We have dealt with all manner of surprising situations since being blessed with our special needs child. Regularly and often we get to see just how strong and or talented or smart we actually are. Our convictions and morals are put to the test on such a regular basis that we really don’t have the time to be “wishy-washy” on many issues. We have to pick a side and just stick to it! Sometimes of course, we make a bad decision or one that just wasn’t too smart. We learn fast, pick up and keep going. We are in the process of making the difficult decision of whether to stay with our current church or pull our family out due to lack of support for Mr. M in Sunday school classes. We have not had good “long term” church-going experiences. When we lived “in the city” we found a church close to our home that we loved and could walk to. We loved the pastor, we loved the people, the location. It was amazing! Then we had a baby. (dun dun dunnn) Then the pastor left. Then the personality of the church began to shift and many of our friends left. Then we had a second baby. (dun dun dunnn) The baptism of our second child there was so bad we still issue heartfelt apologies for it whenever it is brought up within our family. He’s 7. (wah wahh) Then we moved. We “church shopped” and found a church in our town that seemed to fit well with our values and our family needs. We love the pastor and his family, the church is adorable and their children’s programming for little ones is lovely! The problem is that for older children, the religious education is much more… fluid. It isn’t a big program because the church doesn’t have a lot of families. It is a very lean program and while they are willing to support Mr. M to some extent in his class, the special needs families are expected to do much of the heavy lifting with respect to teaching, classroom support and communication within the children’s program. I hate to be the person that’s all, “this is too hard, I can’t do it”. But… this really is too hard, and I can’t do it. I understand that many people do not see all that I do within a school year or even over the summer, but I do a lot and I cannot take on any more responsibilities. I just can’t. So. It is looking like we are going to be changing churches again. I am upset. I am upset for the children. I am upset for me. I am upset for DH because he finally found a church where he felt at “home”. For the next 14 years however, its not just about DH and I, its about the 5 of us and what works for the 5 of us as a group. I am constantly reminding my family (my own family mind you) of this when we come to visit for an extended stay in the summers. My warnings go like this: “Don’t forget that Mr. M can wander and he is sometimes difficult in large groups because of the sound. You may have to repeat instructions to him umpteen times and still, we may not be able to do all the activities that your group does. Miss. S is still a toddler and pretty much talks continuously unless she is asleep. Mr. A can be very loud and hyper-active. There are 5 of us! That’s a lot of people in your house!” This is my life. This is my group. We go as a package or we don’t go at all. So… we’re looking at possibilities for our family to join a new church. There is a church we have been “supplementing” our children’s RE programming with because they are a large church and have a much larger children’s program, so we will most likely end up there. They have more staff, more support and many many families. They are used to children and they welcome them. They have a school-age mid-week “club” for kids and one for younger toddlers too. They even offer a couple of camps per year. The downside is that I don’t know that DH and I will fit in there as well as we do at our current church. Oh well. See? This is where I get to test my convictions. Do I really act as I say I do? Well, yes, I do. Or at least I try to. I know in my heart this is the right decision for our family and well, at least we’ll have a common thread at the new church. Its a start. A new start.
Be Fierce. #OpenANewDoor