Sunday, February 7, 2010

School Visit

This past week, George was the Student of the Week in his class. George has been waiting for this moment to be in the spotlight for months and months. Last Friday he bounded off the school bus with a large red poster in hand, shouting, "Momma! We make poster of Georgie!"

That Sunday, we (all of us eventually joined in!) gathered around the kitchen table to create our Georgie masterpiece. I had printed off several pictures of George; everything from the first picture we ever saw of George (the day he was dropped off at the orphanage) to our Ethiopian Christmas celebration. Together, we planned out how we would arrange the pictures and we then filled out his "All About Me" fact sheet. The fact sheet described his family and highlighted things like favorite food, color, and what animal he would want to be (George said Mickey Mouse - ha!)

Everything was going great until it was time to glue down the pictures. George suddenly grabbed the three pictures from his life in Africa and adamantly said, "No pictures of Georgie in Africa!" We tried to talk to him about how his classmates would love to see these pictures, but he was so stern. Absolutely no pictures of those years. He then sat quietly at the table and laid out his three pictures in front of him, stroking each one with a finger and said, "These make Georgie sad."

I was so worried how the week would go after that. I was sure the kids in the class would notice no baby pictures of for that matter, any pictures of George any younger than his current age. George was to share his poster with his classmates on Thursday and then he asked if I could come in and have lunch with him on Friday. I agreed that would be lovely.

Thursday came and George came home saying he loved sharing his poster. I got an email from his teacher saying he did great, and that he actually was so proud as he shared a little about his life. His teacher said he couldn't answer a few of the questions and that the kids were pretty curious about George. So, I volunteered to talk with them on Friday. His teacher thought that would be nice, so it was set that I would go into the class right after lunch and talk for about a half and hour.

On Friday, I made a few pit stops, talking to the other kids' teachers and then walked into the cafeteria, looking for my son. He was waiting patiently and quietly in line. And then he saw me. Oh, how I wish I could describe the look on his face! His eyes lit up and he smiled a huge smile! He truly was happy to see me. We had a great lunch together, sitting with three of his classmates and having fun. Then, we made our way to the classroom.

The kids were just so cute! They all sat eagerly on the rug as George's teacher introduced me. I really wanted to talk about adoption and be there to answer any questions the kids may have. I talked for just a minute or two before opening it up for questions - and boy did the questions come!!! Those kids had lots and lots of questions about George and adoption.

"What happened to George's parents?"

"Was George scared?"

"How did you talk to each other when he first came home?"

I answered these questions honestly and briefly (they are six, after all). I worried a little how George would react to these answers, but he continued to sit and smile. Every now and then, he would add something. He was doing great!

Then, the questions about life in Ethiopia started.

"What did George eat in Ethiopia?"

"Did he have a lot of toys?"

"What was his house like?"

"Did George go to school?"

These answers were pretty eye-opening for these children. And, I would venture to say that none of these kids are wealthy, but in the terms of wealth in the world, they sure are. When they heard George say "I not each much. Maybe one time a day," they were surprise. Then, they heard George say, "No school. No toys. No bed." I talked about how George would have never been able to go to school, and how only the children who have parents who can pay for books and uniforms can go to school. I described the hut George grew up in, and George quickly added that he often slept outside in the bushes. You could have heard a pin-drop.

We could have gone on and on! I loved being there and George's teacher really let me just be "the teacher" for that half hour. She simply sat back and let me talk to the kids. Unfortunately, our time was cut short as the kids had to go to gym class. As the kids were lining up, several of them walked up to me and said how much they liked learning about George and Ethiopia. One little boy said, "My cousin is adopted. This is cool to learn about this."

George had a great week. I was proud of him for talking about his past with his classmates. That class is clearly a safe and comfortable setting for him, and for that I am so grateful. I can't even tell you how many hours I prayed over George's first teacher and first year of school. God has bee so faithful!

And...a fire was reignited in my soul. I LOVE teaching!

No comments: