We had Bette’s end of the year conference at school, or as I like to refer to it, the big conference. In the days leading up to it, I wondered how it was going to go since her last one didn’t go so well. I was both excited about it and dreading it. Would they tell us she had made significant gains this spring? Or would we hear, again, that she still wasn’t making enough progress for her hearing age and IQ?
We didn’t know what they were going to say.
The conference included everyone – all her teachers, therapists, and the school director. Bette has quite a little team, I must say. And we were so relieved when they all said the same thing, which was she has made a lot of progress since our last conference and they couldn’t be more pleased. We asked a lot of questions, like we always do. But the general consensus among everyone was that she is on the right track.
Because her words are growing clearer. And she doesn’t have that deaf sound when she articulates them, even the higher frequency sounds, like f and s. She is stringing more words together to make phrases and sentences. And while we can’t understand everything she says, we understand her more and more. The conference could not have been more encouraging and we are thrilled we are ending the year on a high note.
I spent a great deal of the winter season in meetings. Meetings about where Bette should go to school next year. And the big questions was, should she stay at the private school she attends now, or should we put her in the public school, special education system?
I talked to all her teachers and therapists. I consulted with all the people who work with her. And I tried to keep an open mind and let the research lead me where it may.
But mostly, I prayed, for months and months, that the Lord would show us what was best for Bette.
I was very tempted not to pray. A part of me did not want to. I wanted to make my own decision. That really would have been so much easier.
But still, we owed it to Bette to pray for her; to set aside our own preferences, opinions, and wisdom and seek His will for her. Because she is His and she is on a path that He has set for her.
And after months of praying, we finally figured out the answer: she needs to stay where she is.
Because she loves her school. She has a great team there, who all love and adore her. And they are giving her exactly what she needs. And when her needs change, they adjust and change with her. They change the plan. They change her teacher. They change her classroom. They do whatever it takes. Because more than anything, they want to give her everything she needs to be a fully hearing, speaking child.
There is no doubt it is the best place for her. But we are still trying to process that decision. We are calculating the cost. And we are reworking our budget.
We are also taking very deep breaths. We are preparing ourselves for what is to come. And we are trying not to hyperventilate, or be overwhelmed by the ridiculously large number that is staring back at us from our spreadsheet. (Yes, we have spreadsheets. We are nerdy like that.)
But it is where the Lord has led us. It is what He has shown us she needs. And when it comes to our babies, how can we be anything but obedient?