Sunday, January 17, 2010

Older Child Adoption, Part V

You'll be happy to know there are only a couple more topics on my heart :) Those of you who know me, already know the following, but for those of you who do not, I'm giving the disclaimer that I am not an expert!

I am a daughter of the King, a farmer's wife, a working-full-time-outside-(and in)-the-home mom to tots, a tween, teens and young adult who daily minute by minute and hour by hour draws strength from the Source, walking, running and often stumbling in the shoes God has given me, sharing my 'sole' with you in hopes that one person would be encouraged and God would be glorified in the process.

Today I want to share two sort of related/unrelated topics: school and isolation. Only the Lord knew how much I needed the first verse in our message this morning:

2 Cor 3:5 ~ Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God.

Yep, that's where we are! We made the ginormous decision yesterday to pull Kooper out of school and resume home school. I will again give the disclaimer that the terminology I'm using is my own and likely will not be found in professional articles on the subject of school, bonding, attachment and language learning for an adopted older child.

Kooper has been in school full-time for two weeks, and it has gone fairly well, in fact better than expected in some aspects. However, this week we've noticed some changes. We've worked very closely with the school in putting together a plan for our son, and at this time I want you all to know how amazing our school is! We've shared our gratefulness to the administration and faculty and I think it is understood that our decision has absolutely nothing to do with the school and everything to do with Kooper.

For the last week Kooper has grown increasingly disinterested in family. He would go through the motions and do what he was supposed to do, but there was no connection. No humor. No fun. He would ignore Daddy at school and provoke his sister to tears. At home he would have nothing to do with his little siblings. Finally, on Saturday he walked from room to room, avoiding contact with any family member who was in the same area. He had stopped saying, "Amen" during family prayer times and even began to fib about some things.

This just isn't like him. Kooper is a kindhearted boy, and we've been amazed at his attachment and trust with family. He claims his name and does not want to be called by his former name. So it took a few days for us to recognize the signs, but basically what was happening was a detachment from his family as he began to seek the approval and attachment of his peers.

I will admit the friends he was hanging with weren't the ones we would have chosen. Not that they're bad kids, just not the best influence. It's a mom thing, I know. I'm just sayin'...
Most importantly, we had lost our influence.

The things we were teaching him about family, integrity, cooperation, faith and communication were gradually diminishing. I'm so grateful we picked up on the signs when we did.

Does this mean every older child will not succeed in public school? Absolutely not! In fact, we know many who have. We have been our own worst enemy in the school issue, second guessing and doubting our 'competence.' For today we know we have made the right decision, the best decision for Kooper.

I've told friends I'm not as intimidated by home school as I am selecting the curriculum! We have a lesson plan for this week and are ordering some new stuff to change it up a bit.

We broke the news to Kooper last night, and he was not happy! In fact, during the conversation several times he said, "No! I say no!" When we were finished he stormed out of the room, slammed the bedroom door and went to bed. We tried to explain that this is not a punishment; it's what's best for Kooper. He didn't care. All he could say was, "Tomorrow tomorrow school!" We told him that Monday through Friday either Mama or Daddy would teach him English, computer English, math, writing and PE with emphasis on family! We shared that this is not the easiest thing to do and it's because we love him and want what's best for him. At barely 14, he still thinks he knows what's best :)

We feel his pain. We don't like for him to be sad or frustrated. We honestly didn't know what to expect today and Clayton was prepared to stay home from church if Kooper refused to get out of bed. By the time we woke up the kids we'd each spent lots of time in prayer. We were kinda in shock when he got up, got ready for church and got in the car without ever complaining. Of course, he never said a single word (very uncharacteristic if ya' know what I mean), but he did what he was supposed to do.

Today has been unexpectedly pleasant as our son is slowly coming back to us. What a reminder that nothing is impossible with God! Our expectations are so low compared to His plans! We know we have a rocky road ahead. We both acknowledge that the real test will not be whether or not Kooper excels in home education but rather our reaction and response to the times he refuses to cooperate. This is our prayer: to love unconditionally and resort to humor rather than anger and frustration.

I will say it again, I am no expert, and the decisions we've made as a family will not be best for everyone. But as a parent, you know what's best for your child, so don't listen to the lies of the enemy as he whispers words of doubt and defeat into your already vulnerable thought process.

So the house is not as quiet (because it was so quiet with just the tots at home - lol!); we're back to a rigid schedule, preparing 'real' lunches and planning ahead. It's no sacrifice at all compared to the risk of losing our son.

