Yes, I took this picture of Rhema during church; there was no flash on and my phone makes no noise when I take a picture so no one even knew. Rhema is 2 1/2 and she really amazes me how she sits so quietly and just plays with her toys in her purse while the pastor is preaching away. Some days she does get a little louder than we would like and those days we just take her out of the service, but for the most part she just sits there so sweetly.
We are looking forward to getting her wheelchair in March and making opportunities for her to attend Children’s church. It is a lovely thought about her having time with the other kids and learning to make friends, but nothing is simple when you have a special needs child. In order for Rhema to be in Children’s church with all of her peers there is much to be considered. Above all is the safety factor! Having someone at her side who can insure she does not get accidentally hit in the head by another 2 year old; it would be an accident, but when you have a child with a shunt, protecting that device is paramount! So it will mean that Momma or Daddy take shifts out of church to be with her in class and/or we find someone willing to help out a few shifts. Another factor is with her immunity system compromised we would be exposing her to illness by allowing her be around and play with toys other kids have touched. I’ve worked in many Children’s Church before and its invertible that a parent will drop off a child that is sick not thinking that they are exposing all the kids in that classroom. With Rhema’s immunity being compromised, she is very likely to contract anything that shows up. Usually at this time, folks say “you can’t keep her in a bubble or she has to have a life or it’s good for her to be exposed because it builds immunity.” Ignorant people who say these things have not walked in our shoes nor know what we (and she) deal with on a daily basis. There is a shred of truth in there about not “keeping her a bubble”, but many cases the “bubble” approach is best; the risks far outweigh the benefits. So, we will proceed with consideration and cautiousness when moving forward in allowing her to be in Children’s church. I guess, the excitement for me is that we will be able to MOVE FORWARD soon and give opportunities for new experiences for her with the soon coming wheelchair! Well, both excitement and some nervousness on the part of this Momma— who’s idea was it anyway that we have to cut these proverbial “apron strings” eventually!? (smile)
PS. To our dearest family, The Walkers—do you recognize this dress? Your sweet daughter wore this dress and you gave it to Rhema when she was still an infant. Even with having to sell most our possessions and all the loss we’ve had, I have held on to this dress for Rhema because of the love we have for your family and precious kids. Rhema is just now big enough to wear it! She was a doll in it this past Sunday and all day we thought of you guys and how much we miss all of you! Kiss the kids from us and Rhema and hopefully we will see you guys sometime soon!