So after much prayer and counseling we decided to home school Jude for the remainder of the 2014-2015 school year. We planned on withdrawing him from school the end of October but after several discouraging turn of events we thought it was in his and our best interests to do it immediately. So yesterday afternoon Joe picked up Jude from school and that is that… I’m now a home school mom.
I never thought I would home school my children and at this point we aren’t planning on doing this forever or for all of our children but right now it is the best option for our family. We are jumping into this home school thing completely blind and are praying we don’t screw anything up. Thankfully I have a number of friends who home school and are involved in local communities that can offer us advice and support.
My biggest hesitation with home schooling Jude this year is simultaneously managing 2 toddlers plus caring for a newborn (in just a few more months!). However, we’ve decided to enroll Noah in preschool for at least a few mornings a week so I will have a little more opportunity to teach Jude, plus Noah has been begging to go to school.
Jude is a very bright young boy and I worry that I don’t be able to keep up with how quickly he learns things but we’ll just take it one day at a time.
I was surprised to find so many curriculum and subject options but I think we’ll start small and add new books as needed. This is primarily to keep me from feeling overwhelmed.
So now I need to set up our home school (anyone have suggestions for a name?), order some materials and make a plan. But today we’re taking it easy, no school work just relaxing and enjoying a beautiful day with my family.
I’m both excited and nervous about this new adventure but ultimately I feel a sense of peace, knowing that right now this is the best decision for Jude.
I woke up this morning in a dark place. It was literally storming outside and the thunder woke me up. Usually the little baby that sleeps on my bladder wakes me up but not today. I got up to pee then climbed back in bed hoping to get a few more minutes of sleep before a certain early-bird three year old came knocking at my door. But my over-packed brain had other ideas. All the worries and stresses of these past few months and the upcoming months flooded my mind and thus ensued a panic attack.
Joe woke up to me crying and gasping for breath. (Not how you want to start your Wednesday, or any day really) He just held me for awhile and then offered comforting words. He didn’t try to “fix”anything because we both know our situation is way beyond anything we can realistically fix. As we both sat in the darkness, holding on to each other, we realized there was nothing we could do to escape this season of our life. We felt very alone and left only clinging to God as our hope.
The remainder of the morning was pretty slow. As the rain continued to fall I spent some time in the word, talking to God and cuddling 2 sweet little boys. Throughout the day Joe sent me text messages or instant messages with encouragements. Then I started to receive texts and messages from family and friends that wanted to encourage and help us through this difficult season. As the sun started to peer through the clouds the tiny seed of hope in my heart started to sprout. God was showing me his faithfulness in a very tangible way, through the body of Christ.
People actually wanted to walk along side us through this valley. They wanted to bring us food, watch our children, lend a listening ear and pray for us. This is truly what the body of Christ is intended to look like. People that use actions before words. People that speak life and not condemnation. People that will sacrifice their daily needs to get down in the trenches and walk with you in the mud.
This season of life led me to a completely broken and dark place. I’ve felt abandoned, abused and mistreated. But I know that God is using these difficult life things to draw me closer to him. And if all of this pain and hardship is just to bring me into the light of his glory… so be it.
We’ve had a rough couple of days, weeks, months….
It seems every time we turn around some new difficulty befalls our family. So yesterday afternoon when Noah fell off the top bunk and broke his collar bone the only thing left for me to do was laugh. The last few months have been filled with a series of unfortunate events. We’ve dealt with Jude’s school struggles, a death in the family, sick children, financial hardship, injured children, an uncomfortable pregnancy, and many more hard life things.
At this point Joe and I are running on fumes most days and our daily life is more about survival than anything else. However, I’m extremely thankful that through all of this pain and suffering Joe and I are working together and growing closer. We realize that the depth of our suffering is beyond anything we can fix and the only way to survive is to turn to God.
In all honest it took me a little while to finally give everything over to God. Jude and I were riding in the car. I was worrying about money while Jude was jabbering on about one of his favorite shows. Then suddenly he stopped talking and quoted verbatim Provers 28:11.
A rich man is wise in his own eyes, but a poor man who has understanding will find him out.
As I sat shocked that Jude just quoted a scripture verse I had no idea he knew God reminded me that I am not in control. My wisdom and understanding is extremely limited. I am unable to see the full picture God has painted of my life. Even though I know that worrying and stressing about my life situations won’t solve anything it took the words of my son to remind me that God is in control.
Tomorrow we finally have an appointment with a child psychologist to discuss a full evaluation for Jude. A few weeks ago we learned the difference between a psychologist and a psychiatrist after our health insurance mistakenly set us up with a child psychiatrist who just prescribes medication and doesn’t offer any evaluation. You live and learn.
Anyway, I’m excited and anxious to meet with this psychologist. A lot of people give us their “opinion” about what makes Jude special but it will be nice to have a professional opinion. Instead of playing guessing games with our decisions about Jude we will now have a point of reference from which to start. This will narrow down a lot of options and give us a better starting place from which to make decisions about discipline, schooling and other activities.
It’s taken a long time for us to get here and we’ve all been crushed along the way. It’s difficult when your child doesn’t fit societal norms but his needs aren’t glaringly obvious. As parents we’ve received a lot of judgement from other people who assume they know best. I’m sure some of their observations and comments are well meaning but unless you are fully aware of our situation you don’t have the authority to make any judgements about my child.
What makes it tough now is that over the past few months Jude has become aware of how differently he is being treated and his poor little heart is broken and confused. This morning Jude was practically in tears because he didn’t want to go to school. He asked to go to a new school. In recent weeks he’s become very clingy and is constantly telling me he loves me and doesn’t want me to leave. This type of interaction from Jude is very rare and unusual, I can tell there is something going on in his heart that he is unable to express. My heart just breaks for him and I wish I could take away the pain and fix everything right now but transition takes time. We are currently researching our options and are awaiting the opinion of the psychologist before we make any big decisions. It is very obvious that Jude is in a toxic environment but we want to be very careful with our next move because he needs a school that will nurture and encourage him to flourish.
This is by far one of the hardest things Joe and I have endured thus far in our marriage. Parenting is difficult but when your child is suffering at the hands of someone else it’s all I can do to not go full mama bear on someone. We have been seeking much counsel from friends and family who know Jude. They have become our sounding board so we don’t make decisions based on what is justifiably right but based on what is in the long-term best interest of Jude. That has been incredibly difficult to separate out. I am also very thankful for prayer and the wisdom we find in scripture which has given us amazing hope and encouragement during this dark time.
The past month or so have been mentally, emotionally, and financially draining. But I finally feel like we’re close to a resolution… and by resolution I mean a developed long-term plan that will equip and encourage Jude to thrive.