Monday, August 24, 2009

ravings of a lunatic mom... school

I'm so at a loss for words which doesn't often happen to me. I'm on my week of darkened bitterness and anger. I allow myself to mourn a situation for a short length of time before I get down and dirty and come up with a plan of attack. "Keep fighting." If I've heard that once, I've heard it a thousand times. It's just that I'm out of fight this week and contrary to public opinion, I don't always like to fight. It doesn't seem right to always be fighting for people to be consciencious human beings. If you knew me growing up you knew a vastly different person than I am today. I'm synical, battle scarred, and tired. I'm worn out. This battle to fight for what is righteous and good is sucking the life out of me. I look at the person I see in the mirror and wonder "who else got hurt in this wreck" (as my husband likes to chide me). How can I be a mom and wear so many other hats too? Why did God pick me? Did He underestimate who I am? I wonder when my well of tears will dry up from overuse. How can I continue to allow people into our world and work so much at helping them be there when it causes me so much pain.

I see the little girl vastly growing into a beautiful little lady. I feel her thin weak arms around my neck as she gently pulls me in for a kiss or two. I feel her baby soft cheek pressed up against mine. I put my hand up for a high five. I even get to hold her fragile hand in mine for a moment. She likes me in her world. She loves me. She loves in a different way. How can you see that unless you take the time to learn? I'm weary with the world who has little or no desire to be in her world or allow her in ours.

I got a call from a pseudo Christian school. Okay, I'll admit that might be harsh, but I leiu of my conviction not to name and degrade that school publically I had to get a dig in. I guess publically naming it may make me feel good, but it does nothing for the church of God. It only confirms what many non Christians think about us... unloving. Making one church look bad makes my God look bad to the outside world so I'll let it go and address it as a generic problem rather than an isolated event. I wish it were just an isolated incident, but in my experience it is not. Christians talk about love, but love is so much more than what we say; it's what we do. We talk about God's love, but all too often neglect to be the one showing it. I'm guilty.

Back to the phone call. We wanted to send Abby and Belle to a Christian school this year. Belle really wants to go to school instead of homeschooling, so after a lot of deliberation we decided to look into it. The more we talked about it the more we couldn't stomach the idea of Belle in private school and Abby in public school. It's been on our heart to help the church be more friendly to people with disabilities and typically they aren't in private school. For some reason we are the ones who are for the value of human life, but when it comes to welcoming them into our world we often send them to the secular government for social services. So it's the government's responsibility to care for "the least of these?"

We thought it through and were naive enough to think it was a slam dunk. We would send Abby with a full time assistant to the school for a few hours a day. She would go to lunch, recess, PE, music, art or any other time where she could interact socially with the kids. We really asked nothing of the school staff other than to tolerate her being there. We even agreed to a trial period to try to work it out. The board met and simply said no. I have to admit that the phone call floored me. They didn't want to even try to have a child with disabilities in their school. They had no reason other than "it wasn't best for the school."

"INDEFENSIBLE" is the only word I have. Where should she go? If she doesn't belong here than where? Walk in our shoes for a moment and find the logic. Puzzling isn't it? I tried to look at it from their perspective. As a former teacher at a private school I still have nothing. I challenged the principal with the decision and shock ensued along with venom for questioning them. He wanted me to just take it and leave quietly. He wanted me to ease his conscience, but I couldn't. I had to take a stand for my daughter, our family and all the other families that are excluded from the private "Christian" world. Will it change unless someone pushes? Isn't it ironic that the world has found value in people with disabilities before the church? They are at the helm of the fight for inclusion and equality. They are the ones who fought to shut down the institutions and bring people with disabilties back into our world. They have seen the value of kids like Abby attending school and being in the classrooms with the typical kids.

Shame on us... We should be at the forefront battling for those who cannot defend themselves, but instead we pass them aside and hand them the address for government services. I sit here ashamed. Unsure what our role can be. I've pleaded with parents to take their kids to church because I believe in the many good people out there (like my church), but days like this remind me why they don't. They fight for their kids everywhere else, but cannot bear to do it in the Lord's house. Rejection is common, but from the people of God it is crippling. It goes against the fabric of our being.


  1. I have no comment other that I love you. I can't use fb to respond to your post so I just want to say I love you, miss you and God is in control. He always was, always is and always will be.

    -your brother

  2. Wow. I'm so sorry they won't walk alongside you. I have been changed just by knowing the journey you walk, I can only imagine the benefit it would be from being with your family, with Abby. The pain of rejection, especially when so unexpected. Praying for your heart and for wisdom for you.


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