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To Save a Child

What are you willing to do to save a child?

We fostered and adopted.

We put our lives on hold to work on attachment in hopes that it might work out alright in the end.

We've attended parenting classes.

We've met with behavioral specialists, doctors, therapists, etc.

We've read every book we can get our hands on.

We've tried medication.

Yet still, we're faced with a dark cloud looming.
To Save a Child-One family's journey to helping their special needs child.
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Medications can only help so much.

Doctors, specialists, and therapists do their best, but no one has all of the answers.

We can follow advice given in parenting classes, but it doesn't always work in every situation.

Attachment is a very hard thing to repair once broken.

Mood Disorders are very hard to treat in young children.

Autism becomes a very complicated thing when combined with a mood disorder and Reactive Attachment Disorder, all in the same child.

Here we are.  

The specialists have said that it's very likely Sunshine will be in residential by the time she's 8 years old.

She is finally stable with the help of medications, but of course they have side effects.  And wouldn't you know those side effects are to a point now where we have to wean off one medication and try another.  The vicious cycle never ends.

We've always said we're willing to do whatever it takes to save a child.  After all, none of this is Sunshine's fault.  It just happened.  So we pray and we hope and we pray some more.  That's when it dawns on us.  There's one thing left to try.  We can change her environment.

The thought of sending our daughter to a residential facility breaks me to the core.  All of the attachment work we've done...  All of the progress she's made...  And yet we know that this may be a reality in the future, despite our best efforts.

Sunshine makes her own choices, which then all have consequences.  When the safety of others is threatened, she's held accountable.  If she puts herself in danger, it's our job to make sure she's safe.  We can teach her right from wrong, but that still doesn't mean she'll choose the right.

For the past ten years our family has lived the city life.  Our home has been large with too much indoor space, and not enough outdoor space.  Playing outside is only possible with an adult present due to safety concerns related to strangers and neighbors alike.  In fact this Spring, circumstances were such that our children preferred not going outside.  There was too much chaos.

We needed to change our environment.

For over a year we've been trying to apply for home modification grants and other funding to create an environment where Sunshine would thrive.  Every single time we've been blocked due to red tape about rules and regulations etc.

My husband and I felt so stuck.  What were we going to do?

And that's when we saw it.

The perfect house.

It just happened to show up in my facebook feed.
To Save a Child-One family's journey to helping their fhild with special needs.
Never in a million years did we think we had a chance of actually living in this home.  For one, it's in Virginia.  We've been living in New York.

The price was most likely out of our reach, especially with all of the land.  But wait?  It wasn't.

Our house in New York would never sell though.  Or so we thought.

It has a buyer.

And so...  

We have moved to the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia and are living in the most beautiful old farmhouse I've ever set eyes on, complete with two acres of land for our children to roam.

The house meets Sunshine's needs.

She's able to run and play for hours without worry or fear.

We've only been here a week, and she's already functioning better than we've ever seen.  All of our children are.

Yes there have been sacrifices.

This home is much smaller than our home in New York.  Our furniture pieces were too big.  So were our Montessori shelves.  All of them were sold before we came.  They're easily replaceable.

But, at the same time, small has been so nice.  It's more manageable.  And Sunshine... She has always done better in small spaces.

It's been wonderful to start from scratch, building a Montessori-inspired home that will meet the needs of all of our children.

My husband has returned to work full time.  He now works for the county as a mental health emergency pre-screener.  We miss him dearly at home, but it brings great comfort to know he works directly with those who may be involved with Sunshine later on if things go downhill.

We consider ourselves so blessed.  Our prayers have been answered.  The view from our home is beautiful.  We can't get enough of the fireflies at night.  Our first campfire in the backyard is planned for the weekend.  Fresh new paint will soon be going on the walls of each of the kiddos' bedrooms.

The last three months have been exhausting and more work than we could have ever imagined.

We've had to:
  • Prepare our home to sell.
  • Sort through and pack up all we could take with us.
  • Sell off all of our items that we couldn't bring.
  • Drive from New York to Virginia with four special needs children.
  • Drive a moving truck from New York to Virginia with what things we could bring.
  • Unpack and settle in our new home.

It's all been worth it.

We are so ready to begin this new adventure in life.  We are out to save a child... our child, in any way we can.  She now has the freedom to run, in a world that is smaller, which seems to be exactly what she's needed.  Oh how we pray it will be enough to save her from a future that seems so dark.  She is so worth saving!

If you enjoyed this post, you may also enjoy the posts below.
Day to Day Life Parenting a Child with Reactive Attachment Disorder 4 Steps to Managing Aggressive Behaviors How to Recognize Signs of a Mood Disorder in Young Children
To Save a Child-One family's journey to saving their child with special needs.


  1. Oh my goodness Renee I can not tell you how happy I am for you and your family. TeArs of joy are filling my heart. Keep us posted.

  2. Renea happy that you are in a place that is not just beautiful but that seems to be working all the children's life's . I miss you but I know you are a phone call away .. I'm so happy for you guys .. ❤❤❤❤

  3. Your story is one of tears and joy. One thing am sure of is true happiness comes from within and appreciating the things you have and every answered prayers. AM sure all things will work together for good of all of you. I am truly happy for your family. Congrats.

  4. So encouraged for you, as a long-term reader of your blog. Have missed your posts these last few months, but hearing where things are at for you all now, it's great to know how this big change has worked out. Wishing you all very well in your new home, and in settling in a new state.

  5. Was in tears in the beginning of the post.. At the end how you made things turned was so impressive,,,... kudos to you. You are a great mom.

  6. Fingers and toes and everything crossed that this will save your family from future pain. I'm so pleased it's started off so well. Your new house looks gorgeous and well worth the hard work and uncertainty of the past three months. All the very best Renae x