Ezra signs away at his Job Corps intake appointment.
Ezra's situation is complicated. He is almost 20 years old on paper and by physical appearance, though he would argue that he's only 16 or 17, having been trained to lie about his age by the people who ran the orphanage in Liberia, from where he was adopted by our friends over 5 years ago. In his third year at the local high school (and living with us), he has lettered in several varsity sports and managed to keep a decent GPA while earning a few credits along the way. This year he is enrolled in culinary arts classes at an out-of-district technical education facility, and manages a series of bus rides to get where he needs to go. He gets from point A to point B, he says please and thank you, and does his fair share of the chores around the house.
Like many immigrants, Ezra doesn't fit into any of the ready-made-molds for kids his age. Plan A for this school year involved our continuing to support Ezra as he completed his third year at the local public high school before making a transition to Job Corps to join his siblings Boaz and Keziah (already in progress). However, Ezra's departure for Job Corps will by necessity come sooner rather than later. The vocational training plus GED/diploma completion is something Ezra is looking forward to, although he is quite disappointed not to be able to participate in spring soccer at the high school again this year.
Ezra's Job Corps application has been formally submitted and we will be notified once an opening becomes available, allowing for his entrance into the residential program located in the Cascade Foothills. Sometime within the next month or two he will be packing up and making the move into a dorm on campus. His presence here will be missed, and we are grateful to have been given an opportunity to guide him in his human formation and support his academic and athletic pursuits.