Eighteen Times Great

Eighteen Times Great

Eighteen Times Great

“Great” is not a word I often read in Clinical Case Review notes at Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch.
The kids who come to the Ranch have multiple traumas, behavior, and psychiatric issues, and much to do to heal. More commonly, in Case Review notes, I read “Much Improved,” “Working,” or “Identifying Strengths.” We work very hard to help children heal, develop skills, learn to succeed, and build trusting relationships. But, it is hard for someone without challenges to get to “great,” much less kids with such burdens on their shoulders.
Today, I read Claire’s* Case Review notes. In a concise, one-page document based on a meeting between Claire, her parents, therapist, primary treatment specialist, treatment supervisor, and case manager, the word “great” was used 18 times!

I am so happy for this family.
Claire was adopted by amazing people. But she has kept herself from trusting or loving too much. Reactive Attachment Disorder and other diagnoses make it frightening for her to care too much about others.
Almost all of Claire’s early childhood is a mystery, but we do know it involved violence, gang warfare, homelessness, and hunger. And almost constant fear. She learned to be aggressive, cruel, and non-communicative. She was chronically depressed yet explosive. All of that kept everyone at a distance.

When Claire came to the Ranch, she was determined to keep that distance in place. However, she ran into a fully committed group of people who stood with her and her family. Her parents met, in person or by phone, with her every day during quiet time to build strength in their connection. Dr. Wayne Martinsen, psychiatrist, met with Claire and her parents to fully and clearly explain the why and what of her diagnoses and how her medication works. She went to school and found teachers who were rigorous and kind and met her where she was. She participated in group, occupational therapy, and spiritual life activities. In spite of wanting to step aside, she was drawn into the culture with people who had purpose, caring, and learning in their approach to her and her family.
And the Case Notes said “great” 18 times.

Claire will have ups and downs because that is true about life. Yet, the notes about the time she has spent with family really moved me, “Claire said visits have been great. Dad and Mom both said that their visits with Claire have been great. They said calls have been great and shared that they had a blast with Claire over the weekend. Mom then shared that she loves talking to Claire and spending time with Claire.” Claire will be going home in a few short weeks.
Claire and her family are “great” because of His love and your support. None of this would happen without Him and you. Thank you.
Please keep our kids and staff in your prayers.

In His love,

Joy Ryan, President/CEO
Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch

Sign up today to receive ministry updates and stories about our precious kids directly to your inbox!

Share this Post: