Monday, August 15, 2016

Friends for a Week

Most fifteen year old girls have a circle of friends.  I'll admit the first image I see is a girl sitting sideways in an armchair twirling a phone cord while talking for hours, but that is dating's all texting now.  Mom's dropping kids off at the movie theater with admonishments to be safe and have fun.  Going out for ice cream and checking out the teen boys.

Amelia, she does not have any friends.  At least not that call her up and say "Hey, wanna go to the movies?"  She has dance class friends, and maybe some day that will evolve into get togethers, but not yet.  She does have a respite person who takes her out twice a month, but she doesn't know its her job to be her friend.  (Don't get me wrong, she is absolutely wonderful with Amelia.)

Thankfully, Amelia is blissfully unaware of what her social scene is supposed to be like, by today's standards.  She and Sunny are great sisters, she and Leif do a lot together every day.

She does go to Sunday School, where she is accepted by the adults and tolerated by her peers.  (At least I think she's tolerated, I've yet to see any of them interact with her.)  We have tried a home school co-op but they were not accepted by their peers and so I pulled them out...maybe I should have stuck it out but it is very hard to see other Christian children staring at my kids and edging away from them while the Mom's are blissfully unaware because they are chatting up a storm and I've been told to stay with my kids as a condition of attendance.  (Long sentence, sorry.)  I have also flat out been told "no" my kids are not a good fit.

It's okay though, because Amelia is a very happy girl.  She runs 5K races and soaks up the cheering when she crosses the finish line.  She adores Miss Lu at the library, and the cashiers at Big Y happily let her help with the bagging.  We frequent Old Sturbridge Village where everyone is very welcoming. Our community is very good to Amelia.

Last week, Amelia was given the experience of a lifetime.  She had a BFF for a week.  We went on a Joni and Friends Retreat, and Amelia was given an STM (short term missionary) for our time there.  Abbey chose be Amelia's friend.  She wasn't paid, in fact she paid her own way to be there.

Amelia and Abby went to campfire and sang songs, they learned the basics of archery, they spent every day with other teens doing what teenagers do.  Amelia cried each night when we parted ways for the evening.  She absolutely loved having a friend.

Kimberly and Dante each had their own STM , too.  It was a good week all around.

If you are part of a special needs family, look for a local Joni and Friends for a retreat, or other activities.  It is an amazing, loving, caring ministry.

Amelia might not have any friends to text, but that's okay right now, because she is happy, and she was truly blessed last week, and that's enough to carry her through until next time.

God is good.


Suzanne said...

So glad for Amelia! I could have written this for Sophie. Not one friend at 17, not even in church! The difference is she is very aware that she is different and has no one. Hopefully all that will change as she is going to the Perkins school in Lancaster this school year. We fought hard to get her districted out, so praying for good things to finally come her way.
Take care,

Joanna said...

I just finished reading your blog. It is a wonderful story. I have 10 children, the last being a set of twins, a boy and a girl 3 months old, the little girl has Down Syndrome. Your story is a wonderful blessing. You are a very good writer. At night as I sit putting two babies to sleep I have been reading your blog and now I have come to the end.