Thursday, February 27, 2014

Standing up for Brahm

When you have a child born with a special need, there is a period of loss, and so many tears.  Tears over regret, the loss of dreams, but mostly, tears as you watch similar aged children progress past your own.

What you know is that your child's path will be harder.

I guess this is why they now call them Challenged. (which BTW I have such a hard time still even uttering the words challenged, disabled, or special needs with any of our kids.)

But your child learns to finally walk, to talk, to meet all those goals.  And somewhere in the midst you fall in love with the things that make your child unique.

For Brahm, the deepest ache I felt was when we realized his heart for sports, pairing that with a body that would let him down and I remember crying out the Lord WHY!  How unfair.

We also made a conscious decision to give him every opportunity to play for as long as his body would last.

What I didn't know is that I would have to fight for this right.

If you have followed then you know Brahm is a phenomenal little wrestler.  We loved the sport because he could compete against others that were close to his size and weight.  For a child who only gains 2-3 lbs a year we knew his time wrestling would be limited.

What we didn't know is his hopes would be dashed THIS year at the age of 7!

You see our little guy weighs 34-35 lbs but because of his birthdate - he is supposed to wrestle in the 8U division.  The biggest problem is that their lowest weigh division is 45 lbs.  That's almost a 50% increase in weight.  It's ludicrous.

Even worse is that he has been allowed to wrestle in the 6U - 37 lb division all year.  He does win - not because of any other reason than he his good.  His understanding far outweighs his age.  He started wrestling last year and won 4th in state.

Then just days ago, before he was supposed to wrestle state THIS year - we were notified he HAD to wrestle in the higher weight division.

And the tears started flowing again.  You see his Dr's were ok with him wrestling in an appropriate weight class but they warned us an accident, and forceful trauma to one of his little joints could become catastrophic.  My husband and I knew there was absolutely no way he could wrestle in the 45lb weight division.

So I cried, I wanted to hide in my room, and cry even more for how unfair life was for our fierce little guy.

And then I posted - on FB - and was encouraged and then I knew it was my responsibility to fight for my him.  My responsibility to try my very best, to research this issue to help our son attain his dream.

SOOOO, I have emailed, & I have called each time specifically stating our request for a "reasonable accommodation" (this is the terminology for ADA.)

I have a clear paper trail - Hoping, praying that someone will find some bureaucratic common sense and do whats right for our son.  We are at the very top organization for wrestling within the US.  I almost laughed when I found their address - in our town.  But it also made me sad, as their offices are located just miles from the US paralympic training grounds.  Of all the cities in the US to discriminate against our boy.

My Aunt said it the best " All children need to learn how to win and to lose, but they need to be given the chance to try."

So as time ticks down to Saturday morning please pray with us for strength and that they find an appropriate compromise.  I really don't want to file an ADA or Civil Rights complaint but am prepared to so, so that another child does not have to go through this.

State - 2013

The test of the morality of a society is what it does for its children. 
~Dietrich Bonhoeffer

"A nation's greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members." ~ Mahatma Ghandi

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Definition of adoption insanity

I have been stuck, so instead of getting the 5,000 things done I should, I have sat, worried and ultimately learned ALOT of patience.

Of course, i didn't blog either and have so much to catch up on - I feel like I have lived a lifetime in the past few months.

BUT we finally got our I-800 approval - after almost SEVEN yes 7 weeks (this is supposed to be a 2 week process.)

HOW many times have we done this in the past THREE year and here I am at adoption insanity again - let me show you!!

We got LOA on 1/2/2014 and our I-800 was received by USCIS on 1/3.  We received ALL of our paperwork BACK two weeks later saying we were missing page eight - we weren't (I just found the copies I made and sure enough page 8 was in the correct order so I am not sure if papers were dropped etc.)  Our agency also sends a pre filled out page 8 so it looks a little different than USCIS.

Anyhow THEY received it back on the 15th of January.


Um when you get all your crap sent back to you - you have to resend it to a secret location in Dallas - it's a PO BOX.

So it HAS to go by USPS.

AND apparently they don't check it -

UNTIL you finally decide to call USCIS the very end of JANUARY.

And that evening you finally get an email your stuff is moving on.

OH and bTW the person who answers the phone at USCIS is super nice and you can't even rant like you had planned.



AND you get laryngitis for a week so you can't even call.

So finally you AND your agency have had enough
So you send emails to your officer
and she miraculously has YOUR papers in her hand to approve (it's a Friday)

AND you check the mail on MONDAY,
And it finally shows on THURSDAY.

And since you think you were approved last Friday, you also email NVC on
AND finally on FRIDAY with a plea including dates,
and an apology for being psychotic but your 11 year old NEEDS to come home.

AND you miraculously get not only your GUZ number (during your 15 year olds eye appt where you find out he is severely farsighted and his last eye DR HAD to have missed this for the past several years.  ANd the only reason you have him at your eye Dr is because he failed his eye test for his drivers permit and you yourself are blind as a bat and can usually fake that test - yeah chalk that one up to the mother of the year list)

AND you race home to fill out the DS-260 (even though your supposed to now take the Birthday girl out to lunch, and bribe the littles to be quiet so you can think, by flinging Valentine candy out the office door)

AND you finally call your agency cuz you ALSO got your PDF!!!

AND are so excited for forward progress only to find out . . . oh yeah it's Friday and the consulate where everything has to go is - U.S. so they are also closed on MONDAY!!