I am THRILLED to tell those who know our story that Crossings camp was a HUGE success for our daughter with RAD! She has been with us for seven years. It has been a hell-ish seven years and due to her behavior choices, I have never sent her to any type of camp….ever. She was too much to handle, completely and utterly dysregulated and as much as I would have loved the break, I couldn’t trust her.
Three of my children go, every year. They love it. Crossings (gocrossings.org) is full of people who love the Lord and love teaching children about the love of the Lord. My older three children talk about it for a month prior to going and several months after going. It has truly been a blessing to us.
This year was slightly different. My oldest daughters decided to go on a missions trip to Arizona. They stayed on a reservation and were gone for nine days. It costs too much money for us to send them to both, so we had them choose. As much as they love Crossings, they wanted to be the ones that “fed” others instead of the ones that were being fed. That left just one of my kiddoes able to go (the ones left home were Gigi, Catfish and Little Man because the boys were too young).
The Saturday before camp, we spent the whole day packing and collecting stuff for Boo to take. He was so excited. Sunday, they were to leave at 1 pm (church lets out about noon). During church, it was announced that someone had to drop out, so there was an opening. We were saddened to hear why this boy had dropped out, but at the same time I was thinking that Peach would love to go, though she wasn’t due back from a Holiday World trip till 1 pm and they were supposed to leave at 1 pm for camp. I just figured it wasn’t meant to be and someone else would fill that slot.
After much convincing, the leaders talked me into sending Peach…just bringing her a bit later. As I sat in Sunday School class, my mind started racing. Peach has done a lot this summer, Gigi has done nothing…ever….well, except for a few respite visits. She has done so well in therapy. She is coming to terms with her past, learning how to feel and learning appropriate emotions. She has been doing her chores and a lot of her RAD habits have simply gone. Her medication is working beautifully….so I approached Big Daddy about it. He agreed and with an hours notice, I told her that she was going to go to camp. She stood in the parking lot, confused about what I had just said. She didn’t understand. I explained that her behaviour had been so good the last few months that we wanted to reward her with something she has wanted ever since she moved in.
Silence, all the way home. Confusion, while packing. Uncertainty, as she sat in the floor staring at me. It was quite funny. There were things needed…money for the “shack”, shorts (apparently she has none and failed to tell me) and snacks. Big Daddy went for snacks, I raided the change jar and I flew to Walmart to buy her shorts….which I had to take to the church and throw in her bag right before they loaded up the van. I handed her meds to her counselor and gave them detailed instructions.
The kids left…..for a week. I was FULLY expecting to have to go to the camp to pick her up or do something. I got no phone call, no texts….no communication for an entire week on either of my kids.
Today, went to get them, and I was greeted with two very tanned kids, exhausted, hyper, smelly and full of smiles. The counselor told me that she could not have asked for Gigi to be any better. She soaked it all up and in and was fantastic. She slept well, ate well, participated, took her meds, didn’t break a bone or her glasses. She was just “one of the campers.” I thought I was going to cry. That is all she has ever wanted was to just be “one” of a crowd. Not a foster child, not a survivor of abuse, not adopted, not RAD, not a behavior child…just one of the crowd.
The Lord chose to grant her her desire and I’m so thankful to Him for giving us this opportunity, convicting us and allowing us to send her and that she (and Boo) had such an amazing time.
God is good, all the time and all the time God is good.