Thursday, March 29, 2012

T-11 and Counting

In eleven short days, the world as Wesley knows it will quickly and suddenly change.  He will no longer see the six wonderful ladies who have become a second family to us over the past three years as they have worked with him and showed us how to better help him.  Instead, a yellow school bus will pull up to our driveway, and Wesley will take a long ride to an unfamiliar place to begin a new and exciting season of his life.

Somehow, I think that Wesley can sense that change is in the air.  He seems less trusting of us and more resistant to anything new these past few weeks.  We visited his new classroom last week, and he did not like it one bit!  A new routine with new rules will take some adjusting for him.  I suspect that his first week will be dreadful as he learns to trust his new teachers and understand their expectations.

But after meeting his teacher and new speech therapist and observing how they teach his classroom, I think they will be a wonderful fit for him.  Once he has adjusted to his new life, I think he will love it, and he will thrive.

God has blessed us by placing us in a wonderful school district that is known for its excellent special education department.  Their reputation is glowing, and in interacting with them so far, we believe this to be true.  They have provided Wesley with a large amount of direct minutes working with speech, occupational and physical therapists each week along with placing him in a classroom that will easily facilitate his need for 1-on-1 instruction.  As well, God has worked in their hearts as they have bent over backwards to fit Wesley into the class that would best fit his needs even though when we first started discussions with them, there was no room for him in this particular class.

Time after time, over the past couple of weeks, we have prayed to God, asking for specific things to happen that we thought were impossible, and God has worked in the hearts of these ladies in the school district so that our prayers were answered.  At first they did not see a need for Wesley to have a sensory plan in place at school, but then the occupational therapist asked if she could come observe Wesley again in our home.  After leaving that day, her perspective completely changed and she became Wesley's biggest advocate.  A wonderful sensory plan has been put into place for him, which gives him the opportunity to succeed in mastering his goals for this year.

As well, throughout the goal writing process, the school district was open to our suggestions and happy to compromise as we discussed our goals for Wesley this year.  As we read over the goals that were agreed upon at his IEP, I can see how God had his hand on the goal-writing process.  God enabled these ladies to get a good picture of Wesley's strengths and weaknesses and to come up with some wonderful goals for him.  If he achieves all of these goals this year, we will be overjoyed.  While each goal individually is definitely attainable, just thinking about him meeting ALL of these goals along with other learning objectives in the next twelve months is an amazing thought.

Cookies made by a dear friend for Wesley's IEP

Because our IEP process was a long and drawn out five hours over two separate days, I had several opportunities to meet with Wesley's teacher and speech therapist to discuss having picture cards ready for him on his first day and to strategize on how best for me to program his communication device for him to communicate at school.  I have been thrilled with their willingness to meet with me multiple times, and even more, I have enjoyed interacting with them and seeing that they truly are looking forward to having my little guy in their class.

While I will miss his joyful self tremendously each morning, I am looking forward to seeing all that God has in store for Wesley as he has been given this wonderful opportunity to learn in a fabulous preschool setting.  As I let go and release him to attend school, I am entrusting him to his faithful heavenly Father, who loves him even more than I do, to watch over him and protect him each day.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Playing With Butterflies

When little brothers are playing, sometimes big brothers just can't resist joining in the fun.

As long as big brothers are gentle with the baby, Mama is happy to let them investigate.

Besides, who wouldn't be interested in a butterfly that plays music and has blinking lights?

And little brothers enjoy the company!

In fact, this little brother saves his biggest smiles for his big brothers.

Monday, March 19, 2012

God Is For Me

This I know, that God is for me.

These are the words that I read out of Psalm 56 this morning.  These are the words that I so desperately needed to hear.

Last night I tossed and turned, dreams filling my mind with unpleasant thoughts and pictures. This is always a sign that deep down, I am anxious and not trusting.

This morning I rushed around, dropping boys off at different locations so I could arrive, attempting to reclaim my scattered thoughts, for another meeting.  The frantic busyness of my life was a perfect picture of the lack of peace in my soul.

Then the words of the Psalm came to my mind again:  "You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle.  Are they not in your book?"  As my God offers me His peace when I trust Him, He also lovingly keeps count of all my tossings while I try to live my life forgetting to call out to him for help.  He gently gathers up all of my tears and saves them.  He has not forgotten.  This I know, that God is for me.

As I drove my boys through the gloom and rain, my mind raced, planning my day, my week.  I rehearsed requests, pleadings, forms to be submitted, to-do lists.  My anxious thoughts filled the quiet, threatening to take over any remaining strongholds of the peace that surpasses all understanding in my heart.  But then the words came, whispering "in God I trust; I shall not be afraid."

For this I know, that God is for me.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Medical Adventures

This past month has been a busy one at our house.  Along with getting ready for Wesley's first IEP, we have also been in and out of the hospital numerous times.

First, Zach had surgery to remove his adenoids.

Then during his recovery, he got sick and consequently dehydrated.  Three days after his surgery, Zach ended up back in the emergency room getting fluids.

When he was released from the emergency room, Zach was sent home with an IV and a home nurse visitation was scheduled for him to receive even more fluids.

Then last night Wesley and Daddy suffered through a sleep study (and a sleepless night).

In the next few weeks we still have an upcoming surgery to replace the tubes in Wesley's ears and possibly also remove his tonsils.  I am so very thankful for the wonderful insurance God has blessed us with, Mike's flexibility at work and his ability to take off for all of these things so that I can stay home with Liam, and the skilled doctors we have caring for our boys.

God is again reminding us that His steadfast love toward us never ceases.  His mercies never come to an end.  They are new every morning!  Great is His faithfulness!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Jesus Has Overcome the World

"Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice.  You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy.  When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world.  So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.  In that day you will ask nothing of me.  Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you.  Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full."
John 16:20-24

This week was a reminder to me that I am living in the now and still waiting for the not yet. And so, I have sorrow now.  But there will come a day when my sorrow will be turned to joy, and no one will take my joy from me.

In this lifetime, because of the saving grace of Jesus and His kindness toward me, He will give me joy even in the midst of my tears as I trust in Him.  But one day my joy will be full.  On that day, there will be no more tears or suffering or pain or sadness - only joy.  Jesus will wipe away every tear from my eyes.

"In that day you will ask in my name, and I do not say to you that I will ask the Father on your behalf; for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God."
John 16:26-27

One day my joy will be full because God Himself loves me.  How can it be that the God who spoke the world into being loves me?  Just thinking about these words amazes me.  And this promise gives me hope even when I am sorrowful.  When it seems that I am facing injustices against my son and insurmountable obstacles, I know that I can give my burdens to the God of the universe, trusting Him because I know that He loves me.  And He loves Wesley.

"I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace.  In the world you will have tribulation.  But take heart; I have overcome the world."
John 16:33

Even when it seems that the whole world is against me and my son, when I cast my cares on the Lord, He promises to give me His peace that passes all understanding.

More than this, I can take heart, for my Savior has overcome the world.

In this world I should expect sorrow and pain, but I have hope because Jesus has overcome the world!  And oh how I long for that day when I will see my Savior face to face and He will wipe away my tears.  On that day, He will fill me with joy in Him for all eternity.