How My Son Is Changing Lives In His Residential Treatment Facility.

This is a guest post from Ginger Newingham. She is an blogger, adoptive, biological and special needs mother. You can read more of her work by visiting her blog, www.ourmomentsdefined.com

Placing your child in residential treatment is one of the hardest things foster and adoptive parents will ever have to do. Usually, there’s not much positivity. But every now and then, you hear something that encourages the deepest part of your heart. We love this post by Ginger because it proves how just the smallest ray of light can bring you hope for your child. We understand this because our son is in the same situation, and we’ve found hope. May you find it as well as you read her words…

White Sunlight Through Black Clouds

My special needs, broken, hurting son. A missionary.

It’s almost more than my heart can take.

I’ve never imagined my son as one who brings the light into the darkness. I’ve always seen our role in bringing him light, but I had not allowed myself to recognize the glory God could bring to Himself through him.

Our oldest son, Nasko, moved into a group home for kids with special needs this summer. My (now) ten-year-old baby boy lives three hours away, where he is struggling with the permanency of this situation. He is acting out, harming caregivers, pushing boundaries, and testing limits. In other words, he’s settling in.

When he moved into the home, Chance and I specifically prayed that there might be at least one staff member in his school who would come alongside him and be an influence for him. We also prayed there might be one specific staff member to do this. Within the first week of Nasko moving in, a sweet member of management for the home emailed me. She gave me a quick update on how he was doing when she saw him for a meeting and ended her letter by reminding me he “truly is one of God’s special children.”

We were so thankful for an answered prayer. Then we received another email. This message literally brought Chance and me to our knees in thanksgiving…

Ginger, my name is [withheld] and [I am an employee at Nasko’s school]. I have fought back messaging you to maintain my professional boundaries but I’m throwing that all aside.

I have to tell you, Nasko has won many hearts at our school, more than any kid I have seen. Everyone adores him and we can tell how loved he is by family and friends.

I know, because I too follow Christ, that he is a young man surrounded by prayer. There is something different about him that the staff is seeing. They don’t know it, but Jesus is present in our school when Nasko is there.

In many ways, Nasko is a missionary to [our school]. I have walked the halls and been in classrooms praying for students and staff and for whatever reason God has sent Nasko who is making a big impact with us.

I can’t imagine daily what you are dealing with having Nasko away from home and I apologize if me contacting you is making this more awkward but thank you for sharing him, he is truly a treasure.

As we prepared to place Nasko in a group home, I wrestled with God. Why on earth would He bring us to this point? We were faithful. We adopted the boy He spoke into our family.

Now we were (seemingly) giving up on our child. Nasko, though it was not his fault, has brought tremendous amounts of pain and suffering to our family. I cannot count the number of times I have cried out, “God, where is Your plan?”

And here it is.

Here it is, but not completely, as I believe we are just beginning to witness his impact on this world. But here is the beginning. My son – a child who harms animals, bites in self-defense, and is attracted to pain and abuse – is reaching others and spreading light in the darkness.

Question: Do you have a child in residential treatment right now? In what ways are you seeing light in the middle of the darkness? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Get our latest eBook for FREE!

Weary_parent_guide_ck_form_image

Let’s be honest: parenting is exhausting. You feel worn out, foggy & can’t remember the last time you got a full night’s sleep. That’s why we’ve put together a FREE guide with easy-to-apply, rest multiplying hacks for busy parents. You’re just 9 days away from feeling rested, refreshed & reenergized!


We will never share your info with anyone! Powered by ConvertKit

Please note: We reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Kara Erickson Harris

    Thank you for sharing this……my 15 year-old son has fetal alcohol syndrome and he is living in a DD group home also. The decision to place him there was heartbreaking but our family needed to be safe and so did he. The education he can get in his new placement is far above what is offered in our small town and he recently got a 4.0 on his report card-with no modifications to his work. We miss him terribly and want him home, and this is an almost daily struggle. It can hurt to do the right thing for everyone but it is good to be reminded that we are not alone. Thank you for sharing this post.

    • Michelle Sackett McKinney

      You are definitely not alone.

  • Theresa Siertsema

    Wow! What HOPE in this post! Thank you for sharing. It brings tears to my eyes. Thank you.

  • Kimberly Vandeventer Maxwell

    I needed this today. Our daughter (almost 14) is completing a comprehensive psychiatric assessment and moving on to recommended residential treatment next week. I have been wrestling with God over this. Thank you for reminding me of His great power to penetrate every darkness.