Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Ma'am... We Need to Talk

I'm going to veer a bit from my 'normal' writing style to share a bit about what is happening right now in our lives.

Arturo wrote a blog about Stella, and how he has realized that she is bringing us both to a new level of parenting (truly the nicest way to say that she tries both of our patience in the most extreme way). Some days it seems to work well, and other days . . . I just need to hide the cats and keep 5 feet between siblings. Funny thing is he wrote and posted his blog on Monday, and on Tuesday we had a small insight into what may lie ahead.
Stella is in a pre-school program in the morning, and with an IEP (Individualized Education Plan) from Georgia, she qualifies for a special 2X week afternoon program that focuses on speech and articulation. Stella had her first day this past Monday - the same day Arturo wrote his post. I did not see her teacher at pick up, but no news is good news, right?
Well Tuesday was the night for parents to meet the teacher, and off I went to complete my parental duty. I have to admit I was curious as to what this program entailed, and how Stella did on her first day. Her teacher did an excellent job explaining the curriculum, goals, and objectives. As brief questions concluded the evening, I asked a simple question about IEP meetings, and her teacher responded, "I'm glad you asked, I was hoping to speak with you after the meeting."
I vaguely remember her mentioning during the meeting that she rarely has to move a child from the Green Bear (good behavior) to the Yellow Bear (warnings & not listening) the first day, but that it does happen - and I thought she was looking a lot at me. That should have been my first clue. As we spoke, her teacher said that Stella had a rough first day and she had some concerns for Stella. She actually asked me if Stella had hearing issues (we've had her checked twice). Stella was in the classroom that first day from 12 - 1:30, and I thought - is this enough time to have that many concerns? Yep . . . I guess it's plenty of time. In a nutshell, she thinks Stella may need some help beyond the basic speech articulation, and may qualify for a 5X week program for children who need extra help - rather extra extra extra extra extra help.
Of course no one wants to make a judgement in 1 day with less than 2 hours interaction . . . but I have to say that all of her concerns have been mine. Nothing she mentioned was a surprise to me, and at the same time I want to make sure she truly 'sees' Stella. So hopefully this Friday will give a clearer indication of where Stella truly is - if she'll need more testing - if she'll need more help - if we've been misreading her simply because we did not know . . . know what? I'm not sure right now, and I am honestly content to wait til Friday and learn some more info. How can I be content? Because I feel like we are finally getting this figured out. It's a strange mix of sadness & relief.
You see, the past few months of deciding to go to Italy - renting out our house - selling/giving away/packing everything we own - moving to Florida into my mom's house - trying to raise an enormous budget so that we can do what God is asking - all of this has been a crazy time of faith, trust, joy, & obedience. Arturo and I have both prayed that we would continue to yield and submit to God's plan & trust that His plan is the best for our WHOLE family.
Having said that, our goal of getting to Italy in September came & went, and I have to admit I was disappointed - I doubted - I was jealous of missionaries who didn't have to fundraise - I was not in a good place - not thinking from an eternal perspective. I know Arturo was struggling as well - we both had so many questions . . . unanswered.
So, as I'm driving back from Stella's school - after hearing that she needs more testing because she is not processing information as other kids her age - I was not a happy mother. Then it hit me - our desire was for our whole family to be blessed by this move. If we would have moved in Sep., or if we would not have moved to Florida, we would not have been able to learn that our sweet Stella may need some extra help so that she is able to lead a full and vibrant life. God loves the least of these . . . my sweet Stella. And I was embarrassed and disappointed in myself for not trusting in God's plan. Has he ever let me down? His timing and ways are NOT mine, and I cannot say I understand everything . . . but His love is so real and unchanging.
I guess I may not be that different from Stella. I wonder if God wants to have my hearing checked, or if he wonders why I'm not processing information in a normal fashion, and I bet he's astounded at how often I need to learn the same lessons over . . . God is good - all the time! All the time - God is good! May I imprint this on my heart because it will NEVER change!