Throughout the month, our community has focused on our Virtue of the Month of Fortitude. Today we have a story from a new family at BFCCPS who was seeking enrollment for their 5th grade twins. We hope you will enjoy this story shared by the Harvey Family.
“When the email arrived on June 8th with an offer of enrollment for our daughter Addisyn, we were thrilled. Despite our excitement, I couldn’t shake the feeling of nagging worry and anxiety. What would moving to a new school look like during a pandemic? How would our daughter handle this transition amidst so much uncertainty? How would my husband and I know how to best support her? We had another child on the waitlist as well, Addisyn’s twin brother Dylan. Would he get an offer before school started? Would we have twins in two different schools? So many questions without answers.
As the summer waned with no offer for Dylan, we realized that our lives were not returning to any semblance of normal any time soon. We knew we needed to put a plan into action to get our home ready for six people to have space to work and go to school remotely. Our older sons, 22 and 20, were also home indefinitely, as UMass Amherst announced they would be remote for the fall semester. In short, we were all feeling defeated, frustrated, trapped. It was right around the end of August when I knew that we all needed a mindset shift. But how?
I started with daily affirmations in the mirror each morning. Some days it felt like an act of desperation more than a healthy practice, but I forged on. One morning I genuinely and naturally thought how lucky I was to have all my “chicks in the nest” for an ultimately fleeting amount of time. The older boys should have been off being independent, spreading their wings. The twins should have been the only kids in the house, but somehow we were given this time together that we should never have had. This was the first of many “silver linings” that we would challenge our family to find over the coming months.
We started small – a compliment or just a simple word of kindness or support during a challenging moment. We started listening to each other, having meals together, playing games, and just enjoying our family. To our amazement, Addisyn quickly adapted to her new bedside classroom; we saw her enthusiastically rise above previously overwhelming challenges. We found that our daily praise and encouragement gave her a foundation of confidence that she had been lacking, and we never even knew it. Her teachers, Mr. Hammond and Mrs. Kelleher validated this with positive and encouraging feedback. Their enthusiasm was contagious, and her support system was reliable at school. We began to see her self-doubt melt away. This shifting of mindset was producing some genuinely astonishing silver linings to an otherwise deflating year. Some days were still hard, but we had the tools to shake things off, to forge on. January 8th, a long-awaited offer of enrollment arrived for Dylan. What a perfect way to start 2021, with hope for a better year.
As Dylan began his transition to BFCCPS, that nagging anxiety previously present had disappeared. This past year had brought many opportunities to practice adapting and to work independently. I knew that he could and would find his way. Our confidence in him further emphasized the faith he already had in himself. I don’t know what the year ahead has in store for us, but I know that it will be whatever we decide to make of it.” -Karen Harvey
If your family would like to participate in this project, please email Mrs Basile in the office.