Oct 24, 2011

The Making Of A Miracle - Part 8

Recap from last post:
* I had a meeting with a stranger who felt like a brother.
* I had written a letter that had shaken me to the core.
* I had no idea what was happening. 

As I read the letter, John just listened. Then, he asked more questions. The kind that cause you to think that this person really cares. He turned out to be an extremely knowledgeable, kind, strong leader with a heart the size of China and an ability to listen with ears as big as Dumbo.

He let me know more about their organization and the core values that they believed in. I liked what I heard. He informed me that Bethesda had 2 group homes in the Kelowna area that were full. They took great care of their clients and they often lived really long lives.

Well that's fine. I thought. I'm not looking for a group home right now.
In our conversation John knew that we had spent a year in Ontario meeting with other parents of special needs children. Our goal had been to plan for a home for them all that would be a "dream home" that would meet the unique needs of each of our children. I left that dream behind in Ontario, or so I thought.

He recommended that I go to the government and start the application for Lindsay to live at Bethesda in the future. It let me know that it was a really long process and even after you are approved, it is about a 10+ year wait.  

I let him know that I wasn't looking for a group home right now, but seeing as he said it would take 10+ years, I thought that I would follow his recommendation. Just the thought of it created anxiety in my heart. He coached me on how to proceed with requesting an application and he warned me that the government would not make it easy. It would be tough plowing. He encouraged me to at least start the process and to continue to be strong and bold throughout the long road ahead.

I had become familiar with tough plowing. I could do it again.  But inside I thought...

I just can't plow that hard any more. God, I need some help!
At the end of the meeting, John said he was going to go back to head office and do some research on whether they could create some day programs in the future or help me find respite workers. It would take time. He would keep me posted. In the meantime, I could do my part and start the process.

As I walked to my car that day, I let out a ginormous sigh and said:

God, if you want me to do this... I need you to make this easy for me.

Those 17 words had more meaning than 17 chapters of a riveting novel.

So, back home I went, booked another appointment and jumped right back into the business of life.

About a month later, I had my appointment. To my surprise, my social worker did not attend, but instead her boss, Peter was here in this room again with me.

He listened to me speak about how we were becoming weary and that we wanted to look at options for the future for Lindsay. I let him know of my meeting with Bethesda and that I wanted to at least start this long process. I told him about our meetings with parents in Ontario and how I had a dream to create a home that would meet all the needs of Lindsay, right down to the last little detail.

He graciously smiled and said:

There is no way that we will put Lindsay in a group home. That is not how we do it here.
If you are unable to care for Lindsay, we will just give her to another family.
A foster family will take care of her.

That statement got my blood boiling! I was about to explode with emotions.

Another family!!!! I said.

How could another family possibly take care of her better than her own?!! She needs constant care! She needs a whole team of help. I said.

We'll just give them more support. He said.

More support???!! I said, trying to hold back the rage that was swirling inside of me.
I felt like I was about to roar like an angry lion.

I proceeded to tell him all the reasons why that would be a completely unreasonable, unsafe and crazy idea for Lindsay.

Didn't he know that she needed things a certain way? 
No regular home and family could accommodate that!!!! She would be at risk for injury and a whole host of other things!! 

There was NO WAY I was going to say yes to that!
I was mad! The alarm bells of danger were going off inside of me like an ambulance rushing to the scene of a crash.We bantered back and forth. Him giving his reasons, me giving mine. We were at a standstill.

And then......something shifted. The rage inside me became channeled into a calm surge of courage.
Am I allowed to ask for what I want? I inquired.

Yes. He said. But you are not going to get it.

Well....... I WANT Bethesda. I blurted.
Who was this woman who just blurted this?!! I asked myself.

You can ask, but you are not going to get it. He said very matter of fact like.
Then I proceeded to let him in on the same story I told the social worker, a few months earlier.

My daughter is really important, to me and to God. You see, she is a princess...
On and on I went, informing him that a princess needs a whole host of workers. (more than one family.) 
It's just the way it is.

We were on different pages. He looked at me with a blank stare like I had seen before.

He informed me that there was a brand new system being instituted for the application process. Due to that fact, my social worker was in a season being re-trained to fill out the forms. She would not be available and once she was, there was a waiting list to even start the process.

He knew that I had lots of experience with filling out forms so he offered them to me and gave me a website where I could learn a whole new system and start to fill out the forms on my own. He let me know that I would hear from my social worker for an appointment in about 3 months time, after summer was over.

After summer? Nice. Summer... oh no...

I thanked him and took the information from him. The meeting was over. No apparent progress.
What a great way to spend an hour or so.

Here I was, seemingly right back where I had started.
Heading into summer, with not enough workers.
It was going to be a long summer. I had to find a way to get through.

I came home feeling deflated and feeling I like I had wasted my energies and emotions on a dead end.

No time to cry over spilled milk, I thought.
I've got to focus on making the best of it.

And focus I did.
I jumped into the challenge with all engines firing. I left the forms and applying, way in the distance of my mind. It was too overwhelming to think about, to do. I had to focus on the tasks at hand.

So, I left it. Out of sight, out of mind.

Ingredient #7 for a miracle:
Keep asking.
Faith is a muscle that needs exercise and practice.
You are not in control.
You are NEVER out of God's sight and mind. He's got you on His radar.

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