Friday, April 04, 2008

let the sunshine in....

If you read here with any frequency, then you know that the last two months have been long ones for my family. I don't share every last detail of my life on my blog, and recently I've been accused of sharing just the good stuff. Well, my life is a private one and I do only share a slice of it. Trust me, you wouldn't want the unedited version. It's my life and it's personal. But share I do. I like having a blog. I like "meeting" new people. I like sharing my experiences. But please know that yes, you're only getting a slice.

Two months ago, my son, Jonathan, who is 19, was suspended from school for an outburst that was related to his disability. Completely beyond his control. His school system (Loudoun County Public Schools) overreacted and suspended him indefinitely, saying he was a danger and a menace. We've spent the last two months, battling and fighting for a private placement that is best for Jonathan. It has been tough. But I am proud to say we are at the end of our fight. With the help of an amazing lawyer with VOPA (Virginia Office for Protection and Advocacy Virginia's Protection ...) we've been successful in our mission to find Jonathan the BEST placement.

Why do I share all of this with you now? Because I couldn't really talk about it before. Although I am not legally bound by confidentiality agreements, I felt it was in Jonathan's best interest to remain silent. Let me tell how tough it is: when someone wrongs and hurts your child, an innocent child with MR who cannot defend themselves, and you just have to stay quiet. It's tough. To see administrators get away with illegal actions, knowing they'll just skate free. It's tough. But you know what's tougher? My kid. He's put up with this for longer than I knew. He took it. And he didn't complain. He was subjected to discrimination and the misunderstanding that is so common against individuals with disabilities. He is strong. And I've learned a lot from him during this process.


So let the sun shine in. We're ready for change. We've moving on. Leaving the past in the past. Literally. For those of you who prayed for us, thank you. It means more than I can say. Please keep Jonathan in your prayers as we embrace the changes ahead.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

AWESOME! I'm happy for you both. Perhaps both your futures are going to unfold some special life experiences for you.....

JB

Anonymous said...

More prayers coming your way for continued sunshine.

Kristiem10 said...

Yay!!! I am so glad it is working out for you guys! Things are definitely looking up.

Linda said...

Amen Sister! Amen. Been in constant prayer, covering you and Jon...and God knows what's the best...and led you to it.

FXSmom said...

SWEET!!!!! I'm so happy for you guys :)

Casdok said...

I feel for you. So glad there is light at the end of your tunnel.
As you say let the sun shine in - in bucket loads!

Liza's Eyeview said...

Advocacy, I know the meaning of that full well. I am an advocate for kids with learning disabilities. I hear you pain but I also can feel your determination and love. God bless you and your family.

Liza

Nathan & Eric's Mom said...

Yahoo! I am so glad to see you reach the end of this journey. Our prayers continue with you.

Anonymous said...

From your post: "... when someone wrongs and hurts your child, .... To see administrators get away with illegal actions, knowing they'll just skate free. It's tough."

4 years ago my oldest child was in a situation (in LCPS) where the words you write could have been written by me. Different situation than your's, but same feelings. My son was physically hurt because of a teacher's neglect and the school system used loopholes or who knows what to get out of taking responsibility. I will admit that not all is bad in LCPS, but when it is bad, it can be really bad (as you well know, unfortunately).
My prayers for a resolution to this problem go out to you.

PattiB said...

Suzanne-
I am so grateful that you share your slice of life here on this blog. I look forward to reading it and I am so glad that things are working out for Jonathan. What an amazing smile he has!
I forwarded the link for VOPA to a friend who has an 5 year old son with Autism. They are having issues with the school system in their county about their son's placement and I am hoping she can contact VOPA for some guidance.
Blessings, Patti

Mrs. Pharris said...

I just wanted to let you know that I "found" you through the Rocks in my Dryer blog. You used my favorite quote! I don't know where you heard it, but I first heard it from a lady named Eunice Brubaker.

"God doesn't call the equipped. He equips the called."

Seeing that quote really brightened an otherwise rough evening. Thank you.

Peggy said...

I really feel for you. I have lost respect for LCPS. I am so glad you have found a better place for Jonathan and you can put this experience behind. Continued prayers. What a handsome picture!

fragilemom said...

So glad things are sounding up. That is a road I just fear having to walk as Ian gets older. But I have to believe we were blessed with our children because the Lord knew we would choose to handle whatever comes because we rely on Him first. Cudos to you for caring so much about your son and his needs. Life hands out some doozies, huh?! Great picture of him!

Anonymous said...

This is my favorite quote, and I think it applies here:
"I know God will not give me anything I can't handle. I just wish that He didn't trust me so much." -- Mother Teresa

Anonymous said...

Wonderful news. Thanks for continuing to share...you are an awesome mom, and I know what you mean about having a strong boy. These kids are brave.
Peggy E. (Mom of 2 fx boys...)

bethtrue said...

Suzanne - thank you for the update; i had been wondering what the situation was, but figured you'd tell us when you were ready. i'm happy for you and more prayer is coming your way.

Beth B. (mommy to a busy 4.5 yr old)

Paula Fasciano said...

SB - I'm sorry I missed this post...caught up in my own out of placement drama here in NJ....I'm soo glad to hear that he's going to a place where he can be himself and get to where he needs to go! Good for you! I applaud your hard work and your patience!