A typical day in the life of Cheryl Gore is spent focused on her family and counting her many blessings. Devoted to her children and husband, Gore believes all things happen for a reason, even when their purpose seems unclear. Case in point: the two beautiful children who came into her life by miraculous means.
Gore and her husband Luke, associate head coach of the Valparaiso University men’s basketball team, had been trying to start a family for some time when they decided to embark on the tricky path toward adoption. Tricky is an understatement, really. As any adoptive parent will attest, the process is full of long waiting periods and, even more taxing, instances of lifted and crashed hopes in rapid succession.
“It’s a very intense process, and a difficult one when you’ve been trying and praying for so long for it to work out,” Gore said. “You can’t understand why things fall through.”
The Gore adoption journey proved a testament to their strength. They received a call that they had been chosen as adoptive parents to a child soon to be born, only to discover days later that the child’s birth mother had decided to keep her baby after all. Though crushed, the two kept sight of their faith. Then, in January of 2012, they got the call they had been waiting for. Little son Bartholomew came into their lives to stay.
“It really goes to show that God had a plan for us, and it was all meant to work out,” Gore said.
The Gores’ path did indeed wind in mysterious ways. In adopting Bartholomew, the couple developed a relationship with his biological aunt. Through that relationship, they were able to later adopt Christine—Bartholomew’s biological sister.
“We are so blessed,” Gore said.
Today, Gore homeschools 7-year-old Bartholomew and 4-year-old Christine.
“[Homeschooling] is something I never thought I’d do—I never thought I’d have the patience!” she laughed. “But so far, it’s been wonderful.”
Gore made the decision to home school after Bartholomew attended kindergarten at a public school, and his energy proved a bit too overwhelming for a traditional school setting.
“It was a very challenging year for him and us. A lot of children aren’t designed for a public school setting, and he is one of them. He needs a lot of activity, movement, and interaction,” Gore said. “I’m very grateful, because I’ve seen him thrive this past year. I am able to give him the space to move and explore while he learns, and he’s leaned into his happy, spirited, and lovable nature.”
The Gores are planning to take their homeschooling venture one school year at a time, reevaluating the idea of sending Bartholomew and eventually Christine to a public school. In the meantime, Gore is thankful for the large homeschooling community in Valparaiso, plus the many activities offered through organizations like Valpo Parks, to enhance her children’s upbringing.
“I’m a big believer in not knowing until we get there,” she said. “You never know what life is going to throw at you, and you might as well live it day by day.”
Homeschooling comes with a few other advantages for the Gore family. They are able to travel across the country with Luke and the Valparaiso University men’s basketball team when they play away games. Recently, they accompanied Luke on a recruiting trip to Niagara Falls. Gore said Bartholomew and Christine are very attached to the players and the university, and that their family hosts team members for dinners at their home as often as possible.
“I feel very blessed that my kids are being raised in such an awesome, vibrant community with so many role models to look up to, especially with all the amazing players they meet,” Gore said.
Ever popular, Bartholomew even still Facetimes some of the team members who have graduated.
“One of the very special things about Valparaiso University is that familial environment that you don’t get at other schools. My kids are right at home at VU, especially in the ARC. They run around and are very social with everyone they meet. I swear, they know more people than I do!” Gore laughed.
Next time you attend a basketball game at Valparaiso University, be on the lookout for Gore’s effervescent children, Bartholomew and Christine; her husband and best friend, Luke; and Cheryl Gore herself, the MVP player for her family’s team.