Old Navy - Thank you for helping me to be understanding. I can't imagine what some of the folks on here have been through. Everyone on here has suffered the pain of loss. I was really thinking about leaving.
OTWO - Oh my gosh are we are on the same page. I'm not a perfect mom, but my husband and I have always emphasized education.
The moment she told me she was leaving I did plead with her to simply stay and finish high school. I plead with Bryan that he was 22 and had the experience of graduating with friends and family. She only had four months left. He should encourage her to stay and graduate.
After they got to California, I continued to beg her to come back and finish school. I told her there would be no judging or punishments. I told her that IF they had told me Brian lost his job before they left, I would've helped him until he found another one including staying with us.
I have told all three of my children that they are free to do what they want after they graduate from high school. If they want to go to college, great. If they want to join the military, great. If you want you work your way around the world, fantastic (this is what I wish I had done between high school and college or college and work). You can get married, whatever. My job is to prepare them to leave home. Once they leave, they can always come back. The door is NOT shut.
Regarding the college fund. She can go to college wherever she wants, but I can't afford just any place. I was never going to withhold the college funds if she returned and attended one of the four colleges she was accepted to. The college fund pays for the tuition for a state-supported school in South Carolina. It is a pre-paid tuition plan, so the actual tuition that would be paid is based on rates from 18 years ago.
The program allows you to transfer the funds to another child. If she doesn't attend one of those four colleges in SC, I'm going to transfer that money to my youngest son - who doesn't have a fund at all because the plan was eliminated by the time we adopted him. If she doesn't attend college here, that's okay. She will just have to figure out a way to pay for it. The same thing will be true for my son. If he doesn't attend a SC state support school, he will have to pay for it through scholarships, grants, work his way through, whatever.
Here is the good news: She said she is finishing high school in CA. I told her I was proud of her. I asked what her plans were after that and they are vague. She said attend community college (I love community colleges and technical schools - they have some of the best programs and the graduates make great money.) She wanted to major in computer science or packaging. (She is a gifted artist and very creative. Great with makeup and fashion.) Since she is in LA, I suggested that she explore all her options. Since she loves makeup, she might want to check into the school that offers training/degree in makeup because she was in the perfect location. She was raised that women should be financially independent, so education is important. It is so true, "Surely, the Jehovah's Witnesses want you to be self-supportive."
I appreciate what you said, "I get that many people miss these opportunities and NEVER get back on track. So I get your desperation. I wish we could convey that to you at the same time we try to convey that she is probably not in real danger. I wish we could tell you there is still a good hope she will finish high school and accept some scholarship offer. Reality tells us that it is probably not going to work out that way. Sorry if that sounds cold, just stating typical reality."
I've accepted that reality. It is incredible how I woke up this morning at peace.
Thanks for the guidance on the post. I did not know that I could link them.