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?