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The Family => Parenting Teens => Topic started by: sdazeal on September 15, 2013, 12:58:03 PM

Title: Options for my Daughter
Post by: sdazeal on September 15, 2013, 12:58:03 PM
Hi all.  I know that I sometimes stir the pot and sometimes question the message and worship of some SDA churches. BUt this time I have a serious issue for which I need some serious responses.
A few years ago I stopped the attending the church because of disappointments, After some time outside the church, God called me back into fellowship and worship with my Adventist brothers and sisters. I was rebaptized a couple of years ago, and mostly returned with small expectations, just looking to worship.

Recently, my autistic 18 year old daughter "graduated" from her public high school ( with honors). Part of the reason she attended a public school was because Adventist schools "couldn't fit her in" with her learning disability.
Well, now she is 18, graduated, still autistic and wants to be a culinary assistant or a cook. She is vegetarian and would prefer ( as would I ) that she can attend a school where she can gain credit toward a career in the culinary arts. However, all of the Adventists we have contacted have not been able to help her in any way. We have contacted several colleges such as Weimar and Walla Walla U, Academies like WWVA and Oklahoma Academy ( where I worked for several years) and nobody is willing to take her on, even as a paying student, let alone a staff member working  in their cafe. We would have to relocate in support of my daughter, so we also have to find a place with jobs and reasonable housing.

I can't express how disappointed I am with our church right now, as even a high-functioning autistic adult cannot find a single heart that is willing to believe she is "worth the trouble", even though as a former academy staff member I remember many "tough cases", far worse than my daughter would be.
My wife and I both have family that are ex-SDA because they are convinced that Adventism is all about "truth" doctrine and cold hearts.
So, now we are reduced to finding secular answers for her, which would include handling unclean foods. But I guess if she cannot count on help from her church, then she must do what she must. I am glad that my membership is only about God, and not about people.
Title: Re: Options for my Daughter
Post by: Larry Lyons on September 15, 2013, 09:37:55 PM
Zeal, I can relate a little bit to your situation in that I have a grandson who is developmentally disabled. My grandson prefers the term "Special Ed." My daughter is a good advocate for him and he was "mainstreamed" throughout his schooling except for his senior year when he was in a "Special Ed." class which he loved. (He was the only boy in the class and got lots of attention). He is now 27 and is currently living with his mother. He only went to public schools. My daughter is not an Adventist or even a Christian, but I have been able to take my grandson to church when I visit in the Bay Area and Josh loves it. The church members always are very welcoming and loving and always remember him, and even the young people accept him. He believes in Jesus and looks forward to his soon return. He loves Rev. 22:7 which says "Behold I come quickly." He has cognitive deficits and is prone to frustration and anger at times, but I believe he is doing well even though he has no spiritual support at home.

My point is that God knows your situation and he knows your daughter and her needs. I know I don't have to tell you that he is very interested in your daughter's welfare; especially her spiritual welfare.  I have never heard about any Adventist schools that have programs for students with special needs. Such programs probably have certain sets of educational requirements for instructors as well as other rules and policies. If your daughter has to go to a public school for training, it can still be a very rewarding experience for her, especially with your support from home. As I'm sure you know, there are people with autism who are very competant and successful. Hang in there with prayer and faith. We are all engaged in spiritual warfare, and must keep our eyes on the prize and not be discouraged.
Title: Re: Options for my Daughter
Post by: sdazeal on September 16, 2013, 06:52:50 AM
>>>>>Such programs probably have certain sets of educational requirements for instructors as well as other rules and policies.<<<<

No, Larry. In my daughter's case all it takes is a willingness to do a little extra and requires a little patience. She is very high-functioning. If I thought otherwise I would not have even asked or had her apply.
Title: Re: Options for my Daughter
Post by: newbie on September 16, 2013, 10:39:37 AM
have known more than a few that started out in sda schoolls but resorted to public schools for the support they needed for their 'special' children

public schools are supported financially for this kind of thing.... our sda schoolls are not... it could be just that...the bottom line is $

we should be above all of that I know ....but we are not unfortunately... do we expect a higher standard?  yes we  do...and are we  sadly disappointed?  yes! ......  my mother always said, "expect nothing and you will not be disappointed"...  oh how I miss her...

