Thursday, June 19, 2008

Wow - 200!

Not quit up to the 'We Are Spartans!' level, but 200 posts is something I guess. I almost missed it in fact - I was checking the URL for someone (hoping to get that elusive third reader!) and realized I was at 199!

Time to reflect a bit I guess.

It has been a little less than four years since the troubles really began with Katie. Therapy, three inpatient trips to local hospital teen programs, the summer with her mother, and then moving her to the school. Ups and downs there, but most of it being her resistance to the program - she is nothing if not stubborn.

Diane and I were given a great gift in the adult seminars, graduating Discovery, Focus, and the Keys to Success to become Keyholders, though because the actual 'keys' are now given out only at PC IV we will never receive ours. Giving her brothers the opportunity to go to Discovery, and Focus for the younger ones (coming up next month at the Youth Leadership Camp they will be attending) will, I hope, help them as they get older.

I do believe that Katie would have only have gotten in more trouble had we not sent her to the program. I do fear that she would have gotten pregnant, and probably gotten into drugs, as well as much more alcohol. And she could have ended up dead.

Have we stopped that? I dunno. Postponed it definitely. We have tried to give her tools to live her life, and she has fought us on that. She will not graduate the program, but that is her choice. She will have spent exactly 34 months there when I pick her up - not the longest stay by any means, but way past any 'average', if that existed.

I hope that someone has been able to benefit from my ramblings here. I have tried to be open and honest about what we are going through - just for other parents who might be going through the same thing. I plan to continue to update this, though I don't know the frequency (and eventually she will be on her own, one way or another, and there will be nothing left on my part but the worrying).

So thanks to anyone who has joined us for this journey, and it continues on.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Firming up plans

I bought the airline tickets yesterday to go pick up Katie. While not the appropriate blog for it, I am amazed at how some airlines price things - wanting to charge more for a one-way ticket than for a roundtrip!

Anyway, I fly out on July 22nd and back with her on the 23rd. Our flight out of Las Vegas is at 3, and it is a two hour drive (plus time change in our favor), so we will have to be out of there no later than noon, preferably by 11:00 am. Since I get in early enough to actually get some sleep (I get into Vegas a little afte 2 on Tuesday, putting me in Utah easily by 6 (as opposed to getting in at 12:30 am as one flight had it - putting me in Utah just in time for dawn!)) then I can be at the school first thing - I'm not sure how long it will take. So the countdown begins. 15 days until she turns 18, 35 days until she is home.

One thing we have to do is get them an exit plan for when she turns 18 - if she decides to just up an leave. We don't want to tell her we are picking her up - but I really don't want to end up having to get last minute bus tickets a week before the flight, and waste the airline tickets.

We have to get her room ready - her older brother is in it for the summer, and we need to clean his stuff out and make room for her. He moves into an apartment in August, so will have about three weeks of bunking with his younger brother.

This is going to take some adjustment. She hasn't lived at home since she left in May of 2005 - she will have been gone (except for one week) for 38 months, 34 of them in the program). A cost of roughly $150K. And that doesn't include any of the travel or seminar costs for Diane and I. A big part of me wonders if it was worth it. Is worth it - I'll be paying on the student loans for the next 30 years - which is basically the rest of my life. But I guess the real question is what would have happened if we hadn't done this?

Monday, June 02, 2008

Change in plans / expectations

After our call with 'S' last week, Diane and I have talked a bit. It really looks like that we won't be doing PC III in June, and I'm feeling now that even if she were to make level 4 I don't want her special case'd in. I think that she has gotten all she is going to get out of the school. One more month won't make any difference, except for costing us money we truly don't have.

So we are going to talk to 'B' on Thursday as normal, but our plans have changed. Katie turns 18 a month from tomorrow. We are paid up through July 22nd - but we are probably going to go get her the weekend before that. I just don't see where spending another 4200 bucks for another month will make any difference - and we can use that to instead actually play for the tickets out there to get her, as well as get her a new wardrobe (she has lost 30 lbs, and it has been three years since she was home, so when we cleaned out her room we basically didn't keep ANY of her old clothes (or much of anything else)).

I'm a bit bothered that Diane and I will never receive our Keys as Keyholders since they have now moved that to PC IV, but there is absolutely nothing I can do about that either.

We talked with one of our keys family members this weekend whose son graduated from another school, and that helped a bit as well. So it looks like probably 7 weeks to go. Of course that assumes she doesn't decide to walk out on her birthday, but I don't see that happening. If she does, it will be a bus ticket home for her, but otherwise pretty much the same plan.

We are going to work up a contract, and will make it clear that she can either follow our rules or live somewhere else. There will be some simple no-tolerance points (such as violence, cutting, etc), but it is the little ones that are more difficult that we need to work on the next few weeks.