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Long Explanation of Sorts, and Short Joke
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This isn't funny, well thought out, and probably won't be well written. Let's just forgive me now for that okay?

We're one of those families where we look really good on the outside. No. I am not saying I'm hot. (Although Mike is.) I'm saying that we look okay, usually smell okay, go to church sometimes, do the private school thing, successful business stuff, etc. Everywhere we go people stop us and tell us how well behaved or nice our children are. (Yes, 'everywhere we go.' We live in West Texas, and yes, people really do say those things to strangers ALL THE TIME here.)  And yet, this 'perfect' family on the outside is SO not. It's not a secret I keep, by any means, I just don't air our dirty laundry to every stranger who stops to comment on our sparkly facade.

We've been out of town. Not a vacation. Not a business trip. We took Kim-12yr to a residential treatment facility for kids with attachment issues. I've mentioned it before I think, but Mike is her bio dad, I'm her adoptive mom, and the first year of her life was traumatic in such a way that she's not been capable of trust, handling emotions, etc. It's something that has worsened as she's grown older, not improved.

I could tell you all about what's gone on. But it doesn't really matter. I could tell you the horrific things she's done and said and planned to do - and maybe one day I will.

But I've found that people don't understand anyway, and I wouldn't want to try to justify this decision to the internet. It just doesn't matter. (Today, anyway.)  There's a huge group of people that will never accept that a mom  (a Christian mom..?!) could ever be 'doing the right thing' by placing her kid in a facility.  There must be alternatives, other solutions, more prayer, the 'right' kind of prayer, more patience and understanding on my part, less stress, fewer activities, more quality family time, a different therapist, no therapist, group therapy...

I've kind of heard it all. And you know why a lot of people say all this? I have a theory. I think they have to convince themselves that if it were them - if they were in my shoes - they'd have the answer, and it wouldn't come to this. Not on their watch. Not their kid. Never. I can't blame them. It's scary to think that all your parenting and love and God and friends and family might not be enough to keep your kid in your home if something goes terribly wrong.

I could tell you what it was like to drive away, leave her there, and fall apart. I could tell you it's the single best place I could imagine, and so are the workers there. I could describe how I'm torn up about her not being here. But then there's the part of me that is relieved. And the part that is guilty for feeling relieved. I might just learn to  relax a little. To sleep the whole night through without waking up and wondering if everyone is safe from her. Wondering about that missing knife in the kitchen. I won't be wondering if she's safe from herself. Wondering if being constantly on guard against her is really what life will always be like.

She's where she's supposed to be, even if no one ever readily accepts or supports that decision. It's just true. This is the way God has planned to restore her to a healthy kid, and I'm grateful beyond belief for that. It's not forever, but it is for a long time. 

Thank you for those who emailed, wondering where I'd gone. It meant a great deal to me that you took the time to do that.

I just re-read this. Interestingly, I was unaware that when I wrote it, it had a distinctly 'ha! I DARE you to defy and judge me' kind of tone. But I think it does. Hmm. Whatever. Do or don't. I just left my kid in another state, and if you want to be critical of me, that's hardly the roughest thing I've dealt with and just feel free.

Random Ethanism, placed here for much needed comic relief:

Ethan-6yr played some Ice Age game on a gameboy in the car on the way home. I don't understand the game at all, but it does involve acorns and a mammoth. The following was meant in an entirely literal way: "HA! I just scared the nuts right off that mammoth!!"

Acorns, y'all, acorns.

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Your Comments

owlhaven Said:

Hang in there, girl. As you know, I had one kid with issues the first year after homecoming that we had to work really hard on. I have done a ton of reading regarding attachment and know how scary wounded kids can get if they don't get attached at a young age.
Praying this treatment will be the very best thing for your daughter.
Hugs and Prayers for peace...

on Jun 7, 2006 3:39:34 PM

You don't own anyone an explanation. Only you and your husband know what you've been experiencing and how you came to the decision you did. Only you could make that decision and to tell the truth, anyone who tries to judge what you've done is trying to do it without all the facts. That's all there is to it.