keep praying Zeal...  God will show you the answer and maybe even show your daughter the answer...  a time of trial certainly for right now... we all fall short but God will in His power do what is needed...  we will pray for you and your daughter too...

i think it is great that she has direction in what she wants to do...  most of us sadly had no direction when we were that age  :|
Title: Re: Options for my Daughter
Post by: sdazeal on September 16, 2013, 10:19:05 PM
>>>>>>"expect nothing and you will not be disappointed"<<<<<<

I agree with that thought, except that such a concept should be foreign to the people of God. I have always done as asked by the church if I was able ( and yes, the church is able to help my girl if they chose to). We should not expect anything from our SDA church? Sadly,  I know too many people who have already come to that conclusion.

And my daughter is not such a burden. I raised her as single parent when she was beating her head into walls, punching herself and screaming for hours at a time. I had no resources, no money and only the grace of God to make it through. Now she has grown to be a neat, clean, organized, kind and gentle person who can converse and work hard at a job. Her life coping with and rising above autism can be counted as a real miracle, as the doctors never expected her to rise to where she has. She worked in a health food store two years ago, and was considered the cafeteria director's best worker in high school. She  wrote and assembled her own vegetarian cookbook over this summer, with many of her own recipes included and is a seven -time Special Olympics gold medalist in two swimming events.  A little extra effort with the resources they have would result in a "feather in the cap" for the school who invested a little effort and time in this special person. But that would take compassion and a willing heart. But who needs that when we've got the truth and "standards", right?

What is the Adventist "standard" for compassion?

Title: Re: Options for my Daughter
Post by: Larry Lyons on September 17, 2013, 07:59:45 AM
>>>>>>"expect nothing and you will not be disappointed"<<<<<<

I agree with that thought, except that such a concept should be foreign to the people of God. I have always done as asked by the church if I was able ( and yes, the church is able to help my girl if they chose to). We should not expect anything from our SDA church? Sadly,  I know too many people who have already come to that conclusion.

And my daughter is not such a burden. I raised her as single parent when she was beating her head into walls, punching herself and screaming for hours at a time. I had no resources, no money and only the grace of God to make it through. Now she has grown to be a neat, clean, organized, kind and gentle person who can converse and work hard at a job. Her life coping with and rising above autism can be counted as a real miracle, as the doctors never expected her to rise to where she has. She worked in a health food store two years ago, and was considered the cafeteria director's best worker in high school. She  wrote and assembled her own vegetarian cookbook over this summer, with many of her own recipes included and is a seven -time Special Olympics gold medalist in two swimming events.  A little extra effort with the resources they have would result in a "feather in the cap" for the school who invested a little effort and time in this special person. But that would take compassion and a willing heart. But who needs that when we've got the truth and "standards", right?

What is the Adventist "standard" for compassion?
Zeal, do you believe this verse? "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them that are called according to His purpose." (Romans 8:28)
It is easy to find reasons to criticize the church if that is our mind set, (I'm not saying that is your mind set), but God has given us "exceeding great and precious promises" (2 Peter 1:4), and great encouragement in his word to those who trust Him in faith. Hebrews 11 was given not simply as old history. It was given for our encouragement and expectation as to what God is willing to do for us when we face trials and tests and we approach Him with confidence and faith.
Title: Re: Options for my Daughter
Post by: Richard OFfill on September 17, 2013, 01:38:48 PM
Zeal, I understand your frustration and disappointment.

