Addie Day | 1.2019
This post has been in my draft folder for weeks now. Addie Day was January 1st and now it’s almost February 1st, so it’s time to finish and hit publish!
Last night, while watching TV with Geoff, Addie came and laid across me. Yes (thankfully) she still readily snuggles, but she is no longer my little girl. She is developing into a sweet young woman—in fact, she attended her first youth night at church this past week—that was weird (for me) to see her walk out the door with 17-year old Taft and say, “See ya Mom!”
Physically, Addie is very small, even for Korean genetics. We have exactly one paragraph of information about her birth mother and the circumstances surrounding her birth. We know she was 4’8” tall. We know that she struggled with self-confidence and self-expression and that she did not receive an education beyond elementary school. We know her mother (Addie’s biological grandmother) ran away when she was very young and we know that she suffered from polio, which affected her right side. So, she was abandoned and crippled. Add to that, very poor. Yikes!
When we adopted her, Addie was considered “special needs”, but not because of anything that could be recorded. What the officials said—and repeated over and over again—was that her mother had had polio. Clearly polio cannot be inherited and there was nothing in her birth data that indicated special needs of any kind, but we have known since she was a toddler that she has challenges. Addie didn’t begin speaking for several months beyond the bell-curve normal range. She started speech therapy at 18 months with an emphasis on expressive language development but it wasn’t until my first parent-teacher conference in the first grade that I understood that there was much more going on.
This is all to say that now, after testing and retesting and a year of private school and multiple IEPs and resource teachers and accommodations AND much reading, observation and prayerful seeking for direction we have made the decision to home school beginning in the fall. Instead of moving from elementary school into middle school, Addie will stay home with me and together we’ll prepare her for LIFE. It’s unlikely that she will attend high school or go on to college, but I’m learning that there are so many other ways and many, many resources. The longer I sit with this decision, the better I feel. I’m currently taking an online course in home-based education for Washington State, so that I fully understand what is required of me. If I’m honest, I have always looked at those who homeschool with a little bit of suspicion. I’ve thought, “WHY would they do such a thing?” But now … I am SO EXCITED. It just goes to prove that we often question or criticize what we don’t understand. And, one of the coolest things … my sister, Darci decided to start homeschooling 4 of her 5 children this last fall. Initially I said, “That’s crazy sauce!” but now I have her to lead the way.
I am certain I will share more about these plans as they take shape, but for our first Addie Day of 2019, I’m HAPPY to say that we will be using that sewing machine she got for Christmas. We will be learning and making and doing a LOT more together and while I’m a little nervous, I am mostly thrilled!
And for the record, advice and insight is readily accepted, so don’t hesitate to share what you know!