September is an exciting time in Zimbabwe! Everything starts to bloom: there are diverse, bright colors everywhere. The Jacarandas, oh how we love to take pictures of these gorgeous purple blossoms that will leave us too quickly.
It is also the start of the third term for students… the beginning of the end of the year. This year we have a little girl who is going back to grade three for the final term. In January she will start grade 4, it is hard to believe! Going back to school is hard for some families… we are one of those families. During the school holiday the family can create an environment that is conducive to each child’s individual needs. We control the entire routine, every snack and play date carefully arranged. We get to help co-regulate emotions when the days are tough. The success of the school term is largely dependent upon our children being able to navigate the classroom and the expectations of a teacher who may or may not know how to engage with kids from hard places.
This week I have been receiving calls, messages and emails from people around Zimbabwe who have adopted. They are hurting and they are asking for help. Common phrases are appearing such as, “No one told us it would be like this.” Or “I am not sure we really knew how to count the cost.” Things like, “We didn’t sign up for this.” And “We aren’t really sure if this is normal kid stuff or if this is adopted kids stuff, but we need help.”
Every child who has experienced loss (even if that loss occurred at birth) has a story. That story will have a lifelong impact on them and it will impact those who love them. Our children were not given a choice regarding their experiences, but we were. It is up to us to be prepared. We want our kids to bloom, like the jacarandas and the rest of the gorgeous flora around Zimbabwe. But the truth is, the blooms don’t burst forward with quite the same rhythm. Our kiddo’s springtime success requires a lot of hard work and a team of support. The school holiday time is an important time for us to equip our children with techniques that empower them to navigate the uncertainties of the school day.
And when our kiddo comes home on a Friday in a funk, it is our job to provide all the nurture and care she needs. That is sometimes harder than it sounds, but it’s always worth it.
With love from Zimbabwe,
|Because we all need a reminder when the days are hard.|