I think back to my days of teaching & wonder how much I missed that may have been going on in the lives of my students. There are people in my life who pick up on things that I do not; one of them is my husband. I did not have a good eye for noticing a student who may have been having problems at home, possibly because I do not assume details unless I am told. I was also very young & naive.
I think the Lord sheltered me & protected me in many ways. I did not know how to embrace students in their sufferings & personal circumstances, and I was not equipped to help any of them through tough times.
I had one student in my regular education class who was older than her peers by at least a year. She had some learning difficulties, but you would never have known it from how hard she worked. She was one of the sweetest, most cheerful, most hard working students I had in that course. She made so much progress, and I was very thankful to be able to celebrate her achievement! I saw her gain a higher self efficacy & move forward with greater confidence.
I had her as my student when I was pregnant with my first son. She brought me a baby gift, and it was the only one I received from a student. I am still incredibly touched by her generosity, and her thoughtfulness. How many high school students would ever consider giving away a baby gift, let alone to their teacher?
She shared with me that she was going to age out of the foster care system, and that she would have to move out of her foster parents' house on her own. The state was providing resources for her to get established, and they gave money for her living expenses (if I remember correctly). I remember clearly her telling me how she picked a place to live so she could walk easily to&from school, and how she was going to get money for a computer.
I have never wanted to throw caution to the wind & invite someone into my home like I did hearing her story. Our little family was going to change drastically with a baby on the way & a move out of state around the corner. I just knew I couldn't do anything more than what I had given her in class, despite what my heart cried out. My sorrow for this brave, sweet girl to be out on her own. To not have a forever family to call her own, besides her foster family I told myself. I know she had spoken so fondly of them, and how she was welcome there always. I put my confidence in the Lord's timing for her, trusted that He was sovereign, and rejoiced in the happiness she seemed to have despite having so little from my perspective.
I still think of her. I am moved writing about her- about whether to not I did the right thing to let her go without trying to adopt her. A girl a mere 8-9 years younger than myself.
Forgive me Lord if I did not act when I should have. Lord I pray for that sweet girl; that she may know you as a good Father. That she may find perfect love in you, and that you always saw her even when she was alone. Lord my heart breaks for that situation she was facing, 6 years ago this time of year. I pray I never forget her. Amen.