Sunday, March 20, 2011

Take it, or leave it.....

Take a look at this face!
Today, this little boy has been discriminated against by Mt. Ararat Baptist Church for the last time! I think that I can say that we gave them plenty of chances to do the right thing and do right by our son, but they blew it. I guess I'll start at the beginning and try not to get so mad that this ends up turning into a rant and rave fest. It started 2 weeks ago when we printed off Haiden's name tag for his class. I don't know how many churches do it like this, but this one you are required to check in your children and out prints 2 tags. One goes on the kid, and one stays with the parent so when you go to pick yours us, you show the volunteer and they check to make sure your numbers match. That way they an ensure that nobody is trying to run off with your child. Anyway, we printed off Haiden's and Noah's. I quickly scanned over the names so we could slap them on their backs and throw them in the room and run to make service late as always. Soooooo...I scanned the tag to see who's was who's and the 2 words Down and syndrome popped out. The name tag read....

Haiden House
Down syndrome

I would not lie about something like that! Shocked, then pissed, then sad, then ready to rip that little section off. Those were the emotions that I first felt. Of course our blood was boiling but we weren't about to deal with the ignorant lady we had dealt with the first week. So we decided to wait until after service, get home, and then email or call the woman in charge of the children's ministry. We called and email and got no response. I did get an auto email saying she was out of town until the 16th so I figured I could wait it out. So the following weekend we were out of town so we missed church. I won't even go on about how I had to make sure and call Haiden's buddy that the church set him up with to let her know our plans and that we were not going to be at church. Just what I want to do. Check in with a 16 year old! Just one more layer, one more thing that we have to do because we can't just go to church and drop both of our kids off. We have to line everything up and make sure all involved are able to do their part. Then today came...of course filled with anxiety because we knew that those 2 words were on our baby's name tag. They mine as well be big, flashing, neon arrows pointing to his back. I printed off the name tag and did a quick scan to see if his medical diagnosis was still on it. It was! We politely asked one of the ladies standing there is they could get on their computer and remove it. After all, they were literally putting a label on our child that we have been working so hard to steer clear of. Guess what, she didn't know so she had to go ask someone else. Then came loud mouth man into the picture. We asked him the same question and he acted like this was going to be a huge problem and speaking at a volume that was not quite the indoor voice everyone else was using. Charlie asked him if he could get on the computer and remove it. He said no because everyone there were volunteers and they needed to be prepared in case something happened. We told him that there was nothing to prepare for. He had Down syndrome, not epilepsy or a deadly peanut allergy. He only has a runny nose because he needs his tubes replaced! Charlie then tried with the medical diagnosis and how you can't just put it out there for everyone to read and he said it had nothing to do with confidentiality. WTF?!?! So of course I just had to tell him that is was inappropriate and then Charlie asked me to go drop off Noah. I know that he was wanting me to leave so I didn't hit him or start getting loud. I haven't really got that calm thing down when someone is dissing my baby! Apparently, Charlie had to finally tell him to shut his mouth so he could talk. But here is how it ended with that guy. He says this to Charlie....

"I don't really want to tell you take it or leave it but....."

Charlie scooped up Haiden ready to "leave it" when another lady walked up and asked what the problem was. He asked her if she could take it off and she said "sure". It will be off next week. To bad we won't be there next week. If that ignorant ass could have handled himself better than I think maybe we would go again. I know that change doesn't happen overnight but they have to have more than one willing person in that church!

So, when is enough, enough? I know last time I wrote about this I was throwing around the idea of wanting to stick it out to educate and thinking exposure would help. Clearly I was wrong. I don't think that I should use my son to educate any longer. I just want him to go where he is loved but more importantly where he doesn't stick out like a sore thumb with a name tag that says Down syndrome on it. Just a name tag that says Haiden House! To much to ask, I don't think so.


  1. Melissa,
    I am so sorry you all had to deal with this. Praying you will find a bible based church that will see your precious Haiden for what he is in God's eyes, so much more than a medical diagnosis but their opportunity to a glimpse of heaven. Created pefectly as God designed, not defective but closer to perfction than any of us with 46 chromosomes could ever dream of being..Covered from head to toe with the father's fingerprints. I invite you to our church but we are in WI. Our Lillian is greeted every Sunday with an outpouring of love. She is welcomed into the age appropriate classroom without question...and I have never had to check in with anyone on whether we will be there or not. Iam certain it will be the same with Lera once she is home. We already have 2 young women in our church that grew up in a Russian orphanage and were adopted when they we 14 and 15. I am good friends with Alayna, the older sister, and she has already started sharing russian phrases with the teachers so they are prepared. Things like, need to potty, thirsty for water, comfort phrases, too warm, too cold, and so on.Also want mama and papa. I pray this for your family. That God will lead you to a church home that reaches out to your Haiden exactly as Christ would. In LOVE.

  2. If I were you, I'd be contacting the local media - I'm not a church-goer, but of all places, you would think your child could be just a child at church. They definitely need educating - I'm sure it's just ignorance rather than anything else.

  3. Jenny~
    That is a good idea. If nothing else works, I like it!

  4. I'm sorry you have to deal with this. Church should be a place of love and acceptance, not one of seperation.

  5. Really? I mean, really? I just want to put my fingers in my ears and pretend that this stuff does not happen. I'm so sorry that you had to go through this.

    I agree, it is not Hayden's job to have to educate every ignorant person he comes in contact with. Sometimes he needs to be able to just be a little boy and you need to just be a mom.

    Praying that you find the community that can be a spiritual home for your whole family.

    God is good, but the rest of us, many times, not so much.