Every once in a long while, we are pleasantly surprised, and in a case like this one, we like to share. For the past 3 days, we visited our 15 year-old daughter at the Circle of Hope Girls Ranch. Prior to our visit, we had no idea what to expect. 5 months ago, when we sent our daughter to this school, we had pretty much lost all hope that she might have a safe, productive life. She was combative, self-destructive, running away, sexually active (to the point of trading sex with much older boys for minor conveniences such as cell phones), she had also become very adept at using the very liberal laws of the state of Washington against us as we attempted to parent her and keep her safe. It got so ludicrous that the state had appointed a lawyer to represent her (at our expense) so that all attempts to provide guidance to her could be litigated in a court of law by her lawyer (that we’d be paying for) against our lawyer (that we’d also be paying for) as the “meter” was running. Under this system, our simplest parental decisions were challenged and exploited. During our 3-day visit to Circle of Hope, it was obvious to us that our daughter and the other 21 girls at this school are flourishing. Our daughter is happy, and now leading a very productive life. During our 3-day visit, we were at the school for 9 hours each day. As we visited with our daughter, we were able to observe the daily lives of the other 21 girls who live there. It was amazing to watch these 21 girls, who if they were not at this school, would be living lives of self-destructive chaos, now engaging in activities together as a team with joyful attitudes. Each girl that we met (and we met most of them) was happy, healthy, polite and positive. As we met with Mr. and Mrs. Householder – the administrators of the school – it was clearly obvious that they loved each and every girl at the school. Has our daughter gotten in trouble during the time she has been at this school? Yes. But each time she tested the system, corrective action was swift, consistent and fair and provided with unconditional love. Our daughter agrees with this and is clear on the fact that she feels that she is being treated lovingly. Because of this she is flourishing within this system. We would not be describing this place adequately if we did not state how beautiful this school is. It is set up in a ranch-like setting, with many different farm animals including: dogs, goats, pigs, chickens, horses – which all of the girls help care for and love. The grounds are pristine and safe. It’s as if our daughters are being raised in paradise. While we visited our daughter, she introduced us to each and every animal at the ranch. She had an intimate friendship with each, and could tell us the history of each of the dozens of animals at the ranch. Our “hats are off” to Mr. and Mrs. Householder, who we think are saving lives of these girls who were lost before they came to them. If you are reading this, and you have a daughter for whom you have lost all hope, DO NOT give up. Instead, enroll her in Circle of Hope Girls Ranch and allow Mr. and Mrs. Householder to help you get your daughter back.

D & K G