I hope you will bear with me while I go off in a totally different direction today. If it helps, I hope to have the next section of my other story up today as well.
Today I am starting another journey of sorts with our youngest daughter, Shayleen. Today I am, for the first time, turning her out to "public" so to speak, as she will be starting half days at school out here in Fort McMurray. I have never done well with any of my kids starting school, and I still hate every single September as my older boys keep getting just that...older. After having such a hard time having my boys, I feel like I am losing part of them every year when they go back to school and are that much closer to graduating. I remember when they were really young, I would wish I would live to see them graduate, but now I want it all to slow down some so I can have them with me a little longer.
As for Shayleen, the best way I can describe how I feel today is absolute terror. We adopted Shayleen, but she was with us since her first day of life. To tell you how lucky or blessed I have felt to have her in my life, I just can never put into words. Due to the fact that she was a foster child first, and that she had many medical issues in her early life, I think we all felt even more protective of her over the years. Even though we never left her one night alone in the hospital, and have only just recently left her with our best friends for a much needed vacation, we have still heard people say totally inappropriate things, as well as make racist comments about our dear little girl.
You see, we will never lie to Shayleen about where she came from, I thank God, her biological mom, the Driftpile band, McMann Family Youth and Family services, and the government of Alberta for all playing some type of role in bringing us together. And I thank them every day. When I think of how she could have been moved, or even died, I have to say God wanted her with us, and that fate plays amazing roles in people's lives, even when we don't know it.
When the boys started school, I literally followed the bus for two weeks. I made myself available to the school for volunteering, supervision, school council, you name it, I wanted to be part of it all. The poor boys, and the poor teachers that had to put up with me over the years. And then when we moved to Fort McMurray, I was scared of everything all over, not knowing anyone, the bus, the bigger school...yep, just about everything!
But it is different today with Shayleen. The boys are at a different school. They won't be around to look out for her. I won't be around to look out for her. How do I teach her that kids may say some mean or even cruel things without making her think she is different? I know some kids will eventually point out to her that she is looks different that the rest of us. And as much as we have tried to prepare her, I hate the thought of her sitting on the playground some day alone and thinking she doesn't belong.
Of course, I could try to keep her home, and sheltered, and hope that she would never encounter any cruelness in her lifetime. But hopefully we will raise her the same way we raised our boys, and she will grow up to be a strong, independent woman who knows she is loved, and is smart enough to know that families now come in all shapes and sizes, and that she just has a huge one, that includes many communities from both Nova Scotia, and Alberta, so she is a very lucky girl.
I will look for help from the community, school, and those blessed teachers to help me to continue to raise our children....but really, pity help that first snot nosed little kid that gives our baby girl a hard time, lol.