When I think I know...

When I think I know the plan, God answers a prayer I forgot I prayed.

When I think I know the plan, God shows me the flaws in the plan.

When I think I know the plan, God reminds me the plan isn't always mine to know.

This past August, we made a decision to enroll Caleb in Catholic Schools in order to fulfill his deep need for routine and structure.  I've shared a few times, that things were going well for Caleb and school was really helping.  Being able to count on the structure of 7 hours really helped him deal with adjustments in the rest of his day at home.  He also did well with pencil-paper, check listed book learning even when he wasn't being particularly challenged academically.  It was hard on me, but he was thriving.

At the time we enrolled him, Tim and I prayed that the God would go before us and open and close doors to guide us in our decision.  We were entering into new territory and didn't fully trust ourselves to make the right choices for Caleb.  The school we enrolled Caleb at seemed to be in a position to meet his and our needs perfectly and several other doors were not just closed but slammed shut in no uncertain terms.  Prayer answered.

After a month or two, however, Caleb started really asking to come home.  Insisting that he didn't like school anymore, even though his actions were saying something different...particularly the big smiles when he talked about school.  We didn't hear any indications from his teacher or anyone else that there were problems at school, so we decided to keep sticking it out.  Actually we didn't really consider anything else because we don't want to be inconsistent or give Caleb the idea that he somehow got to choose where he goes to school.

Then last week happened.  I wish I could tell you what happened but to be honest I don't really understand it myself and the person who could clarify it has chosen not to continue communicating with us, even though the place it has been left does not paint her (or the school) in a very nice light.  I am choosing not to focus on that.

Last week were asked to find another schooling arrangement for Caleb.  He had an accident on Monday at school and then Tuesday they called me in to talk with the principal and by the end of the meeting I was basically told we were no longer welcome there.  Technically we were given until Friday but the things that had to be fixed between Tuesday and Friday couldn't have begun to be fixed.

Some pretty awful things were said about Caleb and they came completely out of the blue (no previous indication from teacher or principal that he was having any issues at school) and I am working really hard to let that go, which is why I waited this long to post about it.

I don't believe for a second that the reasons we were given is the reason we are gone.  Definitely part of it was them deciding that Celiac Disease required more adaptations then they were willing to give.  That much they almost admitted to.  In fact in regards to lunch contamination problems (which we know we were having) their solution was to have him eat lunch in the office by himself.  The principal did tell me that was how he was going to have to learn how to take responsibility for his disease management.  I asked about teaching his classmates about keeping Caleb safe but she clearly felt that wasn't their job as a school.

The reality is that despite my initial (extremely) emotional response to all of this, this was a risk we took.  Caleb has medical special needs and in a public school setting they are required to adapt to him, but in the case of private schools this is not the case.  We knew they weren't bound by anything other than basic human charity to make any accommodations whatsoever.  We weren't willing to give up the faith aspects to his education, however, so we took a gamble.

And we lost.

Only in some ways maybe we didn't.  We have learned a lot about Caleb in the past 2 months.  Things we couldn't have learned with him at home.  We know that being more committed to a schedule will make a difference.  We know that the open structure of Montessori is a barrier for him and he needs more predictability in lesson types and timing.  Even things like a uniform really helped him.  He has another doctor's appointment this week and it is time to finish the evaluations we started almost 6 months ago.  It is time to let go of our desire not to have him labeled officially and consider the paperwork to duel enroll him so he can receive some speech and OT services through the school district while meeting his other needs at home.  Time will tell.

In the meantime I am scrambling to put together something that will work for now and keep him busy and engaged because I know he needs that from me.  Work to keep the progress he has made.

Do you think if I stopped thinking I have everything figured out, God would stop reminding me that I don't get to make the plans?


Meredith said...

Sweet, dear Heidi. I'm so sorry to hear about what has been happening there. I'm frustrated with and for you, and I'm impressed that you're able to say something nice about people who have hurt you. I promise to keep you all in my prayers as you adjust to the next step that God is calling you to.

These second sons of ours teach us a lot and need us a lot, don't they? You and Tim are wonderful parents to Caleb. You can do this.

My Boys' Teacher said...

I really feel for you guys. So sorry that happened :( I will add you to my prayers this week.

Olivia D {The Road to Poland} said...

I will say a prayer for your family as you adjust and work together to find something that works. As a home-schooling mom and a graduate of private schools I have always had a bias against public school. BUT, the one thing they do have going for them is the programs for special needs and and their willingness to work with children, no matter what the issue, even if just food related or more structure, etc. Perhaps this is an option? I know for a fact that most private schools just aren't set up to provide for anything outside the "norm."

I hope you can find a solution that provides peace for all of you!

Angie said...

Aww, Heidi, I feel for you. Know of my prayers for God's plan to be revealed in His time.

Discovering Montessori said...

Caleb from what you have shared seems to be just as resilent as you. I read through your blog and you are amazing. Just becoming a fairly new follower and reading your fairly new postings I would have never thought that not too long ago you had a terrible house fire. You are amazing and a incredible women of faith. Keep inspiring and keep up the good work!!
Discovering Montessori

Heidi said...

That you so much for all of your warm thoughts and prayers. We are hanging in there and will just keep moving forward even when there isn't a clear *right* answer!

Evenspor said...

That would make me so angry!

God always finds new ways to teach (and throw curve balls). I think learning everything you can from the experience (like you have done) instead of regretting it is the best thing you can do.

Kylie said...

Oh dear I missed this post somehow. I have to agree with Evenspor there, this was a learning opprotunity for all of you, even the school.