Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Being An Advocate For The Children I Love

So, we found out today that there will be no referrals until the week of May 21st (of course, it could end up being later) and that we will not necessarily have a referral at all. This is hard! I would have been fine with waiting if I had not known referrals were coming . . . now time seems to be going very slow. I am guessing there was a miscommunication of some sort between Holt and Vietnam as I know our agency expected the referrals the beginning of last week.

When I read the latest the verse that immediately popped into my head was Ecclesiastes 3:1, "To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under Heaven." I am absolutely certain that God has perfect timing in all of this-but I am still impatient!

Changing the subject, I was thinking about the comments posted on my last blog about how I am a person who was able to advocate for my daughter "without causing a scene." That is true, I have learned to advocate in a very quiet, polite way. I have learned to simply say things like, "Well, I think that option would work well for most kids, but I'm not sure that would be best for Kim. What are our other options?" I say this very politely. What I really mean when I say that is, "There is no way on the face of the earth that I am ever, ever going to let you do that to my child and you better give me another option or I am going to start bawling my head off!" But I don't even let on that I am freaked out. And I am always amazed that the doctor/dentist/other professional gives us another choice that is a perfect fit for our child and I always think, "Now why didn't you offer me that choice the first time?"

For instance, when Kim recently had a CT scan they asked me to go out to the waiting room when they were ready to do the actual scan and I knew she would be scared so I asked if I could stay. They said that of course I could if I would wear a lead apron and didn't mind getting a little radiation. I was thinking, "Hmmmm . . . getting a little radiation or being there for my daughter when she needs me. That's a hard choice!!!" (NOT!)

But here is what I am getting at that I find so amazing. When I think about it, I am the one who has been the butterfly spreading her wings. I don't like conflict. I will avoid conflict like I will avoid a port-a-potty at a baseball tournament on Memorial Day weekend. I like to be liked! I want to be the good little girl who does what she is told. I want to be the parent that teachers smile at and not the one who creates the lunchtime discussions in the teacher's lounge.

But, what I discovered, once I had kids, was that there were times I had to advocate for them. And while I may find it hard to advocate for myself, it is something I simply must do for my children. And with Kim, I found myself having to advocate for her on a regular basis. And though I will never like it, I've learned how to do it pretty well-thanks to Kim. If I wouldn't have had her, I would have never learned to advocate in the polite, peaceful, but firm way that I have learned.

Sometimes I really do wonder who is raising who.


Christina said...

Big bummer about the referrals. Hope you get good news later this month.
I appreciate your advice on how to better advocate for my kids... I like your non-confrontational method, I think I might even be able to do that!

S. said...

Wow again. So true. Now can you come to my son's IEP meetings with me, LOL!