The Boroughs Family

The Boroughs Family

Monday, May 17, 2010

God is good!

He really is, all the time. I know my last post was pretty negative, and I try not to be a discouragement, but I needed to rant a little. Please forgive me. I don't want to be dishonest and pretend that life is all sunshine and rainbows all the time, because it isn't. However, God is faithful in all things. He knows the circumstances, and He has a plan in it, even when we can't see it. No, nothing miraculous happened with our daughter's school situation. I still believe that the school is wrong. I am not happy about it, and I am ready for battle when it comes to our upcoming IEP meetings for our younger set. As their mom, I feel like God has given me the responsibility to advocate and fight for my kids. I just have to remember that He loves them more than I ever could, and He can work good out of bad. So we are trusting Him with the big picture, and knowing that He holds all the details in the palm of His hand.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

When Special Education Fails

Be Warned: This is going to be ugly because I am mad, frustrated, and totally disgusted with the public school system.

I have been told over and over and over that my children with IEP’s (Individual Education Plans) are entitled to a Free Appropriate Public Education through the age of 21. I have also been told at special education trainings to NEVER accept a diploma until you are sure your child is graduating TO something.

So, last year, when our daughter was a junior in high school, we expressed our concern regarding her accepting a diploma at the end of her “senior” year. What was the transition plan? What would she graduate to? Several months ago we had an IEP meeting with the school again regarding graduation. We shared that we are concerned that our daughter is graduating to “nothing”. She is unable to go on to college, and she is not prepared for employment. How did the school respond? They said “a lot of students are in the same situation”. Seriously, THAT was their response! They are basically unconcerned with my daughter’s educational outcome (or should I say lack of one). They said they have provided her with an “adequate” (their term) education, and a few days later we got the official Notice to Graduate.

We were mad, but figured the law was on our side. Our daughter is entitled, and they are obligated. At least that is how I read the law, but I guess I am wrong. After months of fighting with the school, meeting multiple times, enlisting the help of a disabilities advocate, and filing for mediation, we are left with no recourse. The only option left is for us to hire an attorney. Any idea how much a retainer fee for an education lawyer is? A lot! Meanwhile, the school already has an attorney, so it basically doesn’t cost them a thing. They have nothing to lose in taking this all the way to court. We do. Even if we win, we can not recoup the attorney fees, which we can’t afford to begin with.

So, public special education has failed my daughter, and there doesn’t seem to be anything I can do. The law has not done its job to protect her rights. She is one more child that has been left behind, and no one but us seems to care. As it is IEP season, I encourage you to advocate hard for your child...and get to be best friends with an attorney who specializes in educational law, you may need them one day.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Letting go....

Did you ever have to let go of a dream? Find yourself on a path that was different than what you had hoped? I am in that place right now. I see pictures of waiting children every day, and they always tug on my heart. My heart grieves for any child that is need of a family. I have learned to pray for them, but a select few really capture my heart, and I always share those few with my hubby. Only very rarely do we both feel that similar tug, and most of the time when we feel an immediate "YES" in unison, we start the process and bring him or her home to join our family.

As I shared in previous posts, I fell in love with a little girl name Lucy. I knew it would be an uphill battle. She was born in China, and according to their requirements our family is too large and our income not enough. I kept pushing. I know there are waivers sometimes, and certainly God could do that. I tried to get a home study started, but our last agency doesn't do Hague studies, another agency couldn't figure out how to do the update when our previous home study wasn't for a Hague country. We found ourselves back at the wonderful agency that helped us bring home our boys from Hong Kong. They were willing to help us, but the problem was that they could only ask China for a pre-approval if they had Lucy's file, and they didn't. We could proceed with a home study for China, but it would be costly and time consuming, and ultimately we could end up not getting a waiver for ANY child. This seemed so risky. Perhaps her file would end up on the shared list (apparently all special needs children from China are now supposed to be a shared list, and not held exclusively by individual agencies)and then our agency could ask China if they would make exceptions. We had no choice but to wait, and pray, and dream.

I had heard a family was paper chasing for Lucy. I prayed they would officially be "locked in" so I could release her. Sometimes people have good intentions, their hearts are drawn to the plight of a waiting child, but the reality of completing the process doesn't come to fruition. I feared (and if I am truthful-hoped) that perhaps this family wouldn't follow through. Then Lucy would end up on the shared list in a miraculous way, that God would move mountains to bring her home to our family. I know that sounds so selfish. I allowed myself to fall in love with the "idea" of this precious child. I saw her as the suddenly missing piece of our family puzzle. Yesterday I was finally brave enough to email Lucy's agency and ask if she was now officially "locked in". She has been matched to a family, and they hope to have her home this summer. This is such wonderful news! I am praying for them, that their paperwork goes through super fast with no glitches, that Lucy's health remains good while she waits, and mostly I pray for a miracle for Lucy. I will be honest, I also pray a little for my broken heart. I know God has a plan, and it is always better than what we can imagine. Sometimes we have to get on board with that plan in a way that is a bit painful and hurts our hearts. So I am letting go, and I pray that I can fully surrender to wherever He is leading.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

You might have a large family if...

~Everytime you order lunch meat at the deli they ask if you are having a party.
~You have to take a head count anytime you go somewhere to make sure everyone is accounted for.
~You get asked if you are a school group when you go places.
~The pharmacist thanks you for your business when there is a strep pandemic in the house.
~You need to take out a personal loan to cover the Dr.visits and medicine for the strep pandemic.
~The receptionist at the Pediatrician's office knows you on a first name basis, and asks which child you have with you that day.
~You get told at least twice a day that your family should have it's own reality TV show (and you respond "No, thank you!" everytime)
~You run the dishwasher twice a day.
~The washer is ALWAYS running:)
~You dream of winning a lifetime supply of detergent, tissues, or toilet paper.
~You love when your kids where sandals, because you HATE socks!
~You have to order the party platter when you get take out.
~You are never lonely, because you are never alone!
~Your kids have the biggest cheering section at all sports events, concerts, and plays.
And finally:
~Your home is filled with noise, activity, and clutter, but it overflows with joy and love!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

A life transformed through adoption

To say that adoption is life-altering is an understatement. A child goes from being an orphan with no family, and an uncertain (at best) future, and in a moment life is radically different. Through the act of adoption, an orphan becomes a cherished son or daughter, they belong to a family, and their future is suddenly full of promise.

However, the life I am referring to is not any of my adopted children’s, but my own. You see, I knew life would change with the adoption of each of my children. What I didn’t anticipate is how God would use adoption to transform me. I had no idea that He would reveal so much of His character to me in the adoption process. His adoption of me took on such literal meaning as I adopted each of my children. I already knew God loved me, but I got a much deeper understanding of the depth and breadth of that love. I had no idea how much you could love and miss someone that you had never met. I could not imagine the sacrifices I would be willing to make or the distance I would go, for someone who was literally a complete stranger.

The act of adoption has also taught me much about my character, and some of those lessons have been difficult to learn; I can be fearful, impatient, faithless, doubting, and whiny. On the other hand, I have learned that can be persistent and stubborn, assertive, and a “mama bear” anytime a situation calls for me to defend my children. I have gained a better understanding about unconditional love, and found out how exceedingly challenging it is to actually love someone without conditions (I dare you to really examine if you have a person in your life that you love, that doesn’t love you back).

Adoption has changed and altered me, and I will never be the same. I thank God every day that He would allow me to be transformed through the miracle of adoption. I cannot imagine my life without my amazing kids, and I am blessed beyond words to be their mom!