A dark, dark day that ended with hope.

Richard and I NEVER again want to go through a day like we experienced yesterday. It was Friday and it was CRUNCH time! Hannah was due to be released and we had NO solution. Talk about being between a rock and a hard place. We knew she could not come home and we also knew that we didn’t want to put her in the hands of CPS but what other option did we have?

Back when Hannah’s original evaluation was done two years ago and we were handed a copy of the assessment I vaguely remember the assessor pointing out some information regarding extra available resources. Of course at that time, just as it has been for years, we were literally just trying to survive and keep our family together. That information slipped from our minds and NO ONE has ever mentioned that resource to us again. In fact, a professional in the field told Richard this week that he didn’t know of any facilities available for autistic children! Thankfully Richard wasn’t quite so believing as we have often heard about how much money and resources are available for these kids.

SO yesterday morning Richard, after doing some internet searching on Thursday, started making some calls. He eventually got hold of the right people who were willing to send us all the info and application forms but warned us that the process can take 30-60 days. NO ONE could help us with an emergency placement. Whilst waiting for the paperwork to come via email, the social worker called and we told her to go ahead and schedule a team meeting with CPS to see what could be done. We were literally stuck in a corner.

CPS called and as we sat at the table with no place to go, we had to let Hannah go. We gave the CPS officer the permission to start the process of taking Hannah into state custody. Talk about heart wrenching!

In the meantime the paperwork had arrived from the newest possibility. Richard could not get it to scan properly at home so Caleb and he went up to the front desk to make it work there. Meanwhile I walked Hovis. Thankfully there are plenty of quiet places to walk here without meeting anyone and I just walked, wept and told the Lord, “Hannah is yours, Lord. She is in your hands.” As Richard came back along the road, we saw each other and he got out and we walked for a bit. He said he was sure we were going down the wrong path and that we had to stop the CPS process. Neither of us knew what to do next but he felt that we needed to follow the ‘lifeline’ that we had been provided with the autistic resources. He went back to the camper to send in the application forms and I kept walking. As I did, I felt impressed to call our church secretary and ask her if there was anyone in the church who would be prepared to keep Hannah for the next 30-90 days if we paid room and board giving us time to follow this new path to see if we can get Hannah into residential care.

When we were talking to the CPS officer she had made mention that the hospital were prepared to keep Hannah until Tuesday. Was that offer just for them or would they extend that to us also? To cut a long story short Hannah, when released on Tuesday, will go to live temporarily with an older lady in the church. I had a long conversation with this lady today and we all think it will be a good fit. Hannah is normally much better behaved with others. We will continue to take Hannah to therapy and all the appointments for her neuro pysch evaluation etc. She can still come visit us, it is just not safe for us for her to be living here.

Yesterday, I think we got a glimpse into how Abraham felt when he was asked to give up Isaac as a sacrifice. He had to be willing before God provided the ram as a substitute. We had to be willing to let Hannah go before God stepped in with another option.

I honestly never thought I would grieve over Hannah but I know what grieving feels like and it hit me like a flood on Wednesday. I knew, even then, that Hannah would never be able to come back home again. Our life with her has gone and that is not necessarily a bad thing. I think our relationship will actually be healthier now as we won’t be under the stress that we constantly lived with whilst she was here. The relationship will change. Her going to live with someone else will be a good transition into not living with us. This road we are on is nowhere near over and we still have some major challenges ahead but we are believing that this door opened for a reason and that we can get Hannah into the best place possible for her to get the most help and thrive.

As for Hannah, how she is coping through all this? She gets a 5 minute phone call with us each evening. She has been VERY worried about where she was going to go. When we were able to tell her the good news tonight and that the lady loves to watch Gun Smoke, Hannah was thrilled. You could hear her voice lighten.

Thank you all SO much for all your thoughts and prayers. Richard and I truly, truly appreciate them. Please keep them up and we will keep you updated as we move along.




2 Responses to “A dark, dark day that ended with hope.”

  1. Lynda says:

    Been praying for you all as you are on this journey. May good wrap his loving arms around you as you seek to make the best and right decisions for your family and Hannah.

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