There was a time when I made this crazy statement:
I’d NEVER homeschool Joseph!
Guess what we’ve been doing for more than half of this school year! :) YEP. Doing school from home/the hospital/Ronald McDonald House. And, it’s not been too bad.
Last June Joseph had an evaluation done at the Shriners Hospital for Children in Philadelphia. It was actually a “second opinion” after we had been told several times that there was nothing that we could do to straighten Joseph’s legs…and FOR SURE walking was out of the question. We were told that he was fairly independent and mobile in the position he was in, so we should just wait and see if his scoliosis worsened then we could look into getting him a back brace or surgery. That just didn’t seem good enough. Darrel and I were just not ready to say, “Ok, let’s just do nothing.” Joseph wasn’t either.
Before we went to Philadelphia we were told by several parents, and saw on many blogs, that there was a doctor that could do amazing things for kids with Arthrogryposis. In June we met him and his team. When he saw Joseph he was a little taken back. Later on down the road I overheard this doctor tell another medical person that Joseph had the most extreme combined contractures in all of his lower joints that he has ever seen! (Not particularly something any parent would want to hear!) That was the first time he saw Joseph.
The last time he saw Joseph, after months of casting his legs, and several surgeries (some little ones and one big one) he told us, “When I first met Joseph I didn’t know where to start! Now when I look at him I know what needs to be done next!” (This IS something that any parent would want to hear!)
All that to say, Joseph and I have done a LOT of school work together this year. We were in Philadelphia almost as much as we were home. I watched him memorize the multiplication facts 1 – 12. –He’s a rock star! Seriously, he’s GOOD. We did a BUNCH of reading. We did a few more “projects” than either of us would have preferred. And we both learned a little more patience. I think.
I’ve learned that sometimes those things that I just really think I can’t do…or don’t want to do…are actually not so impossible after all. God can even make them enjoyable, if we let Him. Joseph’s verse he would repeat over and over when he was getting his legs stretched and recasted was:
“I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13)
As we start to wade through adoption paperwork for Vienna I am reminded of this verse quite often. Seriously, when I had to find the ADDRESSES and DATES for everywhere Darrel and I have lived since we were eighteen years old I was crying out to the Lord. Even those little “summer stays” between all of our training for missions. CrAzY!!! Darrel has moved 24 times and I have moved 20!!! But, it is SOOO worth the work and I would do it all day if I had to, to get Vienna home! (Oh wait, I DID do it all day!) :)
I am thankful that God “lets” us do things we don’t think we want to do. Like homeschooling. I am also thankful that Joseph was able to go back to school this week, three weeks before the end of the school year to be with his friends and teachers before summer break. :)
*Disclaimer: During our time at Shriners Joseph had a tutor who helped us 2 hours each week and while we’ve been home but not able to go to school he has had a tutor who comes 4 hours a week…so I was getting some direction! I am thankful that our school worked so nicely with us by giving me the work we needed to do!!