Wednesday, May 21, 2008

 The privilege of not being the final authority

We finally have an education plan in place for K's next school year. It is not what I had my heart set on, but I am now at the stage of realizing that God knew this would be best all along. And it is becoming increasingly clear that this is, indeed, just right for him.

Don't you love it when it is with steadfast clarity that you realize again you are not the one in charge, and there is some one so vastly more adequate than you directing things?

K will not be going to kindergarten this fall. I really wanted him to. I thought he was ready. I am such a mom! For the past two years K has been in an early childhood development delay preschool. It has been wonderful, but K has surpassed any thing else that could be learned there.
It was recommended to us, by his teachers and the administration at his special ed. school, that K be placed in a near by school which has a mildly cognitive impaired (mici) room. It sounded like a perfect plan for K! They would personalize his education by mainstreaming him for the amount of time he could handle, then return him to the mici room for the subjects that were a little bit tougher for him to process. We have heard amazing things about this program and even more amazing things about the teacher. I got really excited about this! I pretty much told God that this was the plan to implement for us and thanked him in advance for making it happen. And then we began hitting the road blocks... Every step of the way. At the last meeting we attended, yesterday afternoon we were told that the administration at the recommended school had 'severe reservations' about taking Caleb on. For the past couple of months we have heard about those reservations. It was never first hand, as the meetings between schools were always with out our presence. We heard they didn't think he was ready. We heard they had too many of their own kids in that class (we are out of district). Some where along the way we heard faint rumors pointing towards funding issues. Perhaps it was the final data report put together, to present who K is, to this school. It said he was legally blind (in some kind of medical technical way, perhaps that is true, but it could also lead some one to believe he can't see at all. That is not true), It explained what to look for if he is experiencing shunt failure. That would freak any one out. I'm still freaked out about it! :) Again, it is a legitimate concern for any one caring for K and I could see that throwing some people off a bit. The report also stated his physical limitations and the fact that he is not toilet trained. He has a G-tube. He takes a few extra minutes to process things. Although he can take a few unassisted steps, that continues to be an unsteady and insecure skill for him. He will require alot of attention, assistance, and patience.

But he's my sweet little boy. Why can't they all see that? I want any one who will have influence on K's education and future to know where he's been. How amazing he is. The great potential he has. That his smile lights up a room. I want them to marvel with me at every single breath he takes. They won't. They can't. They weren't there...

So, we chose not to push. Not to forge ahead with what we thought best and to just see what God had planned. The final reason that was given to us to explain their not accepting K into the school (and mici room) we were hoping for was that they had 18 students and one teacher. Each student in that room has some unique needs and will require much from the teacher. In that light, we are glad to have a different plan where K has a better teacher/student ratio. K is now on a waiting list to be in the mici room for kindergarten next year. This still holds no complete guarantee for him, but we have done all we could short of legal action (which we felt strongly was not the road to take in this particular situation) and will cross that bridge when we get there.

K will be going to a Christian preschool. It is not special ed. He will have an aid with him, but this particular preschool will be very different from where he has been. He was at the higher end mentally at the preschool he has been attending, but the lower end physically. Now he will be with other kids who do not have development delays. It sounds like he will be very challenged. Apparently this preschool is quite focused on academics and is more like a young fives classroom.

After quieting my disappointment at yesterday's meeting and really listening to what we were being told, the realization of how right this is really struck me. This will be a perfect transition between the ease and comfort of where he is at and the structure and faster pace of kindergarten. I'm afraid I had begun to get a little bit hung up on age and comparison - just not a realistic place to go with my K. How often I learn of my own skewed thinking when confronted by my gentle Dave's wisdom. He spoke of a deep desire for K to learn, that he can take all of the time he needs to get through school. Whatever it takes to guide him and help him reach that vast potential we know he has.