I rarely give names on my blog for fear of invading someone's privacy or that I will forget someone who has poured so much into our family...but I'm throwing all that out the window now and want to thank some folks who have taken the time to pray with us, share home school tips, older child adoption testimonies or just been there when we needed it!

So our hat's off to: Andrea, Lori G, Cheri, April, Kim S, Kim H, Kim C, Carol, Susan C, Diane, Tina, Amanda, Christy, Christina, Linny, Nicole, Lori M, Martha, Tami, Gael, Tammy, Laine, Kim L, Marjorie, Mary, Jodi, Barb, Adeye, Paige, Tim, Lori H, Shelly ...
I apologize if I've left anyone out, and I know as soon as I hit 'publish post' I'll think of you...and will come back and add your name!
As for the topic of isolation, we'll just have to catch that next time...


Martha said...

I greatly admire your dedication to Kooper. He will also one day. If you need any help with homeschool curriculum selection, sites, or just need to know my number! God's going keep working!

Kim said...

Praying for you and your family. I love to hear that he is participating with the family somewhat today...a testimony to you guys ...that he feels the love you have for him and that he knows that you are standing up for what is best for him.
Love ya friend!

April said...

This is what I LOVE about you! You are not afraid to make choices for your kids, that benefits them, and although I know it crosses your mind, you dont worry about what others will think, you put your family first!!! We serve an amanzing and wonderful God, who loves us with everything with in Him! With much love and prayers sending your way!!! Love you girl!

GaelN said...

Praying for you this week! Praying for Kooper this week!
"For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him..." 2Chron 16:9

marion said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
trina said...

I'm excited for you all. Oh yes, I know the feeling of picking a curriculum. The hardest part for us. Once we found it, that is all we would consider. We use the Bob Jones DVD program and love it! Not sure if that would work for you all but we love them. Have four kids doing the program. You will for sure bond...he'll be forced Hugs. You can do this!

Julie said...

Homeschooling is not the easiest decision, but you will never regret it either. I homeschool my kids and it has made a huge difference in their concept of family.

mom to 5 great kids, 4 from China

Shelly said...

Girl, I'm thinking YOU ROCK, for following God's plan for your lives and taking the hard steps! We'll be praying for you guys, as he continues to transition!

Jodi Sue said...

Jorja is still upset at me for pulling her out of school in November - Praying one day Kooper and Jorja will understand that we did this because we love them and want the best for them - If we wanted the easy route we'd leave them in school.

Love ya Sista!

Erica said...

You are stong as well as the rest of your family and I know this will be tough and rough but with God all things are possible! Kooper will see in the end what was best and also just remember when teaching a child something new repetivness and routine. I am sure you already know this! Its the first thing I learned in my education class lol:) If you ever have questions I will ask someone and find you the answer. You will succeed because you have the strength of the Lord! Love ya all and I am praying.

Cindy said...

Do you think this was Kooper's way of letting you know school was too much? he wanted to be home w/ you and be homeschooling more? he felt safer w/ his family? So he tried to "separate" himself to not be hurt b/c he was feeling insecure? Just are so in tune w/ his needs. Thanks for sharing. And you will all be in our prayers. Keep us posted, I love hearing the progress and the downs, hoping for more ups though! HUGS!

Adeye said...

Oh my goodness, my friend...what a journey, hey? I so admire your love and dedication to your boy. You absolutely HAVE to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit with regards to where the best place is for him...and it sounds like you have done just that!

Praying that he will be back to his normal old self really soon.

Sending you a HUGE hug.

Blessed Family said...

Connie hugs to you! Your blog is so real and truthful. I am sure that this will be a great way for Kooper to bond even more with you all and continue to see what "family" is all about. I have been praying about homeschooling my 2 kids (3 to be) in September. There are SO many great resources out there. I never thought in a million years I would go this route but I just feel called to it. Keeping you guys in my prayers.

souljane said...

Just stumbled up on your blog.

So beautiful.

Directly contributing to the Kingdom of heaven through adoption.

I can only hope that God will bless me with enough courage to one day do the same as you.

Who knew blogging could be such great fellowship?

Kim said...


I am sitting here in tears...tears of thankfulness! I am so thankful Kooper has parents that are commited to him...committed to do what is best for him not what is easier. I am so thankful you share the joys and struggles...I soak up every word....thanks for sharing!


Love you,

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