You, however, have my prayers and my admiration for doing the hard thing. That took courage. I pray that your daughter will get the help she needs so that she can resume a life that is full of hope and promise instead of pain and loss.

I really will be praying for you. Let me know if there is anything I can do.

on Jun 7, 2006 3:40:29 PM
Ficklechick Said:

Good for you, for stepping up for your daughter and doing what needed to be done. Even if it's the hard thing, not the easy thing. I admire you. A lot of parents out there should, but don't do what they know they need to do. They take the easy way out and just do nothing.

You should be very proud of what you're doing for your family! My hat's off to you. :)

on Jun 7, 2006 3:45:00 PM
Robin Said:

I could never judge anyone on parenting. The only one you have to consult with is God, well and Mike. I guess that makes two. I will be praying that God will heal her completely. He can. Glad you're back. You are the only one I know who can have me so thoughtful about a subject and then cracking me up with acorns, BTW.

on Jun 7, 2006 3:54:50 PM
aggiejenn Said:

Like Kim said, no explanation needed. You are doing what you think is best for your family, and who am I to judge that? I'm glad she's getting help and praying that healing and restoration come to your family. I can't imagine the pain and grief you've all been through. (The comic relief was HILARIOUS!!) Have a blessed day...guilt FREE.

on Jun 7, 2006 3:57:28 PM
boomama Said:

I have been praying for you - not knowing where you were, but knowing things have been rough. I pray y'all will continue to feel covered by God's peace - and that He will do miraculous things in your little girl's life. No explanation needed AT ALL. Hang in there.

on Jun 7, 2006 4:07:19 PM
peach Said:

Oh Kelsey, I am praying for you, too, and grateful for a God who comes and meets us right where we are. May He reach out and comfort you throughout this time. You owe no one an explanation, and I would never dream of passing judgment on your decision. You are confident, Mike is confident--that's all that needs to be said. I will be praying for healing for Kim and for a successful time while she is away.

on Jun 7, 2006 4:13:23 PM
millicent Said:

Girl, you hang on! I worked in a facility for teens when I was in college, and it broke my heart to see the parents when they left. of course some never looked back and that was more heartbreaking.
you hold your head high and know that you're doing what's best for her, and for your family.
i'll be praying for all of you.

on Jun 7, 2006 4:16:29 PM
Karin Said:

You don't owe anyone an explanation for what you did. You are the parents and only you can know what the issues truly are. And sometimes you have to make hard decisions. I pray all of you are better for it.

on Jun 7, 2006 4:19:56 PM
Diane Said:

No judgement--just complete respect for a family that is fighting hard for one of its children. And--I join the others who commit to pray for you, for your daughter, and your entire family.

May God bless this decision, heal your daughter's heart, and strengthen your family throughout this process.



on Jun 7, 2006 4:20:02 PM
Addie Said:

You have been on my mind, since we hadn't heard from you. I'm so sorry to hear the reasons, but glad you have found a solution. You are exactly right on the reasoning people have for choosing to judge certain situations. I am SO SO SORRY you are going through this with your little girl! I know you love her very much. I cannot even imagine how painful driving away must have been for you and Mike. I will be praying for Kim that healing will begin to take root in her heart.

And how nice of God to give you a cute little Ethanism. Just when you needed it most! :-)

on Jun 7, 2006 4:51:49 PM
Diane J. Said:

No rocks to throw here. My heart aches for you and Mike and your family. I pray God does a mighty work in your daughter's life, and in yours. I know that must have been one of the hardest things you've ever done in your life, and I respect your strenghth in choosing to do what's best for your daughter and your family. God Bless all of you, and especially your daughter.

And Ethan cracks me up!! LOL :-)

on Jun 7, 2006 5:25:41 PM
Julie Said:

So glad you're back and that you still share with us and put yourself out there. I think few will dare to judge however. While my problems with my son are not as severe I do know the "why isn't it enough, what else can I do" feeling and I give you all the credit in the world for doing the hard thing. I'll be praying that God will work a miracle in your daughter and that he will give you and your entire family peace during this time.

on Jun 7, 2006 5:29:18 PM
Diane Said:

Had to come back to tell you---that while your family look s great on the outside---YOUR HEART has always shown brilliantly across cyber-space. You exemplify what really matters--whether people understand or not--really doesn't matter.