Yesterday morning I became increasingly excited about moving forward with the plan we have in place. I took K to school where we met the director, teacher, and special aid who will be working with K next year. They spoke to me for no more than 30 minutes and my peace and settledness overflowed. They met K and got down on his level. They listened patiently to him as he told them what 'frog' is in Spanish. :) They loved him. He charmed them. They couldn't wait till he could be a part of their class room . They said their class would be a great fit for him. They began mentally rearranging their classroom to accommodate his walker.

God, you knew all along! You know so much better than I ever could. I'm so glad...

In about two weeks we will have K's IEP (individual education plan) Where we meet with his speech therapist, occupational therapist, physical therapist, mobility specialist, vision consultant, teacher, teachers assistant, and any one else who has been and will be involved in his education and care. Yep, it's a good time, a very full room, and it takes alot of time! We will talk about who K is, what his challenges are, his unique needs, how they can best encourage him to grow and learn, and then we will all agree on a set of goals for the school year. Phew! I am tired just thinking about it. :) We are really so amazed, pleased, and indebted to those who have gotten on board as a support system. So maybe there are some out there who may not have his best interests at heart. We don't know the details. We don't know all of the reasons. What we do know is our precious little guy has a team whom God has put in place for his education next year. YAY!!
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and he will make your paths straight." proverbs 3:5 & 6

As for other news:
  • Estimated due date: January 25th

  • How I'm feeling: Energetic and on a strange adrenaline high. Can we all say it together, Enjoy it while it lasts!

  • Tuesday nights soft ball game results: 11-4. Another win for our guys. It's like watching a different team than last year!

  • My janitor's success in cutting out carbs: Phenomenal! Lost 14 pounds in two weeks. Still being amazingly disciplined with it. And by the way, he is under the direct and frequent care of his Dr. for those of you with any concerns... :)
  • American Idol: Yay for David Cook. He was one of my faves from the beginning. Sorry mom and dad (Archuleta fans...). At some point your children will grow up and begin to make their own opinions. Sometimes it will be in direct contrast from those you hold to. This is one of those times. :)

Happy Thursday to every one!


Sarah@Life in the Parsonage said...

*crying* I LOVE how those kids interacted with K, and that they can't wait for him to be a part of them. Of course he charmend them :)

You are an amazing woman of God...which allows you to be an amazing mom...never doubt it.

Sarah M. said...

Glad the plans are in place. So happy you can look outside your own plans and see God at work. Funny how He does things sometimes.....
Is American Idol done already? I have NO clue what went down there!

CRJFamily said...

WENDI!!!! Congratulations! Love how you just slipped that in there!!! I'm so excited for you guys!!!

Becoming Me said...

Ohhh, how sweet. And I echo the Sarah's.

I am glad that God led you to where your son should be and that he was well loved and received.

Elizabeth said...

how true this is in our lives...God's plan may not always be what we "want" but it is always what is best. your story is a good reminder.

Stacey said...

I am happy for you guys! It sounds like K will be better off not being pushed too hard, but will do amazing when directed the right way and let go! You are an amazing family!! Keep up the faith!

Kate said...

Hello! Congrats on expecting a new bundle of joy!!! :) I am visiting you from 5 Min for Mom...I so enjoyed reading your Sampler post...yes, and had tears in my eyes. It is a pleasure to read and see your heart for God and for your children. I pray God continues to bless and lead y'all in this wonderful journey of parenthood. Your children are just amazing and beautiful! God bless!! :)

mamachristina said...

I love how you see that Christ is always in the center and he always knows what is best even if we don't see it. If I read your blog long enough I am sure I will pick up that and have it grounded inside my inner core.

IA said...

"Trust in the Lord..." Amen to that! I'm happy things worked out for K!

I was a teacher once, and I can understand how those people 'refused' K, it's obvious they are not equipped, especially heart-wise to help K grow. I'm thankful they were honest about it, and saved K some could-have-been traumatic school days!

God bless you dear mommy as you continue your journey with Him!