Friday, September 6, 2013

First Day of School

When we decided seven years ago (has it already been that long?!) to move here from Utah, I was torn.  I had always wanted to strike out on our own and see different parts of the country, even if it wasn't very far from home.  But part of me was so sad about raising our kids away from their extended family.  I was always blessed to have cousins and grandparents nearby, and I had always looked forward to watching my kids love that experience too.

After Jake was born, just a few months after we were settled in, and we discovered the many services available here for him relating to his Down syndrome, I knew this was a big reason why this move felt right even in the face of my torn feelings.  When Jake began kindergarten and got in to his charter school by a hair (they have a lottery to determine who gets to enroll each year; he was first on the waiting list after the drawing, and luckily for us, another family decided to not enroll and he got their place), it didn't take long to realize this was yet another confirmation that we were in the right place.  His school is amazing, outstanding, a perfect fit for both Jake and Kennedy. 

So when we decided to adopt Gabe, I took great comfort in the fact that he would be going to this school too.  The teachers were completely on board with us and have been nothing but supportive and enthusiastic. They made preparations and plans for him before he was even home.  We have absolutely struck gold when it comes to the people that have been put in our lives to help our children.  

Anyway, I wasn't great at taking a lot of photos the first day of school because we were busy!  I drove the kids that first week to make the transition a bit easier (for me, mostly :-).  Gabe now rides the bus and does great on it.  It makes me smile every morning to watch Kennedy help him up that first big step onto the bus.  He's the tiniest kindergartener ever!

"Me?! Me?!  School?!"  He just couldn't contain the excitement.

"Oh hey, you're my teacher huh?  Nice to meet you!"
Mrs. G meets Gabe and Jake each morning, making sure they get to the right places.  She is also one of their amazing teachers.  I tell you, we are incredibly blessed.
The school gang.  I guess I have a thing with plaid shorts.
Kennedy being the great big sister, as always.  These boys don't know how lucky they are to have a big sister like Kennedy.
Gabe jumping up and down when he sees the buses in the distance.  This kid LOVES the bus.  I love the looks on the other kids' faces, "who IS this kid?!"

After I picked him up that first day.  He was so tired!  He has a nap every afternoon after he gets home from school now.  It's been a nice routine coming home and having lunch together then reading a book and tucking him in.

gabe bus 1
Waiting for the bus the second week of school.

Gabe bus 2
Of course he has to make a face (oh the naughty things his big brother is teaching him).
Gabe bus 4
He gets the first seat behind the driver and knows just what to do now.

Today was the first day I got to go in and volunteer in his class.  I get to do that once a month (at back-to-school we got to sign up, and every single day is now filled with a parent who will be in class helping out.  His school has such great parent support too).  It was so comforting and reassuring to watch him in class and see how far he has come in just a few weeks.  He knows right where his "cubby" is, where he puts his papers and back pack.  He follows directions and isn't yelling and being too loud like I had worried :-)  He is happy and smiling and is a hard worker for his teachers.  My favorite part was hearing him say, "Mom!  Watch!" as he did his work and was so proud to have me see.   

We are just blessed.


  1. So,so happy to see these glimpses of a normal life that was almost snatched away from him!