Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Up in the Air

I keep thinking how nice it would be to have a steady reality for at least a few years in a row, but that doesn't seem to be happening any time soon. We thought that by Steve getting his job at Georgetown University and with our move to the D.C. area, we'd gain a good chunk of steady years ahead. But now it seems that everything is "up in the air" once more.

One change -- the most minor of all -- is that our station wagon 'gave up' (as Nigerians might say) almost 2 weeks ago. We were on our way to church when the accelerator just stopped working, and after having it towed to two different mechanics to get the diagnosis, we were told we needed a new transmission. We've been thinking, praying, and discussing ever since then, knowing that it was an older car, with lots of miles on it. We'd already spent a lot on repairs over the last 14 months, so made the difficult decision to let the car go ('give it up') and try to find an affordable replacement with fewer miles.

In the meantime, Steve's parents have been incredibly generous and gracious by giving us one of their cars. So at least we have wheels while we look for a long-term family car. Still, it's been stressful to say the least, and one of those testing times to see how 2 people can come to a decision together when they don't agree.

A bigger change that is possibly coming up, is a change of housing. We have recently discovered that the state of Maryland does not require its public schools to give special education help to homeschooled students with IEPs (individual education programs -- paperwork for kids with special learning needs). A year ago, we went through a long process in Virginia, getting Ethan evaluated to see if he qualified for an IEP to get speech therapy. He did indeed qualify and the school administrator told us that no matter where we moved, Ethan would get help from any local school with his IEP in hand.

Sadly, this was misinformation. Ethan has now gone for a full year without any formal speech therapy (though he's grown by leaps and bounds, and talks a hind leg off a horse!), and we are trying to figure out how to get him the help he needs. Since the local Maryland schools won't help, but Virginia schools *would*, we've told our landlord that we'd like to move as soon as they can get other renters to take our place. This was a difficult conversation to have with him and his wife.

We have no idea how quickly they could find someone else to rent the home. Our own lease doesn't end until May, so it's possible we'll be here until then. But our prayer is that we could move sooner, to get Ethan help sooner, and to be closer to Steve's work and our new church, and in an ethnically diverse neighborhood. (We're currently in a very homogenous area -- my guess would be 90% black, 7% African, 2.5% Hispanic and 0.5% white.)

The stressful part (for me, the incurable Messie) will be tidying up our house every time someone wants to come view it. Looking for our own new rental home in Virginia, when the time comes, will also be quite a task, as prices there are even higher than the inflated ones here.

(There's another possible change in the air as well, but more on that later, if it becomes more tenable.)

So maybe one day I'll have a home that's "mine" for more than 12-18 months, a neighborhood to grow roots in, and a car that's reliable and long-lasting. But it's not now. Here's hoping it's soon...