I pray that during this time when you could be feeling so lonely--that you will be surrounded by God's amazing, and healing love! Whatever shape or form it comes in--may it come your way!


on Jun 7, 2006 5:39:22 PM
Chris Cree Said:

Don't know if it helps any, but I thought I'd share a verse that I keep getting smacked with in the last few days: John 16:33

I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.

on Jun 7, 2006 5:54:01 PM
Theresa Said:

Hey HM! I knew something was up when the bloglines hadn't shown you in bold for awhile. I was gonna send a quick email but didn't want you to think I was a sicko or anything.

Praise to you for making the right decision for your family! I know from your posts that you are a terrific mother and wife. I pray God watches over your family and heals your little girl and her heart. We also have a similar situation with a nephew (out of state) and I prayed everyday that she would do exactly what you just did.


on Jun 7, 2006 6:14:53 PM
sarahgrace Said:

I will definitely keep you and your family in my prayers. I actually know and lived right down the road from a residential treatment facility for kids with rad. The lady/mom there was awesome- and has been very successful in the treatment of many of those kids. One of them is now a very successful and loving young Christian woman, who is now doing seminars educating people about rad. Hang in there, you made the right decision!

on Jun 7, 2006 6:18:43 PM
Brenda Said:

You have placed your child in God's hands. That's right where she belongs. I will be praying for all of you that your family will be restored.

on Jun 7, 2006 6:40:42 PM
Lauren Said:

I'm praying and in your absense have been praying for God's wisdom, strength, and peace to cover you and Mike. I can't wait until the day when I read here your testimony to the power of God when you're on the otherside of this mountain. Love you, HM.

on Jun 7, 2006 7:04:31 PM
Stacey Said:

It's weird, I was gone over the weekend and stopped by several time since I've been home to check if you had updated your blog. You've been on my mind lots the the last couple days and I want you to know you've been in my prayers, too! I'm sorry for the harsh way people judge in these situations and I hope that won't happen again!!

I'm praying for you and your family!!

on Jun 7, 2006 8:10:39 PM
Michelle Said:

ditto what has already been said, and I'm glad your back. Missed ya.

on Jun 7, 2006 8:37:07 PM
Faith Said:

I've missed you. I've been checking everyday. You have to do what is right for you and your family. You are the one living it - only you know best.
We will be praying for Kim and for the rest of your family daily.


on Jun 7, 2006 10:36:09 PM
Perri Said:

You did the right thing. Having had a foster child in our home for years with RAD, I knew exactly what you were talking about when you mentioned "the missing knife." We picked J up from a mental facilty where he was hospitalized for depression -- at age 6. He lived with us for years and we loved him like crazy but the final straw was when he came through the kitchen one day poking himself with a steak knife and chanting "I want to kill myself". We knew he had to be moved for the safety of Jacob and Wesley - because he had mentioned wanting them gone from the house too. But it was the hardest thing I've ever done -

Kim is in a place where she can get specialized treatment - all the love in the world isn't going to solve her problemsn. That's hard for any parent to admit. I'm glad you have done what is in her best interest.

I know how hard it is. I'll be praying for your family.

on Jun 7, 2006 10:39:41 PM
Mom Nancy Said:

H. M., I'm sorry your family is going through this and I have no idea how hard this must be. I'm sorry for all the times I may have had the thoughts you've mentioned. I am not the perfect Christian and I know that I am not in anyone else's shoes, much like no one is in mine to know why I've made my own decisions.

I will include you in my prayers.

on Jun 7, 2006 10:59:26 PM
Suzi Said:

I am praying for you. Parenting is the hardest job EVER. You know what is right for your family, for your family's health and safety. There is no doubt that decision was one of the hardest decisions you and hubby have ever had to make. It is okay to feel relief that the decision was made, and you don't have to have that nagging fear anymore. Maybe God be with you through all of this. Thanks for sharing your heart. I missed you and am glad you are back. Sorry you are going thru this, but what a testimony you already have to share.

on Jun 7, 2006 11:26:42 PM