The following email came to us at Calo just a few days ago. I asked the writer if I could change her daughter’s name and post it on our blog. She was kind enough to let me share it. Here you go:
I just returned home from my first Calo parent retreat and that experience just confirmed for me that Trisha is in great hands! I want to thank you for all the work that it must have taken to pull off this retreat. For Trisha and I it felt like we were on a long overdue family vacation. It was wonderful to have two days to just enjoy each others company while being offered many fun and meaningful activities in which to take part. In talking with other parents, I know that some of the families struggled with having so much together time, but I was totally impressed with the fact that if parents hadnt shared their struggles with me, I would not have been aware that there were families who were having a tough go of it. The passing of the students from family to staff and back again happened in such a way that it went unnoticed by other participants at the retreat. That could not have been easy. This retreat gave Trisha and I a lot of time to just talk and play together. Since we were not rushed, some of the talk was just silly family stuff, but I was very encouraged to see that we could talk openly about the difficult issues too. I think we are both more aware of choices that we make that can increase or decrease the peace between us. Our mosaic has already found a place on the living room wall so that I will have a constant reminder of the fun and learning that Trisha and I shared during this retreat. The fun and the work flowed so seamlessly that I think we almost forgot that work was happening. Thank you for gifting us with this special time together.
I also wanted to take a moment to mention that I continue to be impressed by the caliber of the staff and program at Calo. As you know, Trisha came to Calo from another facility that really failed her. I arrived at Calo knowing that we had to try somewhere different, but not believing that we would really receive something different. Something that might actually help her. After being at Calo for 5 months, I no longer wonder if Trisha is getting quality care and therapy. I am confident that she is in the hands of caring and well trained individuals who work hard to give her the best chance possible for a better future. Christy is absolutely unflappable and that has been wonderful for me since that was not the case with Trishas therapist at the other facility. Christys ability to have fun with our kids while making them do some tremendously hard work on themselves has been inspiring. I know that she has a full plate with many students and families, but I never feel like she does not have time to answer my questions and speak honestly with me about Trishas progress or lack of progress. The frontline staff have been equally impressive. Many of them go out of their way on each of my visits to reintroduce themselves to me. For someone who is name challenged, this has been most helpful and appreciated by me. Since Trisha is just now beginning to take off-campus visits, I have been able to spend many days with her at Calo. This has allowed me many opportunities to observe the frontline staff as they interact with the students on a daily basis. These frontline staff have chosen an incredibly difficult job where I am sure they receive much more abuse from the students than appreciations. Please pass along my sincere appreciations to them. Much as I love my daughter I remember the struggles we had at home when it was one parent and one child. The frontline staff have all stepped up to the plate to take on many troubled kids all at the same time. How difficult is that?! In all my visits to Calo, I have never seen a staff member just lose it with a student. I have seen frustration and I have heard frank talk, but the level of genuine care and patience they have shown toward even the most difficult students just astounds me. In March I was able to see again the quality of staff there at Calo when Trishas grandmother passed away. Christy and her team of caring frontline staff were a huge support to Trisha as she tried to process all the feelings and emotions that were brought to the surface during this time. It was very hard for Trisha and I to be so far apart as the family grieved, but I was so impressed with the extra care and support that was directed to Trisha over these weeks. My spark of hope for the quality of Trishas future had diminished to a very small point of light while she continued to slide in the wrong direction during her four months at the other facility. Over the past few months, under the nurture and care of Calo, I have seen that spark begin to grow once again. What a gift that has been for me! I know this journey has just begun, but it is such a relief to be able to believe that it may lead Trisha and I to a loving, successful, relationship filled future!
I want Trisha home with me more than anything, but until she is more able to deal with the stresses and emotions of life I know that at Calo she is in a caring, healthy environment where she actually is beginning to learn, mature and grow. Thank you for taking our kids at their worst and caring for them in spite of themselves. Thank you for also making me feel like I am a valued part of Trishas team. That too was not my experience at Trishas previous placement. It is incredibly difficult for me to leave Trisha in the care of others because my job as a parent is not yet finished. I love her and I miss her every day. That said, thank you for helping me to release her into your care for a time. I hope that all of the Calo staff feel good about the work that they do because it is a thankless and demanding job, but from what I have been able to observe over this past 5 months, they are all good at what they do and as a team, you all do an incredible service to our kids and their families.