It was a great Christmas season, but I was, like most parents, ready for my kids to get back to school and thankfully so were they! I’m so thankful for the kids’ school. It’s one of a kind in many ways, and it’s just down the road from us! Some parents drive their kids 45 minutes each way just to enable them to attend but I thankfully only have to go about 10 minutes. The school was founded by a husband and wife who had children of their own with no good options for their education. After high school they wanted them to have options to further their education abroad, so they rented a space, hired teachers, and became an American accredited K-12 school. The director is keeping the school to a manageable number of 50, which makes it big enough that my kids can socialize and make friends, but small enough that the teachers and principal can get to know each child’s needs and help them overcome their challenges.
I am so impressed with the education my kids are receiving and so thankful that I am not the only one challenging them to rise to their potential.
In their first year at the academy Richardson, Job, Winzor, John Love and Melissa were all able to progress fast enough to finish two grades in one year! This is especially wonderful considering that the older kids have so many grades to catch up on since they didn’t attend school until 2012. Iderby received an award for most improved in the school, and Dayana was recognized for being the smartest. She works very hard to do her best so it was wonderful to see her teachers encourage her efforts in this way.
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:24-25
Besides the education I am so thankful that their school offers them a safe place of support to be who they are. My kids have been wrestling with their self-identity, some more than others, since long before we became a family. Outsiders often refer to them as orphans, or to our house as an orphanage. This can make the kids very uncomfortable and even angry, understandably, but it can be hard for them to have to explain our family when they are made fun of, or they feel the trigger of this accusation.
At their school they have found a safe place to explain who they are as siblings and they have found a lot of support from their peers many whom also have come from non-traditional family make-ups. At school they have friends who also used to live in orphanages, or who have been adopted, some have lived in the U.S. before, some are being raised by a grandparent, many of them have experienced the death of one or both parents. They also have hard stories and painful pasts that they are moving through to get to a better future. There is unique camaraderie between the students and I am so happy that my kids have a safe place and friends outside our home to share laughs, shoot hoops, dry each others tears, help one another with homework, trade lunches, and complain about their mom too.