Life has a way of throwing curve balls when you least expect it.  That has happened to me over the past few months.  Things have come at me very fast, giving me little time to think only to react.  Now that these events are just past and still fresh in the  mind, I am having some time to think and from what I know so far, things will look very different in the fall!

The first major change actually began in February when my oldest began to rethink her college decision.  She was concerned about the financial piece of attending a private college and the debt she might incur by doing such.  So rather than going out-of-state and living in a dorm, she was considering going to the University and living at home.  This was in some ways a surprise, but in other ways not so much of one.  While I was looking forward to her having some great experiences, I was also glad to see my “Live in the moment” daughter begin to think through the situation and plan for her future.

It felt like the right decision but it did mean that I had to rethink some things for fall.  Things like the “temporary” room we made for Garrett last fall now needs to become more permanent.  But prior to making any changes to his room, all the stuff that got moved and left for the year because I was thinking I could move it back, now needs to find a home!  So my summer job is cleaning and organizing the basement!

But the major things that have made me really rethink life were two events that took place beginning in April.  That is when my mom fell and broke her hip.  This meant that my dad could no longer stay at home and either needed to come live up here in Minnesota or go to a long-term care facility.  It was a hard 3 weeks as I walked through the process of making decisions with my immediate family that my dad did not like.  It was not easy to put my dad into a long-term care facility and yet it has worked out to be a good place for him.  He has not realized yet that he might not ever be coming back to his home.  There is still much  to process with regard to this change and while it has been extremely hard on my dad, it has been a good change for my mother.  She was physically and mentally exhausted from being the primary care giver for my dad.  She is now recovering from both her fall and the care giver role.

The other major event was having Giovanna tested to see why she has been struggling to learn and retain information.  We did find out through the testing that her brain does not function the way most kids brains do.  This means that she will need to work 2-3 times as hard to learn and retain the information that she does learn.  This impacts me the most.  While we knew that she had physical limitations when we adopted her, to be adding some  cognitive issues on top of that makes life even more interesting.  Homeschooling as i have known it for the past 14 years no longer exists and the teacher now must go back to school and learn how to teach in new ways that will be more meaningful for her.  It also means learning new programs and adapting them to her needs.

To do all that is required for my daughter means saying no to other good things.  It means slowing down so that I can read what is going on at home and keep a consistent schedule for her.  It means a lot of changes – ones that will not always be easy or fun, but ones that are necessary.

This morning I ran across a song by Bob Kauflin on disabilities.  The words are amazing and it is ministering to my soul as I reflect on the future and the past!  The words are as follows and here is a link to listen to the song;

Song for those with Disabilities – Bob Kauflin

Within the womb I formed you
I fashioned and made each part
I thought of your fingers, your hands and your feet
Your mouth, your lungs, your heart
Though you might think that you’re different
I made you the way that you are
So you could discover the God who made you
And find out all I am

And though you might think you have limitations
There are no limits with me
When you turn your eyes to my salvation
Finally you will see

In Me, you have all that you need
In Me, you have all that you need
In Me, you have all that you’ll ever need.

And I’ve heard each prayer that you’ve called out
“Why did you make me this way?”
You may not completely understand now
But there will be a day
When I make everything known to you
And what you don’t now understand
You will see that I’m wise and I’m mighty and good
Just like all my plans
And if you trust in the work of my Son
One day you will see
That I’ve made you the way you are
To draw your heart to me
To draw your heart to me.

Disabilities are not just to draw those with the disability closer to Him – but for those who love them as well.