Welcome to Utah


This morning, Colleen and I took a flight to Salt Lake City, Utah, arriving about 12:30 (MDT), an hour ahead of PDT in CA. We’re here for our first “Parent Weekend” at Heritage School in Provo. Jonathan has been here since I dropped him off on May 2 and will be here for at least the next year.

This was my first flight for over two years. I enjoy traveling and up until two years ago would fly somewhere, mostly as part of my role as a pastor, probably 2-3 times a year at least. Since Jonathan had been more and more difficult to handle, and with my illness all through last year, any traveling was pretty much out of the picture unless it included him.

Now that he is safe and settling in, I’m looking forward to being able to get back to work with less interruption and maybe a bit more travel. After we return home Sunday, I’ll be at church on the 22nd, 29th, fly out right after to our Annual Foursquare Convention in Columbus, OH and be back ready to preach June 5.

As we drove toward the school from our hotel tonight, the view was absolutely majestic. It was stunning, and it made me thankful that God has given Jonathan this incredible opportunity to grow and learn in a very beautiful setting of creation.

Tonight, we attended our first session, which covered the general philosophy of the program as well as a number of things Heritage has learned over the years. It was very informative and helped us understand a bit more of what’s ahead for our son and us.

Most reassuring was our time spent getting to know some other parents who have their kids here. There are all kinds of stories and lengths of stay. I feel like I’m discovering a whole new subculture of people and families living their lives in a way that I have never encountered before. But they’re out there! They’re relatives, neighbors, friends….I looked around the room tonight and just wondered how much pain was represented in that room alone. Let alone the vast number of families out there who are NOT getting this depth of help. WOW!

On the one hand, the last few years have felt like, “doesn’t every family go through the chaos and disruption we do every day?” Then when you find out the answer to that question is “NO”, you start to wonder if ANYONE ELSE goes through this. We’re finding the answer is YES. I don’t mean just going through the chaos of day to day life with these kids, but going through the painful process of placing your kid in someone’s else’s hands to raise them in a way that we’ve not been able to.

That whole process is really just starting to unfold for us, so we don’t nearly understand it like we probably will a year or a few years from now. Right now, it really feels uncomfortable and even scary at times.

We are looking forward to being with Jonathan for breakfast tomorrow and are told he is excited about seeing us. We’re taking that as a good thing. We’ll have enough of our tense times for sure, so we want to enjoy the good we can get.

We’re also excited about learning more over the next couple of days. The Conference runs through Saturday night and we fly home on Sunday morning. For those of you at NewHeart, we’ll miss being with you, but will be back next Sunday. Our flight gets in early enough that we may just be there right when you’re getting out! Maybe we’ll catch you there!!

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