**I originally wrote this post on August 24th, as we were still working with the school district to find Drew as a child with a disability. While the process has gotten a bit better, with Drew having been found as a child with disability, I thought this would give you an idea as to why this process has been so difficult for us, on so many levels.
We've been dealing with this transition process for nearly five months, and with each passing day the situation becomes more and more stressful; more and more frustrating; more and more hurtful. I sit in disbelief nearly everyday about the issues we are facing, because I have built great memories from the very school district that is violating my rights and not providing special education services for my son.
Today, I live not even one mile from my childhood home, the only home I ever really knew, and the home which my parents still own today. The playgrounds I let my children play on today are the very ones that I played on as a child. I know all of the neighborhoods, and all of the shortcuts through them to miss traffic. The elementary school my children will attend is the same elementary school I went to as a child. I can remember performing my fifth-grade musical on the stage of that school's auditorium; it was Cinderella: Past, Present and Future. I was cast as a member of the 50's and had the line, "Well, my boyfriend's taking me to the Buddy Holly Concert!" That's a totally random story, but this is what my life is filled with. Constant, wonderful memories of my childhood everywhere we go.
And then you add the fact that Drew's Dad and I met in the hallways of the high-school in the school district in which we live, as 16 year old kids. We flirted, fell in love and started the foundation of our life together in the very schools we want to send our children to. Drew's Dad played football; I played field hockey. Conveniently, we had practice each and every night after school on adjacent fields. He could watch me practice; I could watch him. (Boy do men's bottoms look nice in football pants!) Oh, it was so much fun. That feeling of falling in love, where little butterflies dance in your stomach each time you see the person. Just thinking about it brings back such wonderful memories. We continued to date all through college at Ohio State, where we developed a strong foundation for our relationship that lead us to the alter as 22 year old kids.
Throughout our entire relationship we have always talked about and wanted to live in our community and raise our children through the school system we were raised. We love it here, and in many ways, this community is the only reason we are still in Ohio today. We've always talked about sending our kids to school in the same buildings we attended; we still know many of the teachers in the system today. We can't wait for the day that Drew runs out onto an athletic field wearing the Black & Gold; we want to hear our fight song play as we cheer Drew's Sister in field hockey, tennis, or what ever sport she chooses. We love going to community events and running into friends from high school, who also have the same love for this community as we do, and also are raising their families here.
But with the entire transition process, the violation of our rights, the complete disregard for the needs of children with disabilities, my love for this community overall is dying. So, while we go through the daily grind of trying to get Drew's evaluation completed, trying to gain eligibility for special education services, trying to get Drew into the preschool setting that he needs, pieces of my dreams from childhood are dying. And that is what I am having the most difficult time with. I don't want to send my children to another school district. But how can I choose to send them to a district that apparently has no concern over the needs of children with disabilities?