Howdy. I'm Matt Todd. My wife and I have four kids and a dog,. I'm passionate about orphan care. I'm a die-hard fan of the Evansville Aces, the Indiana Hoosiers, and Star Wars. I'm trying to live life by the Todd family motto: "It behooves us to live!"

A bittersweet goodbye

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This is most definitely a bittersweet post, to be sure…

Bittersweet Goodbye

I have mentioned it before and I’ll say it again today: serving as an Instructional Aide in a Special Education classroom for elementary students is a rewarding experience. A challenge? Sure. Exhausting? Absolutely. And some days, when it feels like you’re doing nothing but changing diapers and dealing with one behavior issue after another, But it’s a job that I loved from Day One.

autism sitesSo believe me when I say that it’s with a bittersweet spirit that I announce that I have tendered my resignation from the school. I am no longer working with those kiddos. I’m no longer spending the day in a room with some pretty amazing adults who will move heaven and earth to do what’s right for those kids. I was part of a pretty remarkable team. And I’ll certainly miss working with them every day.

So if I loved working in that classroom so much, why am I leaving?

Well that was the bitter part of this bittersweet post.  Now for the sweet…

I’m staying home.

After much discussion, prayer, and consideration, Christy and I have decided that I should stay home and help Weldu transition to his new life here in the States. I’ll still be working some evenings at the bookstore, but our son will be my focus. During this time, we’re going to be focusing on English and basic academic skills. Our current thought is that he’s going to enroll in high school for the Fall semester. Of course, he could say he’s ready to go to school after Spring Break.

Who knows?

I sure don’t. But we’re going to find out. And it’s going to be an adventure.

This isn’t the first time we’ve been involved in homeschooling. Christy did it a few years ago with one of our kids. Even so, the thought of doing this is exciting and frightening and exhilarating and worrisome all wrapped into one. But we firmly believe this is the best thing for Weldu at this time.

autism products

So I guess you could say that I’ve become a homeschooling dad. Six months ago, I would have laughed at the thought of me teaching my son. OK. Maybe I’m still laughing at the thought. Sometimes.

What’s the line? Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end. Right? Well that’s where we are. We’re taking the first steps of this new journey with Weldu as the two-plus-year adventure to bring Weldu home has finally come to a close.

So if you have any advice, tips, words of wisdom, or homeschool resources to pass along, I’m all ears.

It’s going to be a challenge, I’m sure. And I know it will be uncomfortable at times. And I’m positive there will be days where I wonder what on earth I’m doing.

But this kid?

He’s worth it.

 

I’ve become a walking cliché

Cliche

A few weeks ago, I wrote a little bit about my new job with an elementary school in the area. Even though it’s a tough job and can be emotionally exhausting at times, I really do love the job. There was one day not too long ago that the whole day was one meltdown after another, followed by one blowout after another. And all I could do was smile. I just couldn’t help myself.

I know.

Predictable, right? It’s like I’m saying this because I’m supposed to say it. Much like an award nominee says “It’s an honor just to be nominated.” It’s so…cliché.

Cliché: A phrase or opinion that is overused and betrays a lack of original thought…A very predictable or unoriginal thing or person. – Oxford Dictionary (emphasis mine)

Oh, but that’s not all…

I didn’t mention that I also have another job. It’s at a Christian bookstore. I know, right? Where else would you expect a former pastor to eventually wind up? Of course!

Oh, I’m still not done…

Guess what this Christian bookstore does with all of its earnings. All proceeds from their sales go to support ministries that primarily focus on caring for orphans and widows. Earlier this year, there was a stirring in my heart. I started to think that maybe I needed to spend more of my time and talents in a career that was about actually helping other people instead of merely helping other people make money. I realize that’s a bit of a false dichotomy, but that’s how I felt.

So, of course I’m working with kids with special needs. And of course I’m working at a store that’s giving away all of its profits.

It’s just so…cliché.

But I’m OK with that.

My dirty job

I have started working as an Instructional Aide in a Life Skills classroom at an area elementary school. Here’s what I experienced during my first week:

I’ve been hit.

I’ve been scratched.

I’ve been spit at.

I’ve been pooped on.

I was *this close* to getting thrown up on.

And I don’t think I’d have it any other way. Sure, it’s tough. And it isn’t for everyone. But I think this is the most fulfillment I’ve felt from a job in a long time because I have the opportunity to launch a life every day.

"I have become convinced that if God stands a child before you, for even just a minute, it is a divine appointment. You have the chance to launch a life, if you will. You never know when you are making a memory." - Wess Stafford, "Just a Minute" page 15

Yeah, it’s a dirty job. But I get to do it. And it might not get much better than that.

This is dedicated to all the teachers in my life

Dear Teachers

This post is for all the teachers in my life, past and present.

Teachers like the late Mrs. Wood, Mrs. Stewart, Mr. Cates, the late Mrs. Brown, Mr. Eiffler, Frau French, Mrs. Kuhn, Mr. Briel, Mrs. Goebel, Mrs. Mautz, Mr. Hughes, Frau Blice, and

Professors like Dr. Montgomery, Terry Mattingly, Dr. Higgins, Mr. Helsabeck, Dr. Roberts, Dr. Wasem, Dr. Rollston, Dr. Ramsaran, Dr. Shields, and Dr. Blowers…

Friends like Leigh, Amanda, Alicia, Scott, Jennifer, Christy, Mark, Heather, Heather, Valicia, and Matt…

Family members like Liz, Aunt LeeAnn, and Kara…

and, of course, Christy, who is my favorite teacher ever…

Thank you for making my world awesome!