In May of 2004, David, Copeland, and I moved from Frisco, a city in far North Dallas, to San Antonio. We had been wanting to relocate to south Texas for quite a while and were very excited when David got a job offer with a very good company in San Antonio. David actually started his job the week between Christmas 2003 and New Years in San Antonio while Copeland and I remained in Frisco. David comuted back and forth on the weekends for four months as we prepared to move and start a new journey in San Antonio.
After Copeland's adoption I had been a stay-at-home mother and it was now time that I went back to teaching. I was very conflicted about going back to work and having to put Copeland in daycare, but I knew God wanted me back in the classroom. So, I began submitting my application and resume to school districts in and around San Antonio praying that God would lead me to where He wanted me to teach.
This prayer was quickly answered as He provided the "perfect" teaching opportunity that completely eased my mind about placing Copeland in daycare. I was hired to teach 9th through 12th grade English at a private Christian school that was a ministry of a local Baptist church (I was the WHOLE high school English department!). Another ministry of this church was a daycare for children 18 months old through pre-k. Both of these ministries were on the church's campus. So, while I was teaching high school English at one end of the church, Copeland was attending daycare at the other end...we were literally three minutes away from each other! It was evident, though, that this teaching job would only be for one year; long enough for me to transition back to teaching and for Copeland to transition to daycare. God had called me to teach public school and to use it as my mission field so it was important that my ministry continue. Also, David and I needed additional income to pay off some unsecured debt that we had accrued over several years. Teaching at a private Christian school would not provide the means necessary to get us out of this debt since my salary was extremely low.
I was hired by San Antonio ISD to teach high school reading at one of their Title 1 schools for the 2005-2006 and 2006-2007 school years. Not only was I given the "perfect" mission field, my salary more than doubled (benefits were also so much better)! God once again provided what we needed. Although the high school was located right in the middle of a very high-crime and gang area in San Antonio, I was never afraid or harmed; God wanted me there and I never doubted that for a second. Hurricane Katrina hit my first year at the school and we were a school that took in a high number of the high school aged evacuees. On a daily basis, we had to break up fights among our old and new students while trying to reach both student populations. We had several lock-downs because of shootings and deadly weapon crimes in the area surrounding the school. Through it all, I knew God was in control and what would happen would happen; He would bring me through everything.
After weeks of strict discipline, consistency, and high expectations, I earned the respect of my students. Even though I was "white" and very much in the minority on that campus, my students knew they could trust me and that I respected them as individuals. I constantly heard "Miss, you got our backs and we got yours." This proved true on several occasions as I fought for my students and as they stood up for me among peers and sometimes other faculty members.
I absolutely loved the two years I was at that school as God allowed me to minister to my students in and out of the classroom. There were so many small, but profound breakthroughs made by my students that I will forever cherish in my heart.
I was constantly asked by students, parents, and members of the community why I was teaching at this school and not at a “better and easier” school. Every time I would give the same answer, “this is where God wants me for now.” It was very neat to see how this simple answer added me to a number of individual and church prayer lists. These prayers were very well received and I was honored to have so many people praying for my students and me.
Looking back now, I know that God had a specific purpose for all the “non-specific” prayers said on my behalf during those two years. It was during this time that, unbeknownst to me, God began to plant the seed of adopting children with Down syndrome.
TEAM BARNETT ADOPTION 2014 ~ Felix's Heroes Wall
The following people have graciously donated to our adoption fund and have made Greta, Felix, & Romeo one step closer to becoming "An Orphan No More"!
Greta's, Felix's, & Romeo's Heroes Wall:
Linda Wade ~ TX; Tammy Johnson ~ TX; Brian & Carol Miller ~ NC; Karl & Beth Brennan ~ TX; Sammye Smith ~ TX; Barbara Balthrop ~ TX; Jeri Newman ~ TX; Shirley Bowman ~ TX; Anonymous ~ TX; Kelly & Chay McClellan ~ TX; Heather Farester ~ VA; Terri Mauldin ~ TX; Sherry Hamby ~ TX; Laura Homan ~ TX; Cindy & Kelsey Cregar ~ MD; April Jurisch ~ TX; Danni & Rhaya Edison ~ TX; Brenda Baswell ~ AL; Anonymous ~ TX; Keshia Melton ~ New Zealand; Mistie Sutko ~ TX; Amy Epley ~ TX; Annie Trenda ~ WA; Jenny Raspberry-Martin ~ Canada; Amber Gilchrist-Anderson ~ NM; Bianca Montelaro-Oliver ~ LA; Sasha Fera-Schanes ~ CA; Gigi Glynn ~ NJ; Cordie Teddlie Everman ~ TN; Clydene Moore ~ TX; Peggy McAdams ~ TX; Kayla Groen; Kristen Abel ~ TX; Dandy Rivas Fleming ~ TX; Colleen Salinas ~ TX; Katy Pyle ~ LA; Sandra Lizcano ~ LA; Reby Lawler ~ TX; Charlette Flowers ~ TX; Mary Anne McCartney ~ TX; Colleen Krizak ~ TX; Rhonda Jackson ~ TX; Heather Woodall ~ TX; Heather Johnson ~ TX; Sherwin & Ann Lee ~ TX; Stacie Lee Mercer ~ TX; Anonymous; Wesley Barnett ~ MS; Anonymous ~ TX; Shirley Massey ~ TX; Jeremy & Mandy Danielson ~ TX; Anonymous ~ TX; Debbie Goff ~ TX; Jamie Discher ~ TX; Carol Miller Wise ~ NC; Cherrisa Shelton ~ TX; Sheilah Chisum ~ NM; Debbie Marks ~ OH; The Stokes Family ~ TX; Wanda Oldag ~ TX; Lisa Smith ~ OH; Michelle Hughes ~ VA;
Reece's Rainbow: Andrea Roberts, Nancy Thornell, Debbie Hannon, Michelle Zoromski, & Lucille Brown
WORDS CANNOT EXPRESS OUR GRATITUDE!!! WE ARE FOREVER BLESSED AND HUMBLED!!!