Thursday, November 17, 2011

Food Allergies and Church

We have recently been attending a new church and have discovered something very refreshing-a group of people who are very accommodating of our food allergies and have been so gracious to make changes to allow us to attend safely.

Baby Bee is attending AWANA and this is the first time she has been in activity without mom or dad.  Of course, we're still in the building and not far away, but she is able to do an independent activity.

The children's minister in this church approached us one evening when we brought Tiger and Curly for AWANA.  She recognized us from my blog which another mom had forwarded her.  She had read about Bee and felt sure that the church could make some adjustments so that Bee could attend as well.  She was very proactive in talking with me and implemented some immediate changes.  Snack was eliminated from Bee's class and notes were sent home to the parents to ask them to refrain from bringing food into the classroom.

We met with Bee's teachers and explained about her allergies and our action plan.  The lead teacher took notes and posted a sheet with Bee's information in the classroom.  The church also updated their pager system so that Bee could be listed with a pager number.  When she's in her classroom, we carry a pager with us in case we need to be notified of a problem.  

Bee started AWANA the next week.  She hasn't had any problems and she's loving her class.  We feel comfortable leaving her because the staff is informed about her allergies and they are proactive in protecting her.  It is possible to make this work!  All it takes is some proactive people who are understanding, sympathetic, and dedicated to educating themselves about Bee and about food allergies.

However, let's be honest.....each week I'm a little nervous during the entire class time.  Will I never get over the worry?  Probably not.........But Bee sure isn't worried.  She heads into class and waves bye to us.  I don't think she even misses me.  Little independent one!!

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