Thank you

From: XXXXXXXXX

12/21/2016

To cwoodfin@bestschoolforyou.com

Christie,

In a million years, I will never find the way to thank you for what you have done for our son and family.

Having a remarkable son who struggles with anxiety and all the social challenges that go with that, has been heartbreaking.  And yet because of what you have recommended and what my husband and I have had the courage to execute, our family is in a place that is now described as peaceful, joyful, flexible, respectful, and self-aware.  It used to be described as chaotic, stressful, despairing, and blaming.

The wilderness program our son attended for 3 months was life-transforming and was the start of a journey that has required endurance, perseverance, faith, and every ounce of emotional courage the 3 of us had.  Every moment of our son’s wilderness experience was useful and healing; the therapeutic, educational, clinical, and program staff there was extraordinary and we stay in touch with them because they will forever be a part of our family.  Now that our son is continuing his journey at residential treatment, we have been able to take the life-transforming experience wilderness afforded our family and leverage that to deepen the roots of healing.  What our son is learning about himself is the quintessential gift of a lifetime.  He is grounded, motivated, quietly confident, connected to himself, insightful, humble, socially happy, bonded with his peers, learning how to be a leader, insightful, disciplined, and grateful.  He is learning that the most wonderful motivator is inside of himself. He is living what he is embracing: that there is no outside solution to an inside problem.

The program he is in now and which he is working diligently with maximum effort and motivation, is world-class.  Never have I seen the likes of the therapeutic talent. The devotion to the boys, the no-nonsense loving approach, the clarity of perspective is miraculous. Who are these people who spend their lives rescuing other people’s sons and doing so in such empowering, collaborative, respectful ways? They are the people to whom you introduced us even when you knew my grief was overwhelming.

And of course, my husband and I are doing our work, too.  We knew this was not a “fix our kid” scenario. We knew we had to dig deep, go where the few go, and heal our dysfunctional behaviors that contributed to and exacerbated our son’s struggles.  You were clear about this … we took the invitation. There are no words for our appreciation.

So …  there have definitely been “dark nights of the soul”. Times that were so heartbreaking I was not sure I would have the resolve to continue with the decisions and the letting go. What kind of mother leaves her son thousands of miles away from home with literal strangers in the wilderness? And then again in the mountains of Utah? A mother who knows that it is only in the letting go that there will be a coming together. A mother who knows that she is fighting for her son’s life. A mother who had to take the counsel of experts like you because there was nothing left to do.  The moments of doubt passed relatively quickly each time they occurred because over and over again we knew, in our hearts, that we were doing the right thing by our son for whom we would literally “sell our skin”.

God has His angels on earth and you, Christie, are literally a healing agent.  We have already received the most wonderful Christmas gift: a son who feels comfortable in his own skin, who is strong and healthy, and whose courage is a shining example of what the human spirit is capable of. A family that is united and devoted.

Merry Christmas, dear Christie.  We send our loving thoughts and endless gratitude.

XXXXXXX

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX, MSW


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