As of almost 3 weeks ago, our family no longer calls Colorado our technical home. In a flurry of God whispers and a steady stream of spirit inspired wind, we floated our way to Grand Rapids, Michigan and are now living in a 5 acre forest in a very Colorado inspired log cabin. Just. Like. That. The kids are starting and thriving in week #2 of school, our house is already “home,” we’re socializing and sitting around tables with our built in community, visiting churches, setting up coffee dates and starting businesses…. We’re here. All here. I don’t even know how we managed this enormous feat of relocating and transitioning and replanting, but we did it and it was seamless and exciting and heartbreaking and ordained. The space and trees and stillness I’ve been internally craving for the past few years are all the sudden mine to breathe in. For all of us to own. It feels like it was ours all along.
Only God could have gifted us with this surreal space in time. I’m keenly aware that He only asked that we walk toward it and through it and trust along the way.
The path to becoming the fierce advocate who quits her day job to build community for special needs families and fight for a school environment that creates space for out of the box kiddos was uphill. Worth it and rewarding, but up the freaking hill. Every day. And necessary in Colorado. Private Christian schools weren’t a consideration in the Denver area, period. Public schools tried most of the time, but funding was laughable and our son craved a “Jesus school.” It broke my ever loving and often bitter Mother heart. And I was exhausted from the unpaid job I had of managing our son’s daily academic journey. Thus why I started this website and dove into a community who understood and walked similar paths. We were all doing our fare share of drowning and fist clenching and when we weren’t, we were able to laugh at the insanity of it all and recharge.
A significant piece to our Michigan puzzle has been the ability for both our little people to attend a “Jesus School.” The more conversations about Christian schools we had with people here, the more optimistic we became. My husband and I toured, witnessed stunning diversity first-hand and bought in immediately. Just the open arms and willingness to enroll BOTH our kids was enough to sway my pessimistic heart. We didn’t have meetings to discuss our son’s needs. We didn’t fill out forms to determine if they had the “resources” he needed for success. We enrolled him, plain and simple. He was viewed as a child of God who deserved to be a part of their Christian community and they were honored to welcome him. Did we talk about his needs and join forces in developing plan for him? Absolutely. After they accepted him.
We’re starting week #2.5 at our new school and it’s been beautiful on all accounts. The supports are there, the insight and knowledge are exemplary, and most importantly, the love and support for our kids is generous and undeniable. Our kids are treated like gifts the school is honored enough to be entrusted with. What on earth else could we ask for? We aren’t blind to the reality that no school is perfect. There will be bumps and lows and meetings. We’ll have hard days. But the open arms vs arms in the air will be the defining factor. The kids feel welcomed and valued already. It’s tough to ask for much more than that.
Friday night’s basketball game pushed my enthusiasm for this new place over the edge. I took Ry to the Varsity game with our friend, who happens to be his principal. She’s already “his person.” Our son has never given one flying hoot about athletics. It’s borderline an allergy for him. BUT, last week he announced that he would like to get school apparel and pom poms so he can cheer on his Mustangs. I was skeptical, but we showed up at the game and THIS is what happened friends. Grab you kleenex. So many kleenex.
We sure do miss our Colorado people and her sunshine, but this is already home. Super super sweet home.