It has been a week now since the fateful day arrived.
Last Thursday I had to let my son go, for a short time. He left for a psychiatric residential treatment facility (PRTF) 3 1/2 hours from home.
I will be the first to say, this is not an easy decision to ever have to make. No one wants to have their child anywhere but home, especially to go to a facility that is all strangers, far from home. But alas, I had no choice, for either I did it voluntarily, or in a few months he goes via judge. Thus is the life of a family with children on the autism spectrum in communities where there's little means of handling the aspects.
Mr. Kevin is doing well, he misses us, and we most definitely miss him. We speak on the phone, I send cards to him every other day, and we can visit anytime we want to trek the distance. He won't be there forever, but should be home again in the fall providing he handles the teaching well and is able to practice what he's learned in handling aggression. It is not easy for him, nor for us, but the Lord has this happening for a reason. It is best now at the young age, rather than wait until he's an adult and put into the adult detention centers where he'd never receive any help.
The Lord has been good to us, comforting as only He can do. He has provided financial help, spiritual support, and lessons that have been needed along the way. He's shown us that it's time to let Him do some work, to take our hands off and let Him accomplish something.
The situation has also kept us on our knees. More figurative than literal (hey, arthritis isn't fun). I've spent much much more time in prayer these passing days, praying for protection for Mr. Kevin, for him to learn what he needs to learn in order to return home, for the staff who work with him to have the wisdom they need, and for peace in his heart and mine. Each day there are tears from me, whether it be triggered by a phone call from the new school, an insensitive comment from someone, stress in general, you name it. Each tear is a prayer gone up to the Lord, He knows what is needed, and it is in His strength that we keep on going.
Back home, we continue to handle our oldest, with Asperger's, ADHD, and ODD. The defiance and refusals and loud shrieks at times are almost more than one can handle. The refusals to do school work, leading to detentions, the acting out in school that leads to disciplinary actions from the school according to his IEP and district guidelines, the lying about simple things, it wears at us. This is where the Lord picks us up and keeps carrying us along, sometimes dragging us along when we just can't walk anymore. Sometimes it is so hard to see the positives within them, when you're seeing the worst things they try to throw at you. It is a real test at times to continue keeping on.
No wonder we're turning gray!
The Lord has answers to help unlock these children, He knows how to work with them effectively, and we wait with baited breath to get ahold of those answers. Will we find them? Maybe in time. Until then, we continue to pray, to ask for help, to seek Him and keep trekking on. Why? Because He loves us, He loves our kids, and He cares.
God has used our children, their difficulties, their varying problems, to grow us, mold us, chisel at us, to make us into who He wants us to be. It's not an easy process, and He knows we'll buck at the molding time. But, He is faithful and patient, because He loves us so much.
Isn't a great and wonderful thing that God could love us so much? He loves you too! Whatever trials or hard times you're in or coming upon, know that He loves you very much, that He is right there to help you, to carry you if needed, to drag you along when you don't want to keep going on. He's there!
Just talk to Him, and you'll find Him right beside you.