My husband and I survived our older son’s years as a severely-autistic child … so severe the doctors recommended we institutionalize him because he “would never function in society”.  Well, the doctors were WRONG. 

    We’ve also spent many years as Therapeutic Foster Parents to troubled children, especially those with Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) — most of whom the “experts” also said were “unreachable”.  They were WRONG, too.      

    If you’re a parent to an emotionally disturbed child who is putting your faith and trust in a mere human (a doctor, therapist, nurse, etc.), you’re on a path of never-ending sadness and despair.   I encourage you to cling to Jesus and let Him carry you through, as He did us.  My son was healed by God at the age of 3-1/2 and is an extraordinary young man today.  We have personally witnessed many miraculous healings of RAD children, too.      

    We’ve walked in your shoes — both as a parent of a seriously troubled child and as foster parents to even-more disturbed children.  Because of our own life experience, we know and understand a lot about what you are dealing with.  However, we are mindful of the fact that our family only suffered from our son’s autism for three years, whereas many of you have spent many more years in the trenches.  We are also mindful of the fact that as foster parents, we had an option of re-homing those children, and many of you do not.      

    My husband and I offer respite for families in crisis, particularly to intercede in adoption disruptions.  As a result of our own difficult experiences (including foregone vacations lest a child acted out inappropriately), we are also talking with several RAD experts across the country to host some “intensive” programs at my family’s 56-acre guest farm.  There are three lovely log cabins and I know that being “isolated” with two other families experiencing similar trauma can be a therapeutic experience all in itself, as you look at each other and smile, saying “Yep, my son does that, too” and build lifelong connections with those other parents.  Add in some equine therapy, counseling and parenting-technique seminars by internationally-acclaimed Nancy Thomas during special programs and we’re hoping to be a source of encouragement, edification, and education.      

    We’re happy to provide respite to families as needed … but it makes more sense to help those families learn the same tools and techniques that we use so that they can be more effective parents rather than looking for an “expert” to ship the child off to.  Thus the concept of a “Respite Retreat” — where families can relax in the peace and tranquility harvested on the Farm, gain some critical skills and understanding … and emerge renewed, refreshed, and rejuvenated.  Some weeks will include extensive programming and structured activities; others will not.  I will seek to reserve all three cabins for only those families suffering with emotionally-disturbed children whenever possible.      Please let me know how we can pray for you!!!

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