(I’ve had this post written — mostly — for over a week. I set it to post last week, then changed it to post today instead. But then I was going to chicken out and postpone it til next week. Or the week after that. Or maybe the week after that…)
Two years ago, Lindsey had never seen me; she’d never even heard my name. Now, she calls me Mama. I can’t imagine the mental shift required for that to happen. Once a stranger; now her mother.
Is it any wonder that she can’t seem to wrap her mind around thinking of me as teacher, too?
I realized this a few weeks ago when I received my invitation from our homeschool moms’ support group for our end of the year Teacher Appreciation Tea. Lindsey saw it and said, “Where are you a teacher?”
She honestly believes that the only way she is capable of learning is by sitting in a classroom being taught by someone officially known as Teacher.
We’ve told her we believe that public school has become an idol to her, and we’ve expressed our concern about how badly she wants to be, in her words, “a normal kid.” Maybe she wants too badly to be not only in the world, but of it. Then again, since she grew up in foster care, only recently has her life begun to have any semblance of “normal.”
Since she first joined our family, she has said time and time again that she wants to go to public school — but she usually doesn’t mention it until she’s been stewing on it a while. This time I thought she was truly on board with homeschooling, but she tends to tell us what she thinks we want to hear. A few weeks ago it came up yet again. God has shown me that this issue is beginning to build resentment in her towards us. Lindsey is already sixteen and our time with her under our roof is short; we cannot afford to allow bitterness to come into our relationship.
We have decided to enroll Lindsey in public school next year.
To be completely honest, I still feel a little like I am throwing her to the wolves. And taking her last week to meet with the guidance counselor about registration and classes made me feel a little bit like throwing up.
But God is big enough. He protected her for years through things I cannot fathom, and He can certainly protect her in public school. I am not naive enough to think that homeschooling guarantees that my children will grow up to be godly adults, and I know plenty of very godly adults who were educated in public school. I cannot allow my desire to homeschool my children to become an idol either.
Lindsey will tell you that if she was still with her birth family (and quite possibly if she was still in her old town in foster care), she would most likely be on drugs and/or pregnant by now. I have to keep the big picture in mind. It is still possible to disciple her spiritually even if she attends public school. We’ll just have to be more intentional about it. By putting Lindsey in our family, I know that God has already used us to make a huge difference in her life, and He will continue to do so. I keep telling myself that, and I’m thankful He reminds me of it, too.
It’s just hard.
(I’ll be sharing more of my heart on this in the coming weeks – and months.)