ACK! Be still my mama’s heart!
My sweet little girl is starting public school tomorrow!!
I am nervous and excited at the same time. I have been home-schooling her since August, and I feel that that has been best for her as she has adjusted to her new family and new life in America. It has also been a great time to visit different doctors and get a good baseline for Sania Louise’s needs.
Sania Louise has Sensory Processing Disorder (PSD,) which directly affected her behavior and development in Latvia. She is “sensory-seeking,” which basically means her senses are dulled, and she has to do things bigger and harder and longer to get her senses filled the way we do.
She hugs tighter, stomps harder, twirls longer, talks louder, claps stronger, etc. If her senses are not filled, misbehavior can occur. So we have been going to OT (Occupational Therapy) weekly and learning all kinds of GREAT ideas to help with her sensory disorder. Sania Louise LOVES going to OT! (We are headed there today at 11:00.) And I love going with her and learning more about how I can help meet her sensory needs.
For example, I did something I told my boys I would NEVER do!!
I bought a trampoline. #biggulps
Trampolines are one of the top toys that send kids to the emergency room. But after learning about our girl’s sensory disorder, trampolines are one of the best ways to help fill her senses. So I didn’t get a super big trampoline, but one that is big enough for one kid at a time to bounce around. It should arrive this week.
Filling her senses with things like trampolines and sensory bins (beans, rice, flour, sand,) and weighted blankets and fidget toys will actually help her behavior and improve her focus on schoolwork.
We have seen such an improvement in Sania Louise’s behavior since she has been home (7 months.) . You guys wouldn’t believe how much better she is doing! It is amazing to have a front row seat to the miracles that God is doing in her life daily. However, most of the past 7 months have been spent with our family. She hasn’t had a lot of time with other children her age except in Sunday School each week. She needs to be around other kids her age. She has started to trust her family, her immediate family, and the adults in her life, but she needs to learn to trust children as well.
She has been through a lot in her 9 years of life, and children have not always been nice to her. They have been down right mean to her at times. She has been made fun of and actually physically hurt by others. Also, the boarding schools in Latvia did not accommodate her special needs, which set her up for failure.
One of the biggest blessings of living in our very small town (popul. 6,000) is that we have one of the best elementary schools in the state of Kentucky. Literally. It ranks at the top of the charts every year!
Now that we are understanding her behavior better, we feel that it is a good time for her to start going to school for half a day. Friday, I had a meeting with the principal, guidance counselor, OT specialist, resource room teacher, and the school psychologist, and we came up with a plan that we think will be best for Sania Louise and set her up for success.
Right now, she will go to school half a day until she is able to handle a full day. And part of that half day, she will be with her brother, Eli, in the same class. Eli has had a wonderful teacher for the past two years, Ms. Jones, and she has walked with us through Sania Louise’s adoption and knows her story well. Sania Louise has already spent some time visiting in Eli’s class this year, so she already has some comfort in that room.
Sania Louise is THRILLED about going to school!!! She has wanted to go to school with Eli for quite a while. We got her a new backpack, and today we are going to get her a new outfit to wear on her first day to school tomorrow.
I will drop her and Eli off at school at 8:00, and then I will pick her up sometime around 11:30. And I will be truthful, as much as I will miss her, I really do need a few hours to myself each day to work. It has really been hard to keep up with blogging this past year, but I knew it would be temporary and SO worth it to have that time at home with her everyday.
I just feel super, super protective over her. More than I have ever been over my boys, as I am sure you can understand why. I want to be at school with her and protect her from anything that might hurt her heart. I know her best. I know what makes her excited or upset or things that might trigger her insecurities. It is hard for me to entrust her to others.
But God has brought her this far, and He will continue to take care of her. I have no doubt.
Please pray for her (and me) tomorrow as she starts her first day of school. Pray that she will not be nervous and that the teachers will have extra amounts of understanding and patience as they work with her. Pray that the children will show her kindness and acceptance.
Pray for sweet Eli. :) He is protective of his sister as well, and I don’t want him to carry too much of the burden on his shoulders.
Thank you, friends! You are truly the best!!