Almost nine hours in a room with Evan's team and lots of paperwork. It was a two-binder day. :)
I was kinda pleased with myself back at E's MDR when Evan's advocate said I was the most organized parent she had ever had in 15 years and that I might consider being an advocate. I mean, I consider it "Mom praise" and most of us get scarce little of that.
It's truly a thankless job.
Like transcribing 3 hour-long meetings. I was pulling my hair out to get it done. I wasn't sure if it was me or if it was something really hard to do. I was emotional as I had to listen to people who did not know our kid at all determine his fate without so much as a "hello, nice to meet you" and I had to hear it in an echo chamber. Over and again.
I finally got the MDR transcribed and it totaled 52 pages! Our advocate sent me an email back saying, "You are amazing. Truly."
And yes, I AM going on and on about this...if you have ever had to do it, I think you just might understand...
Our lawyer said I was the only client she has ever had who has transcribed a meeting.
I transcribed ALL 4.
The DEAP hearing
Tabled Homebound ARD
I cannot remotely articulate in words (without allowing you access to my multitude of facial expressions) how relieved I felt when I discovered that I did not have to marinade in that energy all day long. I listened to these voices for hours on end.
I think I understand better now why Dianna (our advocate) talks about the PTSD that the parents endure from something like this. I was ready to leave my district before this, but leaving mid-year is never ideal - there are active relationships at play. This incident not only upended Evan's education, but the functioning and financial stability of our entire family unit. My husband has had to work part-time so he can be at home with Evan since it is not safe for him to be at alternative school.
This is after having 6 weeks off due to heart surgery and just being back for three weeks. I have such respect for those people and how kind they have been to us.
It's a lot.
But we're SOLID.
Our marriage is solid. Our family is getting through this.
Heck - Lucas had a friend spend the night last night and Evan hung out with them half the night. Their relationship is getting stronger. I have shared limited information with Lucas. He has chosen to step - WAY - up.
During the mediation, I was so proud of Matt's ability to look at people and to share his heart so freely to thank them while he praised his mother for her advocacy on his behalf. It was beautiful to witness. It's a God-thing when you can back out enough from the emotion of the moment to actually enjoy the sublime beauty in it.
Phyllis Paulo has been with us. My Meme, Lucille has been with us. And one of our advocates spent her birthday with us and when I asked her about it, she shared that she wanted to do something today that her Dad would be proud of.
There were tears throughout the day. There were laughs. There were lots of expletives and flailing finger gestures. We had a little yoga and a little talk of our own bad-ass ways. Ha, we even talked about doing a podcast together. And I would seriously absolutely LOVE that! A SPED lawyer, a parent/advocate, SPED & Homebound teacher/advocate and parent/teacher...we'd have it covered...Dianna said she already had some GREAT domain names reserved.
We laughed and cried at those.
I have been beyond blessed to be delivered the exact teachers I need exactly at the right time. When I really sit and absorb that, it comes out in a pool of water in my lap.
This morning, I had a little time - after doing NOTHING last night but sitting in a bed with a heated mattress pad... to think and write...and to explore some music.
When I heard it, I felt it was exactly my experience throughout these last 9 weeks...like it was MY song. Love it when that happens on a first listen.
I will have to figure out how to sneak this into Evan's repertoire so we can listen to it every now and then on our way into the city for school. I am reminded his name means, "Little Warrior."
I am allowing myself to get so very excited about this opportunity for him. He gets a fresh start with more knowledge and hopefully, some more skills to manage and really get the services he needs to feed his hungry brain. He truly loves to learn so seeing his true self come back over these weeks of keeping him home has been a blessing.
It reminds us we are listening and responding well.
We have faith that the purpose of this timing and delivery will all be revealed.