Just like one of my favorite Beatles songs, I’m getting by with a little help from my friends (although I do not get high with their help, despite living in Colorado!). While that has always been true, while my community has always been strong and supportive, there’s a reason it is especially so right now.
Some background: Some readers will know that my wife and I have six kids, five biological and also an adopted son. Of those children we’ve “raised” (trained, shepherded, parented, whatever?), five are now independent adults with vibrant lives, and we’re really proud of each of them. One is even married, and we love his wife as “our fourth daughter.”
That youngest child….well, we’ve had some challenges. Actually, life for him has been an on-going series of challenges. And he has overcome many of those! However, the teen years have been especially rough, and due to a combination of things, we’ve had a particularly hard couple of years.
Before we adopted, we thought we had this parenting thing down,” what’s another child?” Hah! What arrogance on my part. I don’t wish to be disrespectful, but I can almost hear the God of the Universe smile and say, “Thanks for agreeing to care for a fatherless kiddo. He has some special needs. And he’s going to rock your world! Just trust Me, I’m in the whole journey, even when it is hard.”
And it has been hard. Like 16 tons coming crashing down on you. Every day.
Don’t get me wrong, we have had a lot of great moments and memories with this boy. He has enriched our lives beyond anything I could have ever imagined. And he has, simultaneously, brought me to my knees – literally – in both failure and fatigue, crying out to God for mercy and wisdom and strength. Hard? Yes. Bad? Absolutely not. As one of my daughters has taught me to say, “It’s all good.” Truly, it has been good!
Despite the many challenges through the years God has given my wife Dena and me much grace and perseverance. Without His help we would have crashed and burned long ago. It is beyond our ability.
God also has graciously given us a load of help from a tremendous community of people around us – extended family, folks in the neighborhood, friends at church and at work. Then there’s at least 40 or 50 professionals who have poured into our son in his various therapies and such. All have offered patience, kindness, understanding, prayers. Some have even offered money.
Ah, money. That is the point of need we cannot quite get through by ourselves. We’ve willingly spent a lot caring for this boy. He himself has reminded us that he is our “most expensive child!” There have been dozens and dozens of interventions and supportive services for the past 15 years. And we have been blessed to be able to handle those costs. Until now. Recently we’ve needed some special help in caring for Zane which is quite expensive. You may have heard of “residential treatment center.” RTC for short. Good help is hard to find, and it ain’t cheap!
Zane has been at an RTC since early May, 2019. On the positive side, he has made some (slow) progress in emotional regulation, managing stress, dealing with the reality of his special needs. On the downside, there’s a lot of work ahead, and it’ll take months, perhaps even years. We believe his present facility placement is best equipped to help him understand and address his issues – and to eventually return home.
We’re calling this a “residential reset” as we’re hoping for the best, that this really is a time of mental and emotional reset. It’ll take another 12 months or more of RTC for Zane to really grab onto the life lessons he is learning now. He wants to finish school, get a job, and buy things – just what a teen boy SHOULD want to do. His handicaps make that hard, but not impossible. With the help of this RTC he is getting there, one step at a time.
We believe that with the right help, for the needed amount of time, he can become a productive, (at least) semi-independent adult who brings joy to others through his attention to detail, his love for language and puns, and his ability to ask questions (lots and lots of questions!). Given the financial constraints we’re facing, we hate the thought of having to withdraw him from RTC early. That would likely put his accomplishments thus far at risk of relapse.
So this is where friends come in. We’ve exhausted most of the readily available funds at our disposal. Sadly, and this will be another post, another time, insurance doesn’t recognize the need or efficacy of RTC for the long haul. Knowing the present need, a dear family friend has kindly started a GoFundMe campaign on our son’s behalf. There are some further details over there.
If you’re able to help with a donation, swing by GoFundMe. If not, maybe you can say a prayer for us and for the coming days? I believe God has His hand on this boy and his journey, and that God can supply the need.
For now, I cannot adequately express my thanks to the dozens, really, the hundreds of people who have prayed and cared and invested in Zane, the cloud of witnesses who have been part of Zane’s “larger story.”
And in many respects, his story is just getting started…
More to come.