Occasionally you run across a blog or a post that makes you think and want to respond. Here’s one about a single mother (Cinnamon) whose child has several diagnoses that you can read about on this post. Unfortunately, she doesn’t have an email contact, and since she doesn’t allow anonymous comments, Blogger doesn’t let anyone comment who isn’t actually on Blogger.
Her young daughter (I gather she’s under 5) will be undergoing some sort of heart surgery in a few days, so she is reaching out across the internet for prayers, support and good thoughts. This is clearly one example of a family under stress.
In Georgia, there is, in fact, an organization for such families called FOCUS, which stands for “Families Of Children Under Stress.” They offer support groups for parents and respite once per month in locations around the metro area in addition to other services supporting parents of children with various disabilities. I learned about it through a parent of one of the children I was teaching at the time, and Jane has since been an active member of the local group, attending the monthly support meetings.
The post linked above also illustrates what happens when local officials try to play around too much with a parent and fail to handle things in a timely and straight forward manner. Unfortunately, large, governmental agencies seem to be all too prone at this, so adversarial relationships become just part of the bargain. In this case, Cinnamon managed to find a capable advocate to help her and her daughter obtain the necessary services. The state and local agencies will probably end up paying a whole lot more than they would have, otherwise, if they had just spent a bit more time addressing the concerns of this mother directly instead of just putting her off.
So I’ll just send out a prayer for her daughter and her and her entire family. Indeed, it is good to remember that each and everyday, there are families of children with disabilities who are struggling just to cope with seemingly never-ending needs. My heart goes out to all such families, and especially at this time for Cinnamon and her family. She is one of us who have many choices to make in life, but there is also the life that chooses US, for good or ill.