After so much blood, sweat and tears and endless people praying and supporting us, our dear sponsored son from Ethiopia joined our family in at the end of June. Most of you know the story. He made his way home to us on a student Visa and the plan was for him to further his education here in America at a small private Christian school. We spent our summer days just exploring , learning and adjusting. He needed time to process everything from the ice maker on the fridge to the importance of wearing seatbelts in the car. Some days were grueling and he was exhausted from taking it all in. The summer whirred by and we spent our final weekend before school in Chicago giving him a taste of the magnificent mile and the gorgeous nighttime city scape. The summer was magical and one I know none of us will soon forget.
It is always bittersweet, those final weeks of summer that lead to the first days of school. There are details on top of details with a family of five children yet this past week was the best back to school experience we can ever recall. What is most amusing is the fact that we have four kids in four different schools. It just so happens we ony have one left in elementary, one in the 5/6 building, one entering the seventh grade building and now a high schooler. Ha! That one makes us laugh and if we survive the year with only a few minor scrapes we will be celebrating our way into next summer. Honestly most of the time it is great fun and a bit like a chess match or a wild video game. Thank God we are in love with our daily to dos and our giant calendar or our days would blow up in thick smoke. Speaking of calendars I am feeling the need to get us all set up digitally so we can use phones to know the plans wherever we are. Any takers on entering in 400 soccer games for the season?
Sending him off to school felt much more strange than I had expected. He is nearly a grown boy yet somehow having to let him out of our care and into the fold of American teenagers just did not feel easy. He can hold his own and already his English has improved dramatically, but still I never stopped wondering during his first day if he was asking for help or finding his classes. Did he understand his teachers or the homework assignments? These are all burning questions that we face as each child enters the school arena, yet very intense when it came to my child home from Ethiopia just s few months who looks to me in all things everyday. Even after the first week it is tough to tell if he has been accurately placed in his classes but we do know that he seems to enjoy them all and already has become accustomed to speaking up in class. As I pulled into to school I saw his face light up as he saw me from a distance. There he was all smiles and I could finally breathe. “Oh Mom my school is amazing!” He was just beaming as he flung all his new goods into the car. He was treated with such kindness and open arms. He quickly apologized for not eating his lunch as he explained that he made no less than 30 new friends and they had insisted on sharing their lunches with him while they threw every question imaginable his way. His brain was tired and he spite of his enthusiasm for his new American education, he was rather quiet the rest of the evening. His small Christian high school feels so right and he could not be happier save for his mistake of giving out his cell number to everyone without knowing names. Just today a girl called him and as he chatted he soon realized he had no idea who she was. I was laughing so hard my 7th grader was scolding me thinking I was going to run off the road. Tadesse has brought a light and laughter to our house beyond what any of us could have dreamed and just the other day we discovered he was moisturizing his hair with Neosporin Ointment instead of Vaseline. Gotta love it!
Our week was glorious and even in the middle of hectic days there was a calm to the expectation and routine of school. Being back in the learning groove feels awesome and this year I look so forward to all the new adventures that school brings. This boy is now a Northpointe Mustang and we are eternally grateful for all the insight and joy he added to our back to school chaos this year. Go get em Tade and always know that we are right her beside you every step of the way. We are all so proud of your perseverance and your unyielding courage, It’s contagious…