Friday, August 15, 2014

2 Days Down...and Aced!

Judah is loving kindergarten so far, and has had 2 very good days! His teacher, special ed. teachers, & school counselor have all told me that he's done really well, he's so sweet, & he already has quite a fan club. Not surprising at all considering who we're talking about. That little boy has always been a charmer! He seems to have grown right before my eyes in the last 48 hours. I love listening to all the things he has to say about school and watching him get so excited!

Thanks so much for praying for him - for us - and for all the encouraging notes! It's powerful knowing that we are NOT alone.

Walking to the van with Dad after school

Judah's "I'm excited about school!" face

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Ready... Set... Kindergarten!

As I write this Judah is at school with the most wonderful Kindergarten teacher on the planet (save my sistah moon) and 19 other kiddos. I've been thinking about him all morning; wondering what he's doing, what he's thinking, what the other kids are thinking about him, and how in the world have 5 years gone by?!

I've actually been avoiding this post. We've been in somewhat of a blessed holding pattern these last couple of years with Judah's health and development: no overnight hospital stays, no major surgeries, no major illnesses, and nothing but successes to report from pre-school! I have had the opportunity to take a step back and enjoy a very "normal" life with Judah. He's such an amazing kid - as you know if you've read much of this blog - and it's been a gift to just coast along with him, and eat up just him in all his glory, without having to deal with...extras. I have allowed myself to stuff emotions and fears and live in this state of false security, apathy, and...procrastination I guess. I just haven't wanted to face the reality that huge change is upon us. And though it's good change, it certainly comes with a load of anxiety, uncertainty, and question marks for me.

I was welcomed back to the "Land of the Living with Special Needs" (I hate that I just used that label) on Monday when we went to Judah's MDT (Multi-Disciplinary Team) Meeting. He's got a whole new team of service providers and teachers in a whole new district, so...let's put it this way: 19 people and 90 minutes later I was ready to curl into the fetal position and have a good cry. I love Judah! I am so proud of him! I want everybody to know that he's mine and he's extraordinary...just like my other kids! But there always has to be "those meetings" of explanation, preparation, action planning, and services coordinating; and I just feel like sometimes Judah becomes the diagnoses...instead of just Judah.

That being said, I am confident that God has orchestrated every detail, down to every person on his team, every kid in his class, and every moment of every day he's away from me. And I think he has a really great team. Literally a small village of people who care about him, want to see him succeed, and are committed to doing their very best for him. That's pretty amazing.I also believe that God put Judah in the class that He did for the other kids, too. I think it's impossible to know Judah personally without being positively impacted in some way. I'm already praying for their little hearts, believing that in the next several months and years that Judah is in that class, God is going to work powerfully!

Judah is ready for Kindergarten. He couldn't wait to start! He was so excited he could hardly talk this morning! He marched his way into school, wearing that as-big-as-he-is backpack, and settled into his classroom like he'd already done it a hundred times. All with that huge, beautiful, endearing grin on his face.

And then there's me. And the reason I've been hiding from this blog. Reality hurts sometimes. And fear is a very real and powerful emotion. And I don't like to cry. And writing here has led to some of my biggest cries...ever. But here's the thing. This is also the place where God has met me, held me, comforted me, reminded me, restored me...and I've missed that. By choosing to avoid facing the pain and the "hard" of this next stage of life, I've robbed myself of experiencing God in amazing, impactful ways. My loss. So here's to a fresh start. A Rescuer that waits patiently for me. 

My biggest fear is that kids won't like or accept Judah. That he'll be teased, ostracized, excluded, or treated like less of a person. When I look at this picture of him, my heart breaks at the thought that kids (or parents) won't look past the differences to the amazing kid he is! He's just Judah! He doesn't care that he's any different! He's perfectly comfortable in his own skin, and wants so badly to be like any other kid! To do what they're doing, experience what they're experiencing. And he doesn't see any reason that he shouldn't be able to! What if kids put him down? And what if he understands what's happening and begins to believe that there's something wrong with him...or that he's less of a person than someone else...or that he's anything less than exactly who God created him to be and how WE see him? It's hard to deal with this crap with any kid. But there's an innocence and a vulnerability about Judah that is one of the things I treasure most about him! There are so many "what ifs" floating around my brain. It would be easy to give in to the fear and allow myself to become a blubbering mess. It just would. For me, there is a measure of comfort in fear. I am so comfortable with it and the illusion that I have some sort of control over it. 

BUT GOD. I choose those 2 words instead. I love Judah...BUT GOD loves him more than I can possibly fathom! I want to protect Judah...BUT GOD is his Rescuer, the Lover of his soul, the One Who knows exactly what he needs at every moment and only He can provide it perfectly. I have a good plan for Judah...BUT GOD has a perfect plan. I want Judah to experience only good (my definition)...BUT GOD has only good (His definition) for him. And ya know what? God's good will certainly include hard things and hurt...but then to God be the glory. Because only God sees how the hurt will be used to glorify Him and to impact Judah's heart, or to impact those around him for the Kingdom. And the hurt will absolutely keep me on my knees, trusting that God is Who He says He is and that His Word stands. 

This has been a tough few days for me. It has felt very much like the end of my pregnancy and the first year of Judah's life. I had to decide then that God's glory and His Kingdom were more important than anything else, and then I had to let go of Judah and let God have His way. I find myself facing that very same decision. And I'm making the same one. I choose God and His way and His heart and His everything for Judah and me and my family. 

Today I choose to celebrate this amazing milestone! Guys, 5 years ago we didn't know if Judah was going to come home! 4 years ago we didn't know if he was going to sit by himself! 3 years ago we didn't know if he was going to walk or talk! 2 years ago...he started walking! 1 year ago...he started talking in sentences! His whole world has exploded and he's reached almost every goal that has been set in front of him! And the ones he hasn't reached, he just hasn't YET! AND NOW HE'S IN KINDERGARTEN! And let's not ignore the fact that he's TOO SMART to qualify for special ed. K! Judah is off the charts awesome! 

So, here we go. I mean, HERE WE GO!!!  

"Let the beloved of the LORD rest secure in Him, for He shields him all day long, and the one the LORD loves rests between His shoulders."
Deuteronomy 33:12