Yet God has done wonderful things for her! The disadvantaged here will get a front row seat in heaven! :)
Title: Re: Options for my Daughter
Post by: newbie on September 17, 2013, 05:49:29 PM
>>>>>>"expect nothing and you will not be disappointed"<<<<<<

I agree with that thought, except that such a concept should be foreign to the people of God. I have always done as asked by the church if I was able ( and yes, the church is able to help my girl if they chose to). We should not expect anything from our SDA church? Sadly,  I know too many people who have already come to that conclusion.

And my daughter is not such a burden. I raised her as single parent when she was beating her head into walls, punching herself and screaming for hours at a time. I had no resources, no money and only the grace of God to make it through. Now she has grown to be a neat, clean, organized, kind and gentle person who can converse and work hard at a job. Her life coping with and rising above autism can be counted as a real miracle, as the doctors never expected her to rise to where she has. She worked in a health food store two years ago, and was considered the cafeteria director's best worker in high school. She  wrote and assembled her own vegetarian cookbook over this summer, with many of her own recipes included and is a seven -time Special Olympics gold medalist in two swimming events.  A little extra effort with the resources they have would result in a "feather in the cap" for the school who invested a little effort and time in this special person. But that would take compassion and a willing heart. But who needs that when we've got the truth and "standards", right?

What is the Adventist "standard" for compassion?

This is wonderful how she has done so so well...    :-)

Men/man will always let you down...   We are to love God and love the brethren but nowhere is there a promise that they will love us back and do the things we expect them to do if they are following Christ... 

You've done a wonderful job!!
Title: Re: Options for my Daughter
Post by: sdazeal on September 17, 2013, 08:57:33 PM
Thanks Newbie, for the kind words. You too, Pastor O'Ffill. The point is that I will not be around forever, and I need to help equip my daughter for a life of her own, without me there to help, support and care for her. Unfortunately, I am the only person who is really there for her...and it breaks my heart.

"   If we do love God with all the heart, we shall remember his claims upon us. He requires that we shall be like him, that we shall imitate the self-sacrificing life of Christ. Jesus said of himself, "My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work." The joy ever before him was the blessing and uplifting of fallen humanity. Everything else was secondary and subordinate. From the manger to Calvary his life was one scene of loving effort and sacrifice for the good of men. If Christ is dwelling in our hearts, we shall have the same spirit, and shall do the same work. Our thoughts, our interests, our sympathies, as well as our words and money and effort, will be given to the up-building of the Redeemer's kingdom. And this not merely as a duty; it will be our life, our joy. As the living water bursts from the mountain spring, so will our life flow out in words and deeds of love.  {RH, December 9, 1890 par. 2} "
Title: Re: Options for my Daughter
Post by: newbie on September 18, 2013, 05:55:32 AM
Thanks Newbie, for the kind words. You too, Pastor O'Ffill. The point is that I will not be around forever, and I need to help equip my daughter for a life of her own, without me there to help, support and care for her. Unfortunately, I am the only person who is really there for her...and it breaks my heart.

"   If we do love God with all the heart, we shall remember his claims upon us. He requires that we shall be like him, that we shall imitate the self-sacrificing life of Christ. Jesus said of himself, "My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work." The joy ever before him was the blessing and uplifting of fallen humanity. Everything else was secondary and subordinate. From the manger to Calvary his life was one scene of loving effort and sacrifice for the good of men. If Christ is dwelling in our hearts, we shall have the same spirit, and shall do the same work. Our thoughts, our interests, our sympathies, as well as our words and money and effort, will be given to the up-building of the Redeemer's kingdom. And this not merely as a duty; it will be our life, our joy. As the living water bursts from the mountain spring, so will our life flow out in words and deeds of love.  {RH, December 9, 1890 par. 2} "

that quote is our great hope isn't it... 
Title: Re: Options for my Daughter
Post by: Ed Sutton on September 18, 2013, 06:26:40 AM
Quote
What is the Adventist "standard" for compassion?

Excellent question, few seem to reach what they view as standards, but none seem to rise higher.

Quote
The Son of God has set an example for all His followers. They are not to court praise from others, not to seek for themselves ease or wealth, but to emulate His life of purity and self-denial at whatever cost. . . . They will not manifest a disregard for the rights of others. God’s law commands us to love our neighbor as ourselves, to suffer no evil to be instituted against them which we can hinder. But the rule which Christ has given extends still further. Said the world’s Redeemer, “Love one another, as I have loved you.” Nothing short of this can reach the standard of Christianity.—Signs of the Times, Feb. 2, 1882. {BLJ 211.5}
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 Just before His departure, Jesus said to His disciples, "A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one for another." Here is the mark to which we are to endeavor to attain.  {7MR 329.3}
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When we reflect Christ's image, we shall love one another as He has loved us. We shall not love as we love our neighbor, but as Christ loved us. It is an advance to love as Christ loved. This is the perfection of Christian character. When we can say, My will is wholly submerged in God's will, then peace and rest come in.  {7MR 389.1} 

     We must have that love, else we cannot be perfect before God. We may be active, we may do much work, but unless we love as Christ loved, our candlestick will be removed out of its place. . . .  {7MR 389.2}
 
     We have little enough of Christ's character. We need it all through our ranks, We must reveal that love which dwelt in Jesus. Then we shall keep the commandment [that we love one another], which not one in a hundred of those who claim to believe the truth for this time are keeping. . . .  {7MR 389.3} 

     Perfect unity must exist in a diversity of gifts. A union of all the gifts is essential. The one great commandment Christ has given is a new commandment. It reaches beyond loving our neighbor as we love ourselves. We are to love one another, "as I," said Christ, "have loved you." This experience must be obtained by every child of God. All must blend together in the work, thus making the work not onesided, but a complete whole.--Letter 121, 1898, pp. 6-8. (To S. N. Haskell and wife, December 12, 1898.) {7MR 389.4} 
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John 17:23  I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

John 17:26  And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.

Obeying the conditions in COL p-384-5 & (using KJV) Matthew 16:24;  Mark 8:34 ; Luke 9:23, will obtain it trying harder will never attain it.
Title: Re: Options for my Daughter
Post by: restoretruth on September 18, 2013, 01:42:26 PM
Zeal,

Have you checked out the Walla Walla Community College Culinary arts program. It isn't the perfect solution but at least there are a lot of SDA students that take classes there. She might be able to specialize in the baking part, if that is in her interests. One of our grandsons took classes there. He hasn't completed the program, but he is working as a baker now, & likes it. Another grandson works for Dave's Killer Bread in Milwaukie, OR. They are training him.

Keep your faith & courage up!  People don't always know a person's situation. There may be more people who care & are willing to help than you realize!  And, you know that God never leaves us or forsakes us. (Heb. 13:5)  We are praying for you & your daughter!
Title: Re: Options for my Daughter
Post by: sdazeal on September 18, 2013, 05:52:26 PM
Actually, they have a cooperative effort between WWCC and Walla Walla Valley Academy, restoretruth. It sounded very promising at first, after speaking with one of the admin assistants. She said it sounded doable, and requested my daughter's info for the Head of Alternative Learning Center. We sent the information and we never heard back. They haven't returned my wife's several phone messages.
But practically speaking, there are very few jobs on Walla Walla in terms of relocating but we could make it work.
This is one we still have some hope in, since it is still easy driving distance to our families in Portland. but the lack of communication, just a phone call or email, is a bit frustrating.
Title: Re: Options for my Daughter
Post by: sdazeal on September 20, 2013, 10:39:41 PM
"Whatever you do to the least of these, my brethren, you have done it to me."

I am a bit at a loss by the "its acceptable for the church to let someone fall through the cracks  because  God, by way of the U.S. ( two horns like a lamb but speaks like a dragon) government, will take care of her" kind of response. Really stop and think, ponder, pray about what that says. The fact that her best shot is a liberal,  anti-Christian college blows me away. Is that really God's will?