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Early Childhood Resources, how it all began…
When I graduated from Mississippi State University with a degree in Child Development, I had no idea the journey my degree would take me on. First, I had the privilege of working as a toddler teacher, preschool teacher, and after school counselor gaining experience in the classroom. While I enjoyed working with all of the different ages, my favorite to this day remains those toddlers. Their search for independence and their passion for discovery just keep me smiling.
My journey continued as I moved into management. I had the privilege to work in corporate, for-profit, non-profit, and church settings. I remained a director until I founded my own company, Early Childhood Resources, to help carry out my passion to see quality early childhood training offered to administrators, teachers and parents who work with and have young children. I have been honored to speak to thousands of adults and share my passion for quality education for young children!
In addition to speaking I enjoy writing. My first book, 101 Easy Wacky Crazy Activities for Young Children, which was co-authored with Carole Dibble, was a thrilling experience and so I decided to write Solutions for Early Childhood Directors a few years later. Gryphon House, which is a great source for any early childhood advocate, published both books. I have often been asked why I decided to write a book. I must confess that I don’t enjoy writing because of the technical aspects (my editors know that best), but I write because of my passion for the information. I want people to read the books I write and immediately put the information to use. I want the books to be fun and practical, much like my workshops. I want people to get a sense of me from the books I write.
Our Journey to Adoption…
Warning: You might need to grab a Kleenex for this one. Adoption has been special to me as long as I can remember. My grandmother placed three children for adoption because she couldn’t care for them. During my college years I had the privilege of knowing a family who adopted two children and this same family took in a young pregnant girl who would place her child for adoption. I knew God would have adoption be a part of my life… I just didn’t know how. Before John and I married we discussed adoption. I had it all planned out, we would biologically have three children and then adopt a little girl from China. Well… that is not exactly how it happened.
John and I married in 1991 and in 1996 we had zero children. On July 22, 1996, that all changed when we adopted an 8 ½ month old amazing little boy. Four years later we planned on adopting a little boy, but 24 hours after we had him home, his tummy grower wanted him back (in Georgia, she had 10 days to change her mind). I was devastated. Within 12 hours of returning our son, we were blessed with a 4 lb 6 ounce cocaine addicted little girl. Ten months after we were blessed by our daughter, the same tummy grower had another child, a 4lb cocaine addicted baby boy. If you are counting, we are now at three kids and that means it was time for that China baby. We started the process to adopt from China, actually we got all the way to having a complete dossier in China, waiting for a match when I got the flu (or so I thought). After 13 years of marriage and being told that I could not have children, I was pregnant. God blessed us with another baby girl. When our daughter was a year–old we started the process to finish our adoption from China, but the pregnancy bug hit again and we were blessed with a son. According to China law at the time, because we had five children we could not finish our adoption. When our youngest son was about a year-old we heard an orphanage director speak at our church. The following week my husband brought in a picture of a young boy that our family would be sponsoring. Our children began to ask if we could adopt this boy. The orphanage did not allow adoptions so the answer was no. We prayed for this little boy every night. Two years after we began sponsoring him, he (and about twenty other children) became available for adoption. We spent the next two and a half years (including 8 months of living in Guatemala) finishing his adoption. During our many visits to the orphanage I met a sixteen year-old boy that desired a family. For two years we fought to get him home and finally did when he was 18. However, after a short year with our family he moved out of our home. We are thankful that he is still in the US, finishing high school, and making plans to attend college.
Our youngest daughter longed for a baby sister and we told her that we had zero plans to pursue another child but if God desired it, He would make our phone ring. Well…it rang. In February 2011, we received a call that a two year-old girl needed a home. We said yes and she joined our family a few days later. She brought such joy to our home for the almost five months we had her. Her tummy grower refused to sign and we had to return her to her family in June, leaving us devastated. The following November, we received another phone call asking us to take her back and of course we said yes! As of this intro, we have seven children in our home and we feel very blessed!
Because of our journey, I believe that I can understand most (not all) adoption situations. We have adopted domestically and internationally. We have had failed adoptions. We have adopted newborns and older children. We have adopted children with addictions, delays, history of abuse, and reactive attachment disorder. We have been there.
I consider it a blessing to be part of the adoption community and I enjoy sharing and encouraging other families on this journey. I am in the process of writing a book about our Guatemalan adoption with a man who was adopted from Guatemala as a child. I think it will be a very helpful and enlightening book.
The Road to Homeschooling…
While in high school, I met two families that home schooled their children. I was intrigued by these different families and how they schooled their children at home. Their children were polite, a joy to be around, and smart. The parents were excited to be teaching their children and often shared the many pros to homeschooling. I didn’t know then that I would one day be joining them on this narrow road of education.
As an early childhood educator I find great delight in watching children have a-ha moments. I think it is one of the reasons I enjoy teaching toddlers so much. Watching them discover and experience the world around them brings me such joy. This is why I home school. I want to be the one who sees these a-ha moments. I want to be the one who witnesses their successes and failures. We have six children, all home schooled. Is every day perfect? NOPE. Do I sometimes long for the yellow bus to stop at my drive way? YEP. I think as home schooling parents, those feelings are perfectly normal.
I enjoy sharing with home school moms (especially new ones) that Super Woman does not exist. Sure, parts of her exists within all of us, but that is it… no one can do it all. I think we compare ourselves to our friends too often, she isn’t perfect either.
Another topic I am passionate about is schooling your preschooler. As an early childhood educator, I have spent many years working with young children. In both preschool and home settings, the proper foundation for later learning must be established. I am passionate about this subject and I enjoy sharing my passion with home schooling parents!
I am in the process of writing my first book dedicated to homeschoolers, it is a how-to book for homeschooling your preschooler. I am very excited about this new book and hope it will help many parents school their young children.
Snapshots of our family…
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