So I’ve been trying to figure out what to say about our trip to DC last week.
By far, the highlight was seeing one of my dearest friends and college roommie, Cha. One of the schools we visited advised me in advance to bring a caregiver for Rhema. Cha took off work and spent the day with us serving as Rhema’s “caregiver” while Jill and I met with admissions people and toured the schools. (Jill is the director of Rhema’s school and has been a HUGE blessing to us! Her professional input is/was invaluable. I’m so thankful she came with us.)
In terms of schooling, we were not able to find an appropriate fit for Rhema in DC.
It’s not for lack of trying… I’ve spent hours going over referrals, making phone calls and even visiting schools.
I won’t bore with details, but suffice it to say this mama is riled up and we are duking it out with the Department of the Army. We are desperately trying to get an assignment where we’re confident Rhema can get the education and medical care she needs.
We have been around and around and up and down so many times in recent weeks. One minute I’m hopeful that we’ll get to stay in Boston. The next minute I’m told it might be Pennsylvania. Or New Jersey. Yesterday it was Kansas City. Today, it’s looking like DC again. Who knows what tomorrow will bring?
All I know is that I have a child with significant needs, and I have no idea where we’ll be living in 2.5 months. I’m pretty used to adventures by now, but this is a bit unnerving.
God is doing something in my heart, though.
I feel all unworthy and risky sharing this for many reasons, but here goes:
On my wedding day – before 9/11 and deployments in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and children and autism happened to us – I said to my husband these words from the book of Ruth:
“Entreat me not to leave thee,
or to return from following after thee:
for whither thou goest, I will go;
and where thou lodgest, I will lodge:
thy people shall be my people,
and thy God my God:
Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried:
the LORD do so to me, and more also,
if ought but death part thee and me.”
Over the past month, I have whispered and rehearsed those words. My heart is here in Massachusetts. And I believe that this is, without a doubt, the best place for Rhema. And I will always fight for what is best for her. But I want the spirit of Ruth. She went on simple faith, believing that wherever she went, God would make a place for her and her family.
And maybe this post is rambling and more for Brandon (and me) than anyone else. But I have friends like me. We get in Mama-Bear-Mother-Warrior mode and nothing else matters but the fight. I dare say there is something even more important than the IEP meeting or the right therapy or the right school program. The relationship with your husband – do not neglect it.
My husband is not necessarily well-versed on TEACH or Floortime or ABA or the latest debate and trend in autism treatment. But he trusts me to tell him what Rhema needs and then he does everything in his power to get it for her. If I read a book and tell him Rhema needs to see that doctor – the one who wrote the book – he makes it happen. If I decide she needs to listen to Gregorian chant at high frequencies to improve her auditory system (seriously), but it’s not covered by insurance, he scarfs up the money. He is one of Rhema’s best advocates.
As we battle the Army right now over military orders, he is literally putting his own career on the line. It is not lost on me how blessed we are to have a husband and father who is determined to be there, to have our back, to protect and provide. There is certainly nothing I have done to deserve such a man; only God’s grace.
I don’t know where Uncle Sam is going to send him next, but wherever it is, I am so there…
even if it’s