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For a long time people have asked if we thought Dimples would need treatment outside of our home.  The answer was always, “No.”  I worried that this day would come, but we also worked as hard as we could to avoid it.  We paused when a psychologist we greatly respect said, “If you were to ask me, I would say you’re about a year and a half past the time when I would have recommended residential treatment.”

Life was very, very bad.   Every day was a struggle for Dimples and for us.  A night came when Samuel  told us he had a plan for how he could help.  He offered to move into an apartment and take Dimples with him.  He would lighten his course load in order to pick her up from school and take care of her.

This took our breath away, not only because of his loving and exceptionally sacrificial offer, but because he saw the great   need and was searching for a solution. The time had come when it was severely detrimental for all of us to live in the same home.  We love Samuel so much, and we cried to think that he had to even think of such a plan – and that he would give so much of himself out of love for Dimples and the other children.  We also knew we would never allow him to do it.

Sunday night, December 16th, was horrible.  Later, when the children were in bed, I prayed, asking God what we should do and I felt something shift in me.  I felt in my spirit that the Lord was very gently saying, “It’s time.”  It was as if a door cracked open a tiny bit making it possible for me to consider residential care, and while I was sad, I knew it was truly time.  Russ agreed; we needed to make a plan.

On Tuesday I spoke with our case manager, who agreed we needed to pursue this now because it would likely take months for it to come together.

On Wednesday I called a friend whose daughter is in a program in Montana and asked for her thoughts.

On Thursday I called the admissions manager of the program and spoke with her.  Everything she said made me feel that if we had to find a place outside of our home, this would be the one.

On Friday we had a big, ugly crisis, one that meant Dimples could not safely be home, not even for Christmas.  Due to the holidays, we couldn’t reach our case manager again until the 27th.  Amazingly, on her first day back in the office, she came to our home with stacks of paperwork and sat with us, helping us fill it out.  She planned to submit our application to the program that day.  A meeting had to be held with numerous people in order to get everything approved, and she assured us she would coordinate it as soon as possible.

As she left the house, I hugged Russ and said, “I feel like the train has left the station, it’s hurtling down the track, and I don’t know if I even want to be on it.”

More soon.



  1. Emily (Reply) on Monday 14, 2013

    Oh, Lisa. So so sorry and so so proud of you and Russ (and that son) for how you seek Him.

  2. Sharon (Reply) on Monday 14, 2013

    I am so sorry, Lisa. Reading those last words made my heart hurt even more for you and your whole family. Continuing to pray for you.
    (What a wonderful son you are raising!)

  3. mamitaj (Reply) on Monday 14, 2013

    This is hard, hard stuff. Thank you for sharing. I pray that this would bring healing for Dimples and the whole family. May God redeem it all.

  4. Theresa (Reply) on Monday 14, 2013

    It is so comforting that the Lord has directed each one of these steps. Continued prayers for your grieving hearts. Reminded me of Psalm 32:7-8 7
    You are my hiding place;
    You shall preserve me from trouble;
    You shall surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah
    8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
    I will guide you with My eye.

  5. Lauren Linton (Reply) on Monday 14, 2013

    Gosh. I am full of emotion. The commitment and love shown by your son is a testament to the commitment and love you and Russ have shown each and every one of your children. You have lead and loved by example.

  6. Heather6Cs (Reply) on Monday 14, 2013

    Hugs..I'm praying for your family. Thank you for sharing your helps so many of us..who know that one day we may be on the same path.

  7. Marissa (Reply) on Monday 14, 2013

    Praying. Constantly praying.

    And Samuel is just about the most amazing son in the world.

  8. Paula (Reply) on Monday 14, 2013

    Thanks for sharing, Lisa. You have so many people who love your family… we are praying for you.

  9. Kathy (Reply) on Monday 14, 2013

    Praying Lisa. What a wonderful family you have raised Lisa. I agree with Lauren above. They follow the wonderful example they see lived out every day. Beautiful…

  10. Katie Szotkiewicz Patel (Reply) on Monday 14, 2013

    As others have said, this is hard, hard stuff. thank you so much for sharing it with all of us, although I know it causes you pain. There is NO DOUBT that you and your family are fighting with everything you have for Dimples and her healing. I believe it will come, I am praying for that for her and all of you. I wish there was something else I could do for you except write comments on your blog, but just know that I think you and your whole family is very very special, and I know God has you in the palm of His hand.

  11. FosterCareQandA (Reply) on Monday 14, 2013

    I thank you for sharing so honestly about what this process was like for you and your family.

  12. prairiefrogs (Reply) on Monday 14, 2013

    Praying for each member of your family as you move forward, process, and grow in grace through this heart-wrenching time. You have a beautiful family, and I'm confident God has a plan of beauty for Dimples.

  13. ERIKA (Reply) on Monday 14, 2013

    Praying for Dimples, all of us together here and many more. Matthew 18:19

    God bless you all

  14. Jennifer (Reply) on Monday 14, 2013

    I am just one more person joining the circle of good people sending prayers for Dimples, for you, for Russ and for your children.

  15. Heidi (Reply) on Monday 14, 2013

    Oh Lisa. So hard. What a beautiful heart that Samuel has. Praying much for you.

  16. Hannah Jasmine (Reply) on Monday 14, 2013

    Praying for you all. God bless you and guide you through each moment.

  17. courtneycassada (Reply) on Monday 14, 2013

    praying for you. i don't know what else to say. but i love you and i'm praying for ALL of you.

  18. amy (Reply) on Monday 14, 2013

    I just cry as I read your facebook post and blogs. I am so touched by your honest, integrity, and deep conviction to God and your children. I will continue to pray for you and all of your family. Thank you for taking the time to share.

  19. Nancy (Reply) on Monday 14, 2013

    I keep reading your posts and realize at the end, I've been holding my breath. Here I am, just a blog reader, holding my breath. I can not image the mix of emotions you are having. Keep exhaling and inhaling and He will give you breath.

  20. darc (Reply) on Monday 14, 2013

    thank you for continuing to share here. I am praying daily for your whole family. I can't comprehend the difficulty of what you have had to do but I can so see your hearts of love. Christ's love in you. Praying often.

  21. daniellecyrus (Reply) on Monday 14, 2013

    Sondra pointed me at your blog. I am reading your words "detrimental for all of us to live together," and reprocessing our own experience with our foster daughter. Even the comments about it being way past time for a change. . .Thank you for sharing.

    • Lisa Qualls (Reply) on Monday 14, 2013

      I'm so glad you found my blog; I hope it is helpful to you, Danielle.