Tuesday, January 30, 2007

A Story of Deliverance - Part 1

Today Kevin and I began a journey that I trust will be valuable to him, to me, and to anyone who reads our story. Kristen and I shared our struggles with anorexia a few weeks ago. Kevin has agreed to now share his story. He will be a guest writer on his wife's site. I will then give my view of the same time period.

Today Kevin posted his first addition. I learned things I did not know. I knew that would happen, but I didn't realize I lost track of him so early in his life.

Kevin will celebrate his 30th birthday in a few days. I am so thankful that he is still alive. And that He has turned his life over to God.

Life was "normal" for us. We had the all-American family. Dad, Mom, 2 adorable blonde, blue-eyed kids, house on a culdesac (for safety's sake), good church, busy life. I was a stay-at-home mom, and felt very privileged to be that. We had to pinch the pennies pretty hard, but I was good at it. I listened to Christian radio every day and tried to implement the advice I heard. I went to young mom's Bible study where we discussed our kids and their development. Both DC and I had been raised in wonderful Christian homes, so we just kind of did things the way we were raised and thought things would work out.

I don't remember Kevin being a difficult baby at all. He was adored by his big sister. He slept through the night at 8 weeks. We didn't have any traumatic potty-training issues!

I think I posted about the time Kevin got lost at the Pet and Doll Parade downtown on the last day of school, when he was 4. We lost him for over an hour, and he was picked up by the band director and taken back to the school where the band began the parade, about a mile from the end of the parade, where I was frantically looking for him. He was very shy after that and did not want to draw any attention to himself by having his picture taken or doing "show and tell." He pretty much clung to my legs for several months thereafter.

Kindergarten went well - he enjoyed climbing on the bus and being a "big kid." There were a couple of times when he was young that he would bring things home that didn't belong to him. It alarmed me a bit, but I didn't think it was a life-altering situation.

We lived in a neighborhood with lots of kids. Two of the boys were really ornery and I would work very hard to keep Kevin away from them in the summertime. I didn't trust their influence on him. I'm sure he has stories about their times together that would singe my hair! I do know they lit matches around lawnmower gasoline one time. It's a miracle they didn't get really hurt - or dead!

There was the time he was busted at Wal-Mart for shoplifting - I think it was chap stick. It was somebody else's fault, of course.

Sixth grade does stand out in my mind in several ironic ways. It was the first time Kev was interested in singing - the music teacher was a "Barbie Doll," according to the up-and-coming hormone-ridden pre-teens. They all joined choir that year, and even went to school early to practice. I thought it was very cool. But at the same time, his first male teacher did not like Kevin and his group. I was called in for several after-school conferences. I didn't really like his friends, but didn't know them very well.

I thought 7th and 8th grade went well. I had no idea he was starting on his spiral downward, sampling alcohol from his friends' parents' liquor cabinets. He talks about his language at school - we never heard that at home, amazingly enough. I never knew you could be that disciplined in your speech patterns to keep it clean at home and let it all out with "friends."

I planned my life around being home with the kids - I began working a few hours a day in the school district so that I'd get them to school, be home when they got off, and be home all vacations and summers. How could I have my head so far in the sand??

I just recently learned of that first marijuana joint when, just before he went to Teen Challenge, I finally asked him point blank when he took his first drug. I was astounded at the answer. We weren't able to communicate very well for many years.

I knew that he was not much fun to be around those early teen years, but had no idea the direction he was heading. It was hard to get him up for church and Sunday school, his attitude was not endearing, and his anger began to be more and more volatile. But I think we just thought it was his adolescence kicking in. Little did we know. Very little.

30 comments:

Nancy said...

Thanks for checking on me Dawn... it really makes me feel good to know others are stopping by and care enough to ask! Thanks also for sharing this story with us about your son. There are so many lessons for all of us to learn and you are a blessing to me.

Linda said...

Dawn - it makes my heart hurt to read your story. We try so hard to do everything right. I'm so glad God is control.

Lala's world said...

