Meet the Kadow Family

This testimonial was written in 2017

Tell us about your family. What are some of your favorite things to do together?
Our family dynamic is a bit different. I was a single mother of two blessings when Brian and I met in 1997. We got married in 1999, and in 2000 Brian adopted Paige and Austin. We tried for several years to add on to our family and finally in 2005 God blessed us with Chloe. Paige (now 26) got married in 2011 and now has 3 children of her own. Austin (now 24) is married as well and has 2 children from previous relationships. Although Our relationship with him is strained at the current time, we know God is at work and the blessing is we get to be a part of his kids’ lives. Chloe (now 12) has such a strong faith in Christ, which we attribute to her roots at River Oak. Through the years we knew our family wasn’t “complete” but we continued on in our daily lives. Then, just this year, we added to our family through adoption!!! Landon (now 10) was our missing piece.

We LOVE to play games. Especially marbles (wahoo to be exact for those with a bit of a southern slang!). We also enjoy music, going to church on Saturday nights at Woodcrest, seeing and participating in plays, and cuddling on the couch to watch movies. (Our little secret addiction is Pureflix.. It’s like Netflix only its all Christian based movies and shows.)

How long have you been a part of the school?
We have been a part of the school since 2010. Our older children both attended JCPS. Paige was pretty introverted and Austin was very extroverted. Both complete opposites and yet both having different issues on a daily basis with their schooling. We knew we wanted a different option for Chloe. I remember talking with our neighbors one evening about being stressed that Chloe was approaching the age of kindergarten. They mentioned River Oak and we got a little spark of hope. We went home, did some research and on registration day Brian went to the school VERY early to wait in line as we didn’t have a “plan B”! We completed our interview and then celebrated when we were accepted. We have never felt judged because of our family dynamics (like when Chloe told the school she became an aunt at the age of 7!).

How has the school partnered with you as parents to help your children thrive?
River Oak has been such a positive influence in our family by providing education, support, love, compassion, and even patience. We are a two parent working family. We have 4 children, 6 grandbabies (1 on the way), 2 fur babies (dog Charlie and cat Piper), and are active in extracurricular activities. To say that we are a little unorganized on some days is an understatement (but we are working on it!). Every teacher has been wonderful to work with. Through phone calls, text messages and emails, we stay connected and work together to keep the Kadow Kids on track (and us parents too, ha!).

In late August we received a call that a 9 year old boy (Landon) was searching for a forever family and we were chosen. I called Mrs. Jenice in a bit of a panic because we were going to go pick him up in a week and we didn’t want to enroll him anywhere else but River Oak. We had very little information, no medical records, no real grades and VERY limited information on his past. His previous school had burned and all of his records were lost. This was a new adventure for us and we were so worried about everything. I remember praying the second night he was home and telling God, “I CAN’T DO THIS ON MY OWN… if this is your plan, God, then everything just needs to fit. I can’t stress and lose sleep anymore. Please calm my emotions, my thoughts, and my actions and give me the courage to trust in Your plan.” The next morning I woke up got the kids ready for the day. I dropped Chloe off at school (6th grade at Lighthouse Preparatory Academy) and went school supply shopping with Landon. We had a meeting at River Oak that afternoon and once again the Kadow family didn’t have a plan B. So we prayed! Landon and I arrived at the school and he immediately started crying. We talked a bit in the car and I assured him that this school was very different and that I would be with him. We walked in together and was immediately greeted by the smiling faces of Mrs. Jenice, Mrs. Smith, and Mrs. Wilkinson. Before I knew it Landon was talking with Mrs. Wilkinson and I was in the office talking with Mrs. Smith. It was then that my fears were gone. I explained to Mrs. Smith that another school just isn’t an option for us and that we would really like to have Landon go to River Oak, even though it was late and we had absolutely no paperwork. She looked me in the eye and said “This is not a meeting of whether or not he can attend. He is going to go here. This is a meeting to see what we need to do to make this as smooth as possible.” I was so relieved and felt so accepted and loved. That day we decided that Landon would best benefit from entering the third grade with Mrs. Wilkinson and he would start in the following few days. Phone calls started, paperwork was found and information was gathered. Landon started his first day “in a real school” at the age of 9. Everyone was very patient as I called, texted and stopped by frequently to check on my new son in his first few weeks. Since then it’s just life as normal, (well “normal” for the Kadow family). I really feel River Oak is a wonderful blessing.

Everyone has been extremely patient, loving and honestly just fun to be with on this journey.

Landon is learning positive skills that are impacting his life in wonderful ways. He’s very caring and strives to be more obedient. He’s made exceptional progress in just 8 months, and I can’t wait to see what God has planned for him in the future. Landon LOVES his school and even on days when homework is a struggle, he still looks forward to going!

Have you had a child graduate from River Oak and go onto another school? How was that transition?
Yes, Chloe went to River Oak from kindergarten to 5th grade and is now attending Lighthouse Preparatory Academy. Her love for Christ is her foundation, and it has been such a blessing to watch her grow in her faith through the years. River Oak taught her skills that have helped to prepare her for life challenges and knowledge that has given her confidence in her education. Several times this past year she stated, “Hey mom, I remember this from River Oak, only now it’s a little harder.” Chloe loves school and her enthusiasm for learning goes back to her earlier school days at River Oak.

Is there anything else that you would like to share?
I’d just like to say THANK YOU! Thank you to River Oak staff and families for accepting, loving, and truly caring for the Kadow Family. We aren’t the perfect family, nor are we striving to be. We are simply living God’s plan and some days just taking it one day at a time. We have struggles, challenges and even get off track sometimes, but we always try to make the right decisions and learn from the wrong ones. Our goal every day is be a blessing to someone and to show God’s love through our actions. I guess that’s why it’s called His-story (history)… hopefully we can leave a positive impression on someone even if it’s just a smile. God Bless!

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