Pictured is Caleb in his new, and quite infamous, goggles. He found these, attached to a kid's leaf blower, at a garage sale. Me, being the pushover Mom that I am, caved in and bought the pair for him - more so for the goggles than the leaf blower. Thus, they were quite the spendy goggles. But in hindsight... it was the best money I've ever spent!
Oh how I love this kid.
I've have been thinking more and more about how I view not just my son, but all kids. As a music teacher, I see close to 200 kids everyday. Each child has his/her own unique personalities, each child has different strengths and weaknesses, and every child has been raised in a different way.
Of course I took multiple classes in college studying different learning types and economic factors that can influence a child's abilities to learn, but it is through my studies about adopted & fostered children that I'm beginning to understand more about how each child's differences need to be valued and nurtured. There are millions of factors that help create who each one of us becomes in life, but so many of these factors can be narrowed down to your very first years of life.
Were you nurtured? Did your mother or caretaker look you in the eyes? Did you feel safe? Did you know you had boundaries, but even if you broke them, someone would be there to help you with your fall? Were you cared for? Could you trust anybody? Did you feel unconditional love?
If one of these questions is lost in the puzzle of a life, there can be consequences - and children have no say as to if these questions are met for them.
So what do we do? When that 6 year old is begging for attention, but can't look an adult in the eye? When an 8 year old is emotionally like a two-year old? When a 3 year old doesn't mind what adult takes care of him? When a 12 year old pushes past anyone trying to care for her?
I see these kids in my classrooms. I work with them Everyday. Everyday. It challenges my thinking, it sometimes makes me weep, and mostly - it makes me want to RUN HOME and give my son all of the love I can throw at him.
What do I need to do to make a difference in my student's lives? Which of the children in my classroom need to be adopted? Maybe not physically, but emotionally & spiritually? I loose patience with these children much too often, and loose sight as to what they really need. Granted, it would be much easier if I was with each child alone, versus in a classroom of 18, but what do I need to do to make sure every child has the above questions fulfilled?
I don't think there is, no, I know, there is no definitive answer to these questions. But I'm going to continue to dwell on them, and try to look through these new lenses of my life. I not only want to be ready to adopt children into my home & heart, but I want to also be a part of a village that raises our children so that each one can feel like he or she belongs, is cared for, and unconditionally loved.