Thank you for your continued support and prayers. We are four days away from Christmas and this year is going to be difficult to not have my son home with us. Rachel, Lauren, Hannah, and Grace miss their brother. Braden expressed in his last letter that he is homesick. We are also missing our Dad and Grandpa.
Please pray that this COVID situation is over soon so that we can go to visit. Please pray for Braden’s confidence, strength, and continued healing. We have begun phone calls every other week. It is very good to hear his voice.
Here are some quotes from Braden’s recent letters:
“Thank you for everything you’ve given me, including this opportunity to be here, even though it is the hardest thing I’ve ever encountered.”
“I am also working very hard in therapy, which in my opinion, is the most important part of my program.”
“Just remember what Christmas is really about. Enjoy each other’s presence, not just presents.”
“Sometimes it is hard to understand the Bible. Pastor Andy made it sound so easy. Man, I really miss Victory.”
“I am really learning a lot in therapy. I am learning how my thoughts can be corrected when I am handling tough situations.”
“I am really missing home especially over the holidays. Mom I love you so much and am overwhelmed with guilt with what I have done. I am really hoping that we can rebuild our relationships regardless of the things that I have done.”
“Thinking about being home with you motivates me to push myself to my limits.”
“Thank you for sending me here. I know it is a burden for you financially, but it will be worth it in the end.”
Braden is moving to Level 2 which will give him a few more privileges. He has earned 200+ points. He must take a test on treatment tools before he can officially move to the next level. He is excelling at school. He doesn’t like that everything is in a textbook and that he has to make his own study guides. He is officially a senior in high school. He just finished his junior year. In therapy he is working on thought processes. This is all about his thoughts, emotions, actions, the results of his actions, the correction of his distorted thoughts and thinking errors he has been using. For example, one of his big thinking errors is, “The King Baby belief”. This is the belief or behavior that allows you to interact with others based on the belief that “I want what I want, when I want it, and I don’t care who I hurt to get it because my needs are greater.”
Thank you for your prayers and support. If you are able to give financially we would appreciate that too. I am very impressed with this program. I truly believe he is getting the help that he needs. The $5,000 a month is a lot, but the sacrifice will be worth it. We have only raised $1,250 of the $50,000 needed. If you are looking for a place to give an end of the year gift, you can give through adoptive.org and your donation is tax deductible. If you would like to give a different way please let me know.
Prayers and Peace to you and your family
Braden has now been in his treatment program for almost 4 months. He is continuing to make progress. At the end of September he was finally off of suspension. He is officially ‘flying solo’ as he calls it. He no longer has a shadow, all of his decisions are made on his own, and no one is reminding him of the rules. This is a huge accomplishment.
He has officially started the point system and the last time I spoke with his therapist he was at 45 points. As soon as he reaches 200 points he will be able to move to Level 2 of the program which means more privileges. This is also when weekly phone calls to his family will begin. I know that he is excited about that. He continually says how much he misses us. We miss and love him too!
He completed his first therapy assignments which was a confession letter. I know this was tough for him. Next step will be for him to discuss this letter with me and start earning trust back in our relationship. He is also working on his thought patterns and trying to correct his thinking and how this effects his decision making. I am extremely impressed with the program at Liahona Academy. I just wish it wasn’t so far away.
His therapist has also been working with Braden on the steps of grief. My Dad, his Grandpa, died earlier this month. It has been tough on our entire family. Braden was very close to his Grandpa.
Here are some quotes from Braden’s recent letters home:
“I’m working on taking things more seriously and not trying to seek acceptance from other people.”
“Mom, I am very grateful that you sent me here. I am very blessed. I know that you love me so much and that you sent me here to get help.”
“I have made a lot of mistakes at home and here. I am going to start working harder so I can come home. I have to start learning from my mistakes so that I can function in a healthy way when I am in the outside world.”
“It’s really hard for me to put into words how much I miss being home. I know I caused a lot of issues at home and I am trying to learn so I can join you guys again and maintain peace and healthy relationships. I didn’t realize how privileged and fun our family was until recently.”
“There isn’t a day that I have not thought about you all.”
“I know that before I didn’t show it but you guys mean the world to me and when I come home I can show you.”
“Every day in here I face challenges, but I push through it and get stronger physically and mentally. I am proud of what I have accomplished. I know I will face many more challenges but God is with me.”
“It blows my mind knowing how fortunate I was to be adopted by you. I have made some harsh comments about not wanting to live with you but God gave me you. You didn’t need me but you chose me!”
Thank you all for supporting us on this journey! Send us your prayers and hugs J
We would so appreciate any help that you can give to us financially.
It has now been 7 weeks since Braden has started his program at Liahona. He is starting to make progress and beginning on the point system. He just finished his disclosure letter. This is a first step for him to acknowledge his past problem behaviors and first step to healing and building trust. Please pray for us as we walk through this. It was very emotional for me to read and I am still processing. As parents we try to protect our children from making bad choices but we unfortunately can not make choices for them. He sends weekly letters and hopefully soon we will be able to talk by phone.
Here are some quotes from his recent letters:
“I pray for you guys when I can. I am starting to get in the routine of praying every day because I had an unhealthy relationship with my family and an unhealthy relationship with God when I was home. While I am here I am hoping to fix those relationships.”
“Mom, I was wondering if you could tell Lane that I really miss him. Also that I look up to being like him and that I am thankful that he has taken time to hang out with me. I have realized that I need more friends like Lane. The “friends” that I had at school weren’t really my friends, but people like Lane have a strong spiritual and valuable relationship with me that makes me feel true happiness and not instant gratification.”
“Thank you mom for sending me here, it was the right choice. I will face failure, criticism, and many challenges, but I will most definitely accomplish my mission of changing as long as I keep trying my best and pushing forward. Thank you mom for sending me a Bible ASAP so I can start reading it and applying it to my life to help me through my journey.”
I send notes to him weekly from our family. If anyone would like to include some encouraging notes I am sure he would appreciate it. At this point in his treatment you would need to send to me and then I will forward to him. He says he is missing home but he knows he needs to be there so he can learn to make good decisions.
The girls are doing well. Rachel now has her temp driver’s license and we try to practice daily. We have not ventured onto the highway yet. That is our next step. She is enjoying her volleyball season with her first game tomorrow evening. She will be in 11th grade. Lauren will be starting 9th grade and is enjoying marching band. She plays the clarinet. Hannah will be starting 6th grade and Grace 3rd grade. They will all be starting ballet again after Labor Day (or at least I hope so). I start back at work on Monday, August 31st. They begin the Tuesday after Labor Day but only will be attending every other day. It’s going to be a tough schedule as a single working mom especially getting through this COVID season.
I am starting to read the book “When Love is Not Enough” by Nancy Thomas. It is a guide to parenting children with Reactive Attachment Disorder. I have read parts before but this time I hope to read front to back with some reflective note taking. Parenting is tough but parenting adoptive/foster kids is tougher. I am having a hard time realizing school is starting and Braden won’t be there. He is missing his golf season and his Junior year. It is a time to learn and grow for all of us.
Thank you again for your prayers and continued financial support. We have currently raised $900.
Adoptive Families Coalition (AFC) is writing to you on behalf of Braden’s family. We are assisting them in funding their son’s treatment not covered by insurance. There are very few resources for adoptive families who face the challenges of expensive and lengthy care. We need a community of support! Please consider if you can make a one time or monthly donation to offer Braden a bright future.
100% of your tax-deductible donation goes directly to the treatment provider. Thank you!
AFC is a non-profit organization dedicated to the holistic support of adoptive families. Families who faced similar challenges firsthand and understand the need for support founded the nonprofit.