Wednesday, October 3, 2012


Haley will be confirmed in the Lutheran Church this coming Sunday.

When kids are confirmed in our church they have to go up in front of the congregation and give a little speech.  The speeches are usually about where they are on their faith walk.

The kids each give very different talks.  Sometimes the speech sounds like a paper that they would write for school.  Sometimes they are funny.  Sometimes they list all of the people in their lives that have made a difference.  Sometimes they talk about the trips they have taken with the church or the events that happened at the church while they were growing up.  The one thing that remains the same is that what they say is very individual. 

Last week we went to dinner at the Pastor's house.  There was another family there.  There will be one other young lady confirmed next Sunday with Haley.  The Pastor talked to her about what she might say.  He told her that it was up to her to decide how to aproach her speech, but that it was to be about her choice to be a member of our church.  He reminded the girls that they would be welcomed into the church as active voting members.  He told them that the church recognizes that this is their first step into adulthood.  After they are confirmed the church sees them as adults.  It is the first step in a line of other steps that they will take in society.  Steps like getting a driver's license, registering to vote, being of legal drinking age.

Haley will probably not take those other steps.

Haley will probably not do much with her church membership voting rights either.

Haley will not be able to give a speech. She doesn't speak. Haley responds.

The pastor will ask her questions and I am sure she will give the right answers because they are short and simple answers.

I am torn.

Part of me wants to speak for her, but I don't know if that is a good idea.  The truth is, I have no idea what she would say if she could say anything. 

I don't know where Haley is on her faith walk.  I only know that it is with God's care and grace that she has made it this far.  I do believe that Haley has faith.  She is very quiet and attentive in church.  When we pray she bows her head.  When prayers are over she says "Amen."  She says "Bless You" when someone sneezes.  She has recognized the picture of Jesus that hangs in the hallway by the nursery as Jesus since she started going to church at age three.

Haley has faith, but I don't believe that she can express it.  

There is very little that she can express.  She lets us know when she is thirsty, when she is hungry, when she is tired.  She has expressions for when she is happy or angry or frustrated or surprised.  I can tell when she is content and when she is anxious, but quite often I don't know why.

Haley is a mystery.

So is God.

Haley's relationship with God is a mystery.

I don't have a problem with that, but as her parent I feel it is my responsibility to give her all of the opportunities that I can.  I brought her to church to be baptized.  I brought her to the training to receive communion.  I brought her to her confirmation classes.  

I will take her to church on Sunday to be confirmed.  

It is not up to me what happens after that.

It is up to God.

~ Haley's Mom

I am participating in 31 for 21 Blog Challenge this month.  The challenge I have accepted is to blog every day in October to raise awareness for Down Syndrome.  Learn more about Down Syndrome at the National Association of Down Syndrome.

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