The Teegarden children all started classes at the West Valley Schools on Tuesday. They all will face various challenges this year, but none more so than my 8-year-old son.

This year my wife Sandy and I will have a senior and a sophomore at West Valley High School, a sixth-grader at West Valley Middle School and a third-grader at Wide Hollow Elementary. The older ones are all girls, while the youngest student among them is our oldest son. It's him that my heart goes out to today.

As many of you know, all of our children were adopted out of foster care. Our oldest son, Jordan, came to us at the age of 3 1/2 months. His case file told us that he had been severely injured by his biological father at the age of five weeks, and exams in later years have shown that he was probably a shaken baby as well. The results of his injuries as an infant, as well as his genetic makeup, have left him with ADHD, and some learning disabilities. Learning is tough for him, although he should improve his reading and math skills greatly this year. Because schoolwork is hard for him, he gets frustrated and discouraged easily. This sometimes manifests itself in less than stellar behavior. We're thankful that the school is very supportive, and he gets some very good services to help him along.

I guess it's seeing him struggle that makes my heart ache for him. He is the sweetest little guy ever, and he loves sports, the outdoors, and is very social and friendly. I realize that I can't be by his side 24/7 to help him, but I wish that I could be.

He will succeed, because he has a family who loves and supports him.

I just think that it's going to be rough on his dad along the way.

Here's a quick look at his introduction to third grade.