One Touch



Moving challenges me-not like the physical sorting, packing, loading, traveling, unloading, unpacking, and re-sorting part. That part isn't hard necessarily- it can be exhausting, definitely annoying, but it has a very visible and satisfying finish line. It's then that the real work begins. Moving demands emotional resilience to begin and sustain new friendships, effort and time to rework all your (and your five other people's) routines, and, no matter how wonderful your new location is, it always feels like you left a small piece of your identity behind. Some little forgotten box you keep hoping will show up. We also apparently prefer to move into old homes with fun quirks like bats and mice as roommates, only one working bathroom, and a dishwasher that drains onto the kitchen counter every cycle. Remodeling is yet another level of adjustment. Some days I cry about it all. Some days my kids cry about it. Some days my husband wonders aloud why we are the crazy ones who didn't get a job in our home towns and live by our parents and siblings like every other sensible human being. 


Every day I write down a moment I felt God in my life. My notebook is titled "One Touch" borrowed from Oliver Cowdery's quote : " touch with the finger of [Christ's] love, yes one ray of glory from the upper world, or one word from the mouth of the Savior, from the bosom of eternity, strikes it all into insignificance and blots it forever from the mind." His touch does that for me.

 Yesterday's one touch was a meeting about Winston with his new elementary school. 

 Winston was diagnosed with ASD four years ago.With Winston being on the high functioning end of the spectrum, many Autism services didn't fit his needs and yet we couldn't find the right fit anywhere else either. We tried occupational therapy, social skills classes, ABA therapy, parenting therapy, multiple medications, vitamins, check lists, reward systems and just about everything you can think of to help him. It was expensive, sometimes a hundred dollars an hour with 20 hour/week minimums, time consuming to schedule and travel, and we had to wait on waiting lists for 9 months just to get in. He has made good progress- but just contemplating starting this search over again in a third state with a fourth medical insurance was a monumental task

On our house hunting trip I toured every elementary I could get into in the area and quizzed the principles dizzy trying to find the right place for our kids. By accident, we ended up in boundaries for a school I didn't tour, in a school district I hadn't visited. But of course it wasn't by accident but it was by divine design. As I walked the halls the day before my kids enrolled, they showed me not one but two large autistic support centers housed inside the elementary school. Upon our first conference with Winston's teacher- initiated by his incessant pencil lead breaking- she told me about all the supports they could offer him if we were interested. Yesterday we met with his homeroom teacher, the principal, the special education specialist, the school psychologist, the Austim support teacher, and the school counselor. They all work full time in this one elementary school focusing on these 400 kids, not traveling the district or popping in once a week. They set up a plan for Winston to begin social skills classes, executive functioning therapy, scheduled an occupational therapy assessment to determine what kind of flexible seating arrangement would work best for him (does he need a biking desk perhaps??), developed a visual reminder system to help him stay on task inside the classroom, and agreed to meet again in a month after tracking progress to report results. Our conference was yesterday. His services start today. They are free. They do it at the school during school hours. The school has a half hour each day they call "What I Need" time where every student in the elementary goes to get the individual support they need, whether that's something simple like extra help on a math problem, or more intensive things like speech therapy.

When our conference ended and we finished talking with Winston's teacher I hung up and just started to cry. We ended up purchasing this home after only seeing it via Facetime. We often laugh that it had to be that way because we never would have made an offer had we walked on the rotten floors in real life. But I cannot believe God brought us here. I cannot get over His goodness and mercy in bringing us to the exact place we needed to be. The place Winston needs to be. Never mind the loneliness, and the time spent lost on new roads, and the leaking chimney and stationary garage doors, He strikes it all into insignificance.