It is hard to explain all the things that I have been thinking or feeling the past few days. The best word I can come up is "peace". I have a great peace about the fact that DHS chose to move Ashley to a home that fit her family wish list. We knew that she would be moved, but we did expect a bit more than twenty-four hours notice. When our caseworker first called to say that she would be moved the next day, my first instinct was to say "no, let's wait. It is too much, too fast.", but just as fast as I thought that another voice told me to trust. I got off the phone, we broke the news to Ashley, who was actually excited, and both of us felt better. Thursday was stressful, I had to take the day off and get her packed, and she had obvious anxiety at the fact that she was moving. The day went by in a blur and somehow we were standing in parking garage, waving goodbye. It still feels weird that she isn't here. It is like we are missing something, but it feels peaceful.
This entire process has made me realize that not only do I not control what is going to happen, and has shown me the amazing support system that we have somehow stumbled into. The entire staff at Lyle was amazing to Ashley in her whole tenure their. Their friendly open support helped her to become more successful at school than she had ever been before. Thanks to Trenda, she finally liked PE. Terri Dodge was the "the first teacher who liked me", Terri Hethorn made her feel "cool to be Mexican" and she loved that Darcy Naughton would say hello to her whenever she went into the office. I can say that all these ladies and so many more, made it so easy to figure out how to a "mom" at school instead of a teacher. When I went to withdraw her, there was genuine sadness and gentle assurance. At the height of my stress, I had to call and leave a message for Ashley, Darcy was so calm on the phone that I instantly became calm too. What an amazing staff Lyle has.
Justin and I are both fortunate to work in buildings with very supportive staffs. There is something amazing about going to work with people who are genuinely interested in you as person and willing to pitch in and help you when you need it. Jared has carried me for the past month, not only do I owe him cookies, but I am very thankful to have a teaching partner who is caring and understanding.
We have amazing friends. I can't even list all the ways our friends have reached out to support us.All I can say is that we don't deserve to be blessed with so many people who are willing to listen, support, celebrate and cry with us.
Our families took this journey with us. There is no way to describe what they did for us or how they stepped up and helped us make decisions, pray for us, listen to us and generally just be there for us.
It will take awhile to process all of what I have felt in the past month, but today I am feeling thankful.