Since we decided to Home School via Connections Academy I felt it was important to have a designated spot for school time and would have all of her supplies at the ready, so L modified my huge wood desk to fit in her room and I just had to share how awesome it turned out (yes, I need to re-stain it, but cosmetics can wait until the big stuff is done *laugh*).
The cloth boxes filled with things are actually specific curriculum subject supplies, so those will actually go up on a shelf once that is built. Right now I have the binders and extras all stacked underneath the desk, awaiting the shelf, too. She can lay in bed and watch TV, there will be a frame with four family pictures (three of us all individually and then placement or adoption day in the last window) that will go with the “family” sign, and the desk doesn’t interfere with her window while giving a lot of work room. And it is SOLID. *laugh* We got a great deal on it when I started my first business and since it’s such a high quality piece we just had to modify it to work for her room. (And yes, I’m about 1/3 of the way done Christmas shopping. *grin* I’m that annoying friend who doesn’t understand wading through the crowds on Christmas Eve. *laugh* Plus, I have some that have to be shipped out of state, so I start working on them early, too.)
I know it’s super nerdy, but organizing the subject supplies and books together today made it all feel so real and happy to me. Whichever is Kiddo will have to do art as part of their coping techniques, but it can be such a fun outlet that I couldn’t resist putting together a variety of mediums beyond what the school sends.
Although my dad is now out of the picture I even got to put his graphing and blueprint drawing tools in her math box. I like that I can add a few things of his for her that bring back good memories for me. For her science box (which I had to stick a few pieces of other things into since I wanted to keep the center of the desk clean until the shelving is built) I even have a DNA testing kit to learn about her long ago heritage, how blood types work, and even a lesson on haplogroups. Genealogy is something that she can share with Grandma, since I’m only interested in the science and the heritage, instead of the ancestry.
It’s really kind of awesome that I’m able to supplement the core classes she will take and have them connect to her new family, as well. There’s a little concern about the DNA test, but since I’m the one handling all of it, I will keep the more current information put away for her to have when she’s older, if she wants genetic information about her closer biological ancestry. We definitely don’t want to add to her trauma, but with so much loss of identity I think knowing if she has Irish, Russian, German, or whatever roots might give her a little something to help her not feel so set apart from the general population. Adoption and foster guru Sherrie Eldridge recently blogged about how left out this group of children are, especially when it’s that first day of school and they go through the trauma of a new place with new people all over again. It left me thinking about what would her first day story be that she would give others, if she starts standard school the next year? I’m hoping that I can give her something to relate to, like which heritage she has, so she isn’t just “the Cornelisons’ adopted kid” or leaving her to make up a life she thinks other kids will think is cool. Even if she hasn’t attached to us by then, at least she will have something real to identify herself with and keep her system story private if she wants to, without making up a whole story that will inevitably go wrong at some point.
Anyway, I beam every time I look at her desk and especially her bins. The anatomy book L picked up at a garage sale in the middle of the dead zone of our process; the calculator that I used for working at home and then starting my own business is now hers, and even brand new pencils instead of the old household ones. She may never realize it, but there’s meaning and memories behind almost every item, and I just can’t wait to take her shopping to see how she accessorizes and makes all of this hers. I can clearly picture the tween we’re waiting on the BIS for sitting in that chair doing homework. The other two not so easily, but it makes me catch my breath sometimes. I imagine this must be what it’s like when a mother sees the crib all finished and ready for the first time. Schooling is where we will start our deepest bonding instead and I’m actually okay with that now. I’m not sure what tomorrow brings, but this past week just standing in her doorway and looking at everything is my happy moment every single time. 🙂