Aging Out, Special Ed, and Spiritual Slacking

I've talked about this a little bit before... but Israel is approaching his 3rd birthday and thus he will be aging out of early intervention. I'm so incredibly thankful for United Cerebral Palsy and the amazing team of therapists and teachers that Israel has worked with over the last two years. It's daunting to think about moving forward without those women.

I have recently begun meeting with our local school's special education program. It never gets easier to talk about milestones your child isn't meeting or how your child is behind socially or developmentally. Filling out forms about what your child can/ cannot do is a hard thing emotionally. I fought tears during our referral meeting because I was enrolling my child in special ed. I don't want to think about how other kids could make fun of him or how I can't always be there to support and protect him.

I'm hopeful for Israel's future - I have to be. I want him to walk, talk, interact with others, play appropriately with toys, etc. It is hard to think beyond this season right now, but sometimes I let my mind drift to the future. I am reading Treasuring Christ When your Hands are Full by Gloria Furman. In chapter 3 she reminds moms that our children will one day be adults and although it may be hard to remember that our kids are little image-bearers of Christ right now; we are entrusted with nurturing our kids to love God and honor him (rephrased, page 51). I had to stop and think about that when it came to Israel. I fail so often to think of what part Israel will play in knowing and honoring God. I make it about his journey - how God is/will be glorified through Israel's miracles and development and redemption story. But do I take it seriously that Israel can one day understand salvation and be able to share it with others? It's hard to be in that place when he can't talk and our conversations are one-sided. I was explaining this to my friend Robin and she encouraged me to still speak the gospel to both of my kids, even when they can't understand or talk back, because it is a reminder for my own heart as well, and I have no idea what Israel is actually comprehending. In sum: I wonder about Israel. I wonder if he will get married, if he will go to college or ever care that he is adopted... and I wonder if I will hear him confess with his mouth and believe in his heart that Jesus is Lord. With my whole heart I hope that both of my children will know and love God.

So I guess this is just a hodge podge of where my brain is regarding Israel. This approaching 3rd birthday and transitions into the school system (with new therapists and a new schedule) is a little overwhelming to me. I'm choosing to trust in God's sovereignty in all of these areas. I know that no amount of worrying or planning will change how things shake out in the next year. We would appreciate your prayers for all of us in the transitions ahead and as we work towards our goals for Israel (developmental and spiritual!). 


  1. Thank you for sharing this. It is exactly what I needed to read. On Monday of this week, my near two year old son was diagnosed with Type I Diabetes. It's been an emotional week and I'm overwhelmed when I think about the future. This post you have written points me back to Christ and reminds me to share the gospel with my sons in an effort to remind myself. Thank you for your openness.

  2. Rebeka, so praying for you, Will, and Israel. It is a tough transition. It is difficult to go from a service you know, understand, and trust to an unknown. It is difficult to admit your child has an IEP, even when you are a special ed teacher. As a high school special ed teacher I bring things up to C's ECE teacher and she just looks at me and reminds me of his growth and potential. Israel has great parents who are teaching him about God's love for his children. I can't say how he will declare his knowledge of Jesus, but Israel will in his way.


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