I am so glad you are doing this again. As a young mom I sure appreciate learning all I can!

Susie said...

Hi Dawn,
This story gave me a bit of a chill, as I have a grandson just the same age as Kevin was when it seems his problems started. Looking forward to the next installment.
Off to read Kevins...
hugs!

Lei said...

What an incredible story you are sharing - one of struggle and endurance! Thank you for your courage!

Praying for your Prodigal said...

Dawn,

I can't tell you how much I hated being too busy to stop by even just for a visit! I'm ba-a-a-ck...and just in time for this joint series!

I am so excited that you and Kevin are sharing this journey on your blogs. How amazing God truly is! Just as you shared in the struggle...you can now share in the Glory that has come out of the pain. So many lessons learned--and you are allowing God to use this struggle for His purpose! WTG!!!!

Looking forward to the continuation of Kev's deliverance!

Diane

kevinc said...

i don't really know if you lost track of me so much mom, i knew what i was doing, and i knew it was wrong. but like linda said, God is in control, and what's that proverb? "if you raise up your child in the way he should go, when he grows older he will not depart from it" Pr.22:6

Kathleen Marie said...

What a journey! We have been through some tough things with a couple of my kids and I think my parents thought I was kidnapped by aliens. How people can get by without God I just don't know but I did it until I was 28. God does watch over us in spite of ourselves. Looking forward to the rest of the journey.

God Bless You!

Clemntine said...

It's such a blessing to read your side and his at the same time. Thank you for taking the time and summoning the strength to be transparent.

Those of us still in the child-rearing years and encouraged.

Tammy said...

I will certainly be reading Kevin's story on the link!
And you are not alone in trying to raise your children right, yet have things go awry...but claiming God's promises over them is a powerful thing!
I look forward to hearing more!

Diane J. said...

I went to read Kevin's first installment first, then back here to read yours.

As I told Kevin, I think this series is going to touch and help a lot of people. I'm looking forward to the next installments.

Blessed Beyond Measure said...

Dawn, I know this is going to be just what someone out there is praying for - the encouragement that they can win, the one they love can win.

Kristen said...

I'm scared beyond belief about Anakin in the very near future.

You weren't the only one with her head in the sand; but I was busy with my own life.

Barb said...

It's a big shock when we realize we didn't know our kids as well as we thought we did. And the early teen years are so tough, it's hard to tell whether your child is just being "that age" or actually heading for trouble.

I'm so glad you and Kevin are going to tell his story. We all know this ended well but sharing the journey with others who may be going through this is a huge blessing. I'm sure someone somewhere was helped by Kristen's story. And someone will be helped by Kevin's, too.

Maine Mom said...

I think it's great that you and Kevin are sharing this experience. I know we will all gain something from it.

PEA said...

Dear Dawn...as parents we do what we think is right with our children. It's later that we find out how much influence the so called friends have on them. You did the best you could...you had no way of knowing where he was leading to...I'll now go read Kevin's first installment! xoxo

Grafted Branch said...

My dad didn't know much of what I was doing either...and he was a police officer!

I'm off to read your son's account now...

Morning Glory said...

It's amazing to me that we can be so unaware of certain things and don't see the signs. Even when we're attentive moms who try so hard.

Pamela said...

It is frightening how drugs have invaded the best of neighborhoods and families. Peer pressure is such a powerful weapon. It is so easy to lose a child through the crack and be the very best parent. ((hugs))

Looney Mom said...

i just started reading blogs again. I can only watch so much TV while I'm stuck here in bed. I read Kevin's first installment.

Brenda said...

Judging by Kevin's comment, you did a better job than you realize.

Bless you both for sharing your journey. I know God will use it for His glory.

Now I'm off to read Kevin's installment.

kpjara said...

I can't imagine experiencing this as a parent who only wants the best for their children and I am SO THANKFUL that God has brought everyone through this to the other side...with His grace, mercy, forgiveness and LOVE!

Kevin is as blessed to have you as a parent as you are having him as a son!

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