Just as every parent can sit around and tell the diverse details of their child birth experience/s, adoption “birth” is a significant and unique event for each family and child. It’s normal to have challenges along the way, even years after the adoption. Concerns about their identity or feelings about your adoption experience and parenting journey will depend on the background and characteristics of your child and the circumstances of your adoption. The most common issues might include attachment, feelings of loss, trauma and developmental learning delays. All of these things contribute to your decision for education.
The challenges of adjusting to a new environment or culture are often difficult as well. I currently reside in an area with a low diversity/ethnicity rate. Many people fear the unknown and we all carry mental labels and personal prejudices developed through avenues such as media, nurturing, and personal experience, just to name a few. After visiting with the primary local foster/adoption agency in my area, I learned that 90%* the majority of the families who foster or adopt through their agency chose an alternative method of education for their children, e.g., homeschool, charter school, or Christian education.
Our family does not allow our children to be victims of their pasts, but we know with all of our heart that it is our responsibility to make choices to foster and nurture redemption and protection of their hearts and minds. Bullying is an identified problem at the local public school in our area. I know that the personal triggers for our children would be devastating in regards to their past trauma.
Our family chose classical Christian education for our children because of the benefits of a Christian education for foster/adopt families. Outside of prayer and obedience, there are defining reasons why I do not doubt the value that Christian school has for our mixed family and adopted children. Heritage Oak School comes along side us to nurture not only our values, but healing and restoration. The reasons why I believe that Heritage Oak School benefits my children outside of a biblical Christian world view are:
1. Small Class Sizes
Small class sizes allow my children personal attention to meet not only their academic needs but their social and emotional needs as well. The average class size is seven students. Our children have various forms of high sensory and slight learning disabilities that take more personal attention and patience. I sincerely believe in a mainstream education classroom, they would fall behind or be labeled on some level of special needs as a statistic minority.
2. Parent Investment and Community
The parenting classes and volunteerism not only bring investment to the child's academic life, but provides a community to foster the transitions and struggles that every family faces. You do not feel alone and neither does your child.
3. Personal Communication and like-minded values
We have a direct relationship with our children's teacher who shares the same focus and values that we do for our children’s character. We are able and feel comfortable to freely dialog with our children’s teacher who takes personal interest to walk with us, pray for and love our children and family.
My deepest concern for local foster/adoptive, mixed-race families seeking to find the best alternative for educating their children is that they will not feel abandoned and at a loss, that they have no options, or that they cannot afford the available options.
Heritage Oak School is the very best choice for our family. It fosters security, love and principles that coincide with the convictions of our family and home. The school has worked with us financially and will work with any family that is like-minded to provide classical Christian education for their children.
*Upon review, our source indicated that official followup documentation to track this specific statistic is not maintained and therefore could only be estimated.