My Girl Abbey

My Girl Abbey
Mother's Day 2015

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Abbey Taking on the World, one IEP Meeting at a Time

I have a love hate relationship with IEP meetings.  IEP stands for Individualized Education Plan and everyone who has any input in your child's education is present at the meeting.  For us this includes Ryan and myself, her classroom teacher, a social worker from the Lafayette school and one from PG Chambers, a nurse, her physical therapist, occupational therapist, speech therapist, occasionally her classroom assistant, and once a year someone from school administration.  It's a crowded room!  The nice part is they are all there to make sure that she has the best education possible.

This year, our IEP got moved around because of Hurricane Sandy.  When we finally got down to PG Chambers, we sat round the table and got down to business.  The business of Abbey.  Anyone who has a child with special needs will totally get's completely exhausting emotionally.  For an hour to an hour and a half everyone goes around the table and they micro-exam every aspect of your child from their toilet habits to cognitive abilities (the part I hate).  Of course, they always include the things that they love about your child (the part I love), but it is definitely overwhelming.

On the drive home, I got to thinking about how incredible it is that I live in a time and place where Abbey's education is valued. Just thinking about all the people at that meeting made me feel blessed. I was also thinking about all the kids we've had in youth group who have fallen so in love with Abbey that they've chosen the professions that will someday land them around an IEP table.  Almost every job description I listed earlier is represented among our former youth group kids. They've sent Ryan and I cards, messages, e-mails, or called to let us know why they choose their profession.  It's always the same answer and includes the phrase, "there was something about abbey...." It's such a beautiful thing. 

Abbey effortlessly evokes compassion, tenderness, joy, love, courage, and the list goes on and on.  I don't know anyone who doesn't agree that we need more of that in the world. How does she do it?  It's pretty simple, she's made in the image of her Creator.  God himself shaped her heart...for reasons beyond me He allowed her birth to dramatically affect the rest of her life, and our lives, but I can guarantee you that she is exactly the person she was meant to be.  And despite her limitations, through her very nature, she is changing the world.  Every former youth grouper who is out there touching families lives and sharing Christ, was set off on a path because of Abbey.  I wonder how many clients and students they'll have over the course of their lives?  It's crazy to think about!!!

Abbey challenges me to look at my own life and examine what I'm doing that reflects the very nature and character of God.  Are people drawn to Him because in me they seen His compassion, or kindness, or gentleness?  It's a serious commitment to follow Christ and then tell people you're a Christian.  The world is sitting around the table and micro-examining every aspect of my life.  I wonder what they would say I need to work on, or what I'm doing well? I'm sure the list would be long, but it's worth thinking about.