May 2017

 Dear Prospective Parents,

It’s been one year since our family got our sanity back when our daughter went to Circle of Hope. We had been through three years of hell where she honed her skills at lying, manipulation, and cruelty and did her best to destroy us. She had a history of reactive attachment disorder as a young child and displays the signs of borderline personality disorder as a teen. She’d been kicked out of a group home for troubled girls, ran through the whole state system for mental health care and had a knack for turning the professionals we sought for help on us as the problem. We were worn out, feeling hopeless and had exhausted every resource trying to help her. That’s when an attachment therapist recommended Circle of Hope. Since she went there, we have been able to rest and our wounded hearts have started to heal.

Mrs. Steph and Bro. House have been able to give her the stability, predictability, and structure she needs to begin to address her issues. She doesn’t want to do “therapy,” but simple God-centered accountability is the best therapy in the world. Her honeymoon period lasted about six months before she started showing her true colors, and besides the weekly letters written by our daughter, Stephanie has kept me updated on her real progress. Right now, it doesn’t look like progress in the sense that she’s doing better managing her behavior, but it is progress because she’s not faking it and fooling anyone. She’s throwing everything she has at them and it’s not making a dent. I’m always impressed by the calm professionalism in Stephanie’s voice. Nothing I told her before she went there rattled her, and nothing has since. She really knows how these girls struggle and has authentic agape love for them despite the difficulties they throw at her. I can tell that my daughter is learning to trust them because she always gets the same result: calm and loving direction, and predictable consequences when she blows it.

Bro House is a good-humored teddy bear. Don’t be fooled by the no-nonsense exterior! He’s got a soft spot for these troubled kids, but you can depend on his inner strength. He’s not going to get manipulated. I can tell my daughter has genuine affection for him because he’s kind yet firm, and respect for him because he does what he says. I couldn’t have dreamed up better people to have put her in their care.

What’s truly inspiring is how they continue to encourage her when she falls. They’re Christians who walk the walk. Scripture is woven throughout their day as a reminder of “Truth with a capital T” and to allow God to convict and guide their hearts. I’m continually surprised to hear my daughter talk about the sermons from church and things the Lord has been making her aware of in her letters. I think this is because living a self-aware spiritual life is something the Householders model and she’s beginning to catch on that God is real and loves her despite everything.

Every messed up kid should have a chance to straighten up in an environment like this. This isn’t a place to just stick your kid because you can’t handle them. This is a place where they’re going to grow and be parented wisely. I know that this time is not wasted in her life, it’s really re-building the foundation I was afraid had crumbled, and giving her a second chance at making it. I will be eternally grateful for the Householders and what they’ve done for her and us. If you have any questions for me, please ask Mrs. Steph to forward your contact info and I will call you asap. I’d be happy to share our experience in more detail and, hopefully, help you make the best decision for your daughter and find some peace and rest.