This guy has had an interesting school life. Dakota was diagnosed with ADHD in second grade. That in and of its self is not that big of deal. It effects a lot of his choices and how he reacts to things, but a very manageable diagnosis. However, in third grade we found he had a learning disability, his working memory and processing speed are on the lower end of the spectrum and the areas of reading and writing are very difficult for him; so much so that frustration was the majority of his academic years. Since then I have had to learn all kinds of ways to support him. How to get things done and mostly how to support him in his learning and to be a true advocate that his learning goals were followed by all teachers through out his education. From third to twelfth grade that has morphed many times until he has learned to be an advocate for himself with minor support from home. He truly knows his limitations and can seek the accommodation necessary to succeed academically. So much so he earned honor roll the last two years in school. We survived many years of tears and extended deadlines to end up graduated and a direction of college in the future. I couldn't have been more proud of the kid. In this learning and developing of character and independence somewhere along the line he developed these traits so much that he is able at 18 to make the choice of moving away and spreading his wings.
This week we have sorted years worth of things in his room and have managed to pack the kid up for his move to Minnesota. All it takes to move my son away is a few bags. All his things are ready to go. With his struggles as a learner he was often picked on about not being smart enough, or not fitting in well enough. So as we graduate there are not many ties to this area. Things are looking better with the rest of our family in Minnesota. This is not a bad thing, I'm excited to see how this good choice is going to further build his character.
In Minnesota are Kota's grandparents, five uncles, one aunt and their spouses, plus a lot of cousins. He has an amazing support system of family. Kory one of his uncles has hired him in his business. Kota will be removing trees from hazardous places for residents. He is taking a skill he learned at the vocational school and applying what he knows. He will be living with grandma and grandpa Crawford. For living 1000 miles away they sure have been a big part of our lives. There has always been something special about being up there. We truly fit up there (its hard to explain the emotion of MN), when you leave it feels like a piece of you is empty. We have often talked about this as we are departing back to Ohio, that it feels like we are leaving home.
Kota is getting to go home. He will be surrounded by these beautiful sights that we can't get here in Ohio. He will be with a network of family that will help hone in his skills of become a man and learning to work hard for his income. He is going up and preparing to leave on a mission.
He will get to commune with Heavenly Father in amazing beautiful and peaceful landscapes when he feels the need to do so .
He will be looked up to by young impressionable cousins.
And he will get to leave his footprint on their hearts as much as he has ours. We love you son, on to the next phase of life. I think I'm ready to let you go?!