Friday, August 29, 2008

A Teacher In the Family

As I was finishing my previous blog entry I received the telephone call from our oldest son we have been waiting for all summer. We now have a teacher in the family! He will begin his first job as a third grade teacher in a school district north of the St. Paul metro area in just days. His weekend plans will have to be altered so that he can get his classroom ready.

Kyle is not one to be overly emotive or expressive, so when he called I could not at first ascertain the result of yesterday's interview. He has had two other interviews this summer, neither of which resulted in a teaching position for him.

"So," I said, "How are you?"

"Pretty good. Really good, actually."

"And ... "

"I got the job. I'm going to be a third grade teacher."

"Oh, Kyle. I'm so glad for you. Congratulations!"

We exchanged a few other pleasantries, and he was off to think about his contract and I to thank God, for today is another opportunity to recognize the joy of parenting after years of turmoil. I have been a little anxious all summer long as Kyle has been looking for a teaching job, at points saying that maybe he would have to move out of state, and at others that he might enlist in the military. I have had a feeling all along that if he couldn't teach this fall he might become distracted and never get there. I have talked with too many Elementary Education majors who decided to take a year or two until they could find the job they wanted, and then discover that they couldn't financially or otherwise teach.

Kyle will be an excellent teacher. He enjoys kids in the classroom, takes a special interest in them individually, and has learned (without receiving college credit) many of the nuances of life with special needs children. I am hopeful that as he begins this journey it will be another step in his determining who he wants to be in life. There is something about the responsibility of young lives that causes all of us to make better decisions for our own lives.

I cannot help but think back to the foster parent's living room in Washington State nearly twelve years ago when we met Kyle, lying on the floor complaining that he wasn't feeling well. I've discovered that Kyle is a king of health, so as I look back I suspect it was psychosomatic for him, one more move into people's lives, who lived halfway across the country and whom he did not know. From those early days I believed God would do something special with Kyle's life, and today is witness to the goodness of our Creator and to the hard work of adoptive parenting.

I can only hope that as Kyle begins his work with children that he will have the opportunity to teach someone just like himself, the kid in the classroom who is defiant, angry, mistrustful. And that one day the gift he has been to me will come full circle in the life of another hurt kid who can look back and say that his third grade teacher made all the difference in the world.


Sage said...

Congratulations to Kyle, and congratulations to his parents! I don't know this oldest son of yours very well, but I believe that he will be a great teacher. He brings with him to the job a multitude of experiences that the "normal" teacher wouldn't have, chief among them being his exposure to his siblings and their differing learning styles and difficulties. And God will go with him to school and bless him.

Linda B. said...

Congratualations to Kyle! And congratulations to both you and Claudia! I'm so happy for all of you, such great news!