We were so incredibly blessed with the most caring, loving, attentive teachers and sweet little school that I just cannot speak highly enough of. It was such a blessing from the Lord. I was a nervous wreck, sending Owen out "into the world" this year and he did fantastic. This sweet, little school willingly took Owen in, without a second thought and blessed us beyond measure.
Owen fell in love with his teachers, and I'm quite sure they loved him too. :) It was almost guaranteed that I would see him in someone's arms when I came to pick him up from school. My heart was so full of joy leaving him with two teachers who truly loved and accepted him. We will miss Ms. Carol and Ms. Cynthia so very, very much and we are incredibly thankful for the time and love they poured into Owen this past year.
Owen is now enrolled in a public school for the start of next year. It is a preschool for special needs children, specifically with speech delays.
My heart is so very heavy and broken over this.
I have wrestled with this Lord over this decision. Before Michael and I had children we had discussed many options for our future children's schooling, homeschooling, private school, Montessori, none of which included public school. This is simply a decision for our family. I taught in the public school system, it is just the direction we feel the Lord calling our family.
I have researched and researched small, private, Christian preschools near our home. I found (what I thought) what the perfect school. Only 10 minutes form our home, a small faith based school and from my phone conversation it sounded like an answered prayer. I explained Owen's developmental delays, speech delays, and medical concerns, but assured her that no medical assistance would be necessary during the 4 hours he would attend school. We decided that it would be most appropriate to place Owen in the 3 year old room for next year, rather than the 4 year old class, which sounded perfect. We set a time to meet and tour the school and my heart was finally resting easy.
Our visit at the school was short. About 5 minutes into the tour the director informed me she felt Owen was not a good fit for the school. Her school is very structured and children are expected to sit for 10-12 minutes at a time and she felt that because Owen could not do that (among other behaviors) without the assistance of a full time aide, he could not attend there.
I left quickly, without making eye contact so she wouldn't be able to see the tears welling up in my eyes. My drive home I sobbed. My heart was shattered. This is the first time someone has blatantly pointed out to me just how "different" my child is. And it hurt. Deeply. I cried tears not only for the rejection, but for everything Owen endures. The labs, the therapies, the surgeries. The "normal" childhood he is missing out on. I cried because it's not fair that I drag him to therapy three times a week where he is working so intensively when other kids are simply playing outside without a care in the world. I cried because there is a constant pressure of "how many words did he say today?" or "how many fluids has he had?" I cried because it's not fair. It's just not fair.
And then, I stopped.
I have layed my hands on Owen, each night for at least month praying for this exact answer. In fact, my exact words have been that the Lord would "Slam the door where you do not want us to go." Today was for sure a door slamming right in my face. A very hurtful door slam, but it was indeed an answered prayer.
The Lord is hearing me, He is guiding me. And He has yet to lead me astray. Daily I have to lay my sweet Owen at the feet of Jesus, knowing that He holds his future in His hands.
And there are days where I may simply feel overwhelmed, but I am so thankful that Owen does not understand the pain of rejection or the hurt of being left out. As his mother, I, without hesitation bear that pain for him, and once again the miracle that is Owen points me right back to the cross.
I'm asking that you pray with me. Pray that the Lord will reveal to us the perfect school for Owen. And if it happens to be the public school where he is enrolled, that the Lord would steady my heart over this decision. Pray that my eyes will be seeking Him and not be selfish in this decision, but that I would be trusting, knowing that He who created Owen knows far better than I ever could.
I am reminded of one of my favorite worship songs Oceans, by Hillsong United. Specifically in the song the lyrics speak of trusting without borders. This is where I am in my life right now. I am praying that the Lord will continue to lead me, stretch me, guide me, and I will trust Him, without any hesitation.
Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior
Owen was born to change to world. Yes, he's different. Aren't we all?
"For You created Owen's inmost being; You knit him together in my womb. I praise you because Owen is fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful I know that full well. Owen's frame was not hidden from you when He was made in the secret place. When Owen was woven together in the depths of the earth, Your eyes saw Owen's unformed body. All the days are ordained for Owen were written in Your book before one of them came to be."