy day! Baby had to wake up at 6 AM and stay awake until 2 PM (NO NAP!!!). It was my first day as teacher/mom, and my baby had to have 25 wires glued to her head so that we can figure out if something’s wrong with her brain. The day had all the makings of a disaster, but it was really a wonderful day. I know we were prayed for and shown kindness by many and given abundant grace by One.
- We attended a foster care/adoption conference today. Left the house before 7 AM. Yikes! We got some good information, particularly about homeschooling older adopted children (very timely!), and were encouraged to hear from families who have survived similar or even rougher challenges with their adopted kiddos.
- Oh, and we have a doctor/dentist appointment (almost all CPS-mandated) or social worker visit almost every weekday in September. Plus a three hour therapy trip every Thursday. And we’re starting Cub Scouts because Boy is required to be in a weekly structured activity because he’s hard to take care of (so we add more?).
- I’m teetering on the brink of insanity due to the aforementioned schedule. Come adoption day, there will be no appointments unless I darn well feel like it or a child is bleeding in 7+ places. I can dream, right?
- Last Sunday, we had to break into our own house. Yes, that’s right. I thought PJ had the keys. He thought I had the keys. We were both wrong. The van and house keys were locked inside. Not to be deterred from delivering three cakes to church and taking advantage of the hour in which wonderful people take care of and teach our children, my super awesome husband hammered the doorknob off the garage door, allowing us to retrieve the keys and be on our way.
I hope to blog about our homeschool experience as well as other things going on that deserve more than a bullet point. Don’t hold your breath, but don’t give up on me yet!