Friday, November 9, 2007

Another Buffalo Winter...


It had become my obsession - especially with the way this football season is turning out for Ryan. When I started stressing out, I'd focus on going home. This coming March will mark the two year anniversary of the "flood" that destroyed our home. But knowing we were going back to Texas in a couple of months was so comforting - it was nice to have something to look forward to. I thought about finally enjoying the warmth of a Dallas winter and I'd get excited about decorating the house. I've thought about the first meal I'd cook in my new kitchen, or the first movie we'd watch as a family in our media room. I'd even started making plans for barbecues and baby showers with friends. Well, my homecoming isn't going to happen just yet - we've decided to stay in Buffalo.

For the past couple of weeks, I've been working on figuring out the best way to transition Will into the special education system back home. After a couple of phone calls, I quickly realized how incredibly fortunate we've been here in Buffalo. Will is in a class with only four other students. He receives individualized speech therapy, occupational therapy, and soon, music therapy. He's thrived at his school. And most notable - it's all been free. FREE!!!! Long story short, our school district in Texas does not provide anything comparable to the services Will is currently receiving. In order for us ensure that he was getting the services he needs, we'd have to pay out of pocket for either a private school or private therapy.

The other day, I freaked out when I found a private school for children with learning disabilities - the tuition for the full day program is $10,000 a year. For a four-year-old!!!! Unreal. After hearing from friends with preschool age kids though, I realized that that wasn't a ridiculous amount to pay for preschool. But as I was doing more and more research on different schools in the Dallas-area, things became more and more depressing. A school that provides ABA services (ABA is a teaching method for children with autism) can run around $48,000 per year!!! I almost started crying. Who can afford that?

That's when the idea popped into my mind - let's stay in Buffalo and let Will finish out the school year here. I immediately shot the idea down as being ludicrous, but the more and more I thought about it, the more it made sense. In the grand scheme of things, I can sacrifice six more months in Buffalo for the sake of my kid. After discussing it with Ryan, we decided it was the right thing to do. Ryan will head home to Texas after the football season to get the house situated. He'll unpack furniture and boxes. He'll make our house a home again. It will be all ready for us to visit when Will has his spring break! Ryan will probably go back and forth between Texas and Buffalo during the offseason until we realize what team he'll end up with. And that's fine. The thought of having to pay a mortgage and two rents for a couple of months stresses me out a bit. But that's okay.

This means we'll also have the baby here in Buffalo. Honestly, it's probably for the best. We have an incredible support network here of friends, babysitters, etc. who will be able to help out when the baby is born. We'll plan on heading home mid-to-late June.

As much as this wasn't my original plan, it is now THE plan. When we agreed to this last night, it was as if an amazing burden had been lifted. I slept better last night than I have in a really long time.

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