I can think of nothing greater than my love for my children. Which is why I was pained beyond anything I have ever felt last week when my husband and I tricked our son into attending an all boys school in Utah for Troubled Teens.
How did it come to this? I can remember my bright eyed handsome son and I doing everything together. I used to laugh that he was like a puppy: he needed nothing more than for me to toss a ball to him. We are close, we have always been close, and yet I lost him. I weep as I write this because I did. It got to the point that our parenting and rules were not impactful to him and we lost his respect and knew that he wasn’t being truthful to us.
My heart is broken.
I don’t want to dwell on the behaviors that led us to this other than to say that the fear we lived with that he could hurt himself or others became greater than my sadness at having to send him away. That’s how I knew that the line had been crossed.
We knew we needed help with him, but we didn’t know where to turn. He was using drugs and alcohol, yes, but was he addicted? I don’t think so. Yet he was certainly in need of rules, improved respect, and better behavior.
Sean and I were on vacation when a full blown behavioral melt down back home occurred. Fortunately, we were together and able to use skype and google search to do a full research project. (Thank you, technology! I love technology!) We learned that state laws impact our ability to deal with our children and that Utah has laws that allow parents to force their children into residential therapy. On our vacation, we would search a school, call the parent references and then go and have lunch while we wept together. Then we would call another one, do more research and have another sad dinner together. And yet it was one of the best vacations we have ever had because we found an answer.
When we found Liahona Academy it all fell into place. My husband said it felt like a lightning bolt hit us. It was a small school, for all boys. They stressed rules, fitness, health, academics and a lot of therapy. Their main goal is to reunite families. We all know that people make all the difference. We talked to the Admissions Director and the Program Director for hours and they both answered all of our questions and treated us with respect and kindess. In the last 10 days since Jack has been there, they both return every call promptly and answer every email thoroughly and with patience and love.
I am hell bent on reuniting our family, just like they are.
So my heart is still broken, because my son is far away. But I am hopeful. We just got our first letter from him and I swear I have read it 10 times. He will return home and be the man I know he is. I love him so much. I am so thankful we found Liahona. Work hard, Jack. Come home. We love you!