Over a year ago, I reached out to a local organization regarding respite services. Finally I have closed that loop by finally getting into a program. It’s funny how you know you need something like this but there is always an excuse for not following through. It took so long to take that first step because of some ridiculous excuse, like not wanting to slog another round of paperwork.
I was given the suggestion of seeking a local church to assist with respite care. Believe me, I was a bit doubtful. But, as I hear on the radio spots from the Pastor, “not a sermon just a thought“.
McLean Bible Church (MBC) is a non-denominational church in the area. Its beginnings were quite humble; it was founded in 1961 by five families. Now it’s a megachurch with “campuses” throughout the region. The main campus in Mclean is massive and I can only imagine Sunday worship gridlock trying to get into the church’s parking garage. 😉
They are quite progressive in their ministry. They stream their services online. They have podcasts. They have multiple groups that cater to the different age groups. And they have outreach to the special needs community.
Access Ministry is the special needs arm of MBC. As I learned, it was a personal mission from the Pastor as his daughter Jill has special needs. I had heard about Jill’s House for many years but failed to connect the dots on the meaning of the organization.
So, I filled out the paperwork and then had my intake appointment at MBC. This is what I learned what they offer (links open to the MBC-Loudoun site):
- Beautiful Blessings Sunday School – adapted Sunday school
- Break Out – A Friday-night respite care program held once a month designed to provide much-needed breaks for families (NT siblings can participate)
- Breakaway – A Saturday respite care program held once a quarter to help provide much-needed breaks for families (only for special needs children)
- Friendship Club – A community for adults aged 16+ with special needs (fellowship, worship and socials)
They now operate their services from two locations – the main campus and the one in my neighborhood.
I know many parents with children with special needs shy away from church. Hard to believe, but in the house of the Lord, many will shun those that participate in “their own way”. Some even leave, because they perceive being turned away by their fellow worshippers. I have to admit my extreme lapse from the Methodist Church partially because of the potential meltdown opportunity.
So, lo and behold I was surprised to find out they have their own Sunday School service that coordinates with a worship service. If you remember, he was at a Christian child development center for a year and he seemed to dig it. Of course we didn’t quite dig it when he was suspended, which of course sharpens my apprehension on the faith-based community.
At least one of the options (Breakout), they accept siblings over two years old. And that means Mayita can participate. Sweet. And, we can switch between Tysons and Loudoun for Breakouts and Breakaways, depending on our projected plans.
So, there you have it. We have been accepted into the program and once we figure out when we’ll take a respite break (without bothering grandparents) I’ll let you know.