Today is eight years since our daughter Abby moved into a group home. She was only seven years old at the time. That means she has lived away from us longer than she lived with us. That is hard.
It wasn’t an easy decision to have Abby move out of our home. No parent wants to see their seven year old leave. But the way her autism affected her made it necessary. Abby would destroy our house each day and more seriously, would injure the other children. The stress of her behaviours were tearing our family apart.
As much as we didn’t want to do it, we also knew we had to.
We saw God involved in this process. We had just met with the committee that makes the decisions about group homes. They told us that there were no beds and no funding. The only option was for us to abandon Abby. While I know people who have had to do that and I can’t judge, we didn’t want to do that.
A few hours later they called us back and told us that they didn’t know how but suddenly a bed and funding was available and Abby could move early the next week. We took that as a sign that God had not abandoned us.
Having Abby move didn’t mean that we lost her, it meant that we got her back. Instead of the stress of taking care of her 24/7, we now had the freedom to enjoy our visits with her. Our relationship with her is so much better now than it was back then.
It is still not easy. There are still regrets and doubts about how life turned out. But it is what it is and we are determined to have the best relationship with Abby that we can have.