Friday, June 10, 2016

I Was Wrong. We Are Not In This Alone

I have been most neglectful. You see, I have needed to post a follow up to my last post for quite some time. I am pulling the 4 small children excuse card on this one. But still- shameful!

After I posted about Addison being caught in the in-between stage of baby and child- I pushed publish and had no idea so many people would relate to it as closely as they did. To those I would like to say- you are not alone. We are not alone in this.

I purposefully did not share a lot of details about the situation about the church nursery that I briefly mentioned- about her being too old to be in her nursery but not able to go up to the next class because of her bolting tendencies. I left out a lot of the details because 1. the story didn't need them for the point still be come across and 2. I recognized from the beginning that the issue that I was speaking about was in no way a fault of my church or their nursery system so I didn't want the focus of the post to land there. I knew all too well that their system (which is excellent) was not failing my child, my child was failing their system. And that was frustrating to me. And slightly embarrassing as I knew Addison was putting undue stress on nursery workers who had hearts of gold and who were trying so hard to be there for her.

You can imagine my surprise then, when my church reached out to me in response to my post. Not to shame me or to filter me or to correct me.

But to ask- what could they do so that their nursery system would be more helpful to Addison and the struggles that she was facing? They didn't focus on the fact that it was Addison who was failing their system- no. They asked- "How can we best show love to your family in this way? How can we help? What can we do to be there for you?"

I was blown away. And I felt rather sheepish because when I wrote my original post, "Aaron and I are all alone in this," I truly felt that way. Until I realized- we aren't alone.

I wrote that Aaron and I were her only cheerleaders, but after I hit "publish", I turned around and saw an army of cheerleaders behind me saying, "We've got your back on this. We're cheering for her too."

Because when you have a church family who loves the Lord and loves you and wants to help further the gospel even in the most unexpected of ways (like figuring out how to keep a certain little girl safe and loved in their nursery system)- you are not alone. Not even a little bit.

Addison now has a one-on-one aide at church. She is back in her nursery- with a new plan set in place- with an extra set of eyes watching just her. (The one-on-one works REALLY well for her at school so we were thrilled for this to become an option at church.)

I am extremely thankful. And humbled. And thankful that our church family would go to such an extreme effort to show love to our family. We haven't had a problem in nursery ever since this was set into place. Not one single problem.

I need to get back into my blogging groove because it's all too easy to post about frustrations and then neglect writing when things are going well.

When my daughter is surrounded by friends at school and having a positive end-of-the-year experience as she wraps up her Kindergarten year. When she is loved by so many. When our church is bending over backwards to show acceptance and accommodations to her specific needs. When all of her siblings are including her, playing with her, loving her- still with none of them noticing a thing different about her.

It's easy to point out the ONE thing going wrong instead of meditating on the many things that are going so very right.

Having a 6-year-old with Down syndrome is not as hard as it sounds. Yes, there are moments of frustration. But I want to get back to blogging about the good stuff too. Because the good stuff is overwhelming in number.

And to our awesome church family- THANK YOU. You have no idea how much this means to us. Being a special needs family at times can feel so isolating, so lonely. But knowing that you hear us- that you see us- this means the world to us. And we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.


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