—by Teri and Steve Lamb

No family sets out to send their child to a residential program. And the Good Lord knew we didn’t plan on sending two! But He also led us to Storm Ridge Ranch because it was the best choice for our children.

Our adopted son had been in and out of group homes during his preadolescent and adolescent years. He struggled with accountability, respect (both self and authority), drugs and alcohol abuse, and getting along well with others. We had tried everything the professionals had suggested to us to help deal with the anger and disconnect with our son. Like a pot slowly boiling on the stove, we didn’t really notice how heated things were becoming until the repercussions on his behavior started seriously impacting each family member’s life, not to mention anyone else who would come in contact with him (i.e. teachers, doctors, employers, etc.)  Living with a time bomb was the best way to describe our home life. We had to walk on egg shells, so to speak, to just get through a family event or activity. The stress was incredible! After the blow-ups, the screaming, the abuse and property destruction caused by him, took an emotional and physical toll on all of us. We needed help…and soon! That’s when we discovered information about Storm Ridge Ranch in Utah.

Storm Ridge Ranch answered our call with encouragement, resources and ideas that could best help our family. The process can seem very overwhelming, but the staff at Storm Ridge carefully and empathetically guided us through the process. We decided to have our son transported to the ranch by a professional transport team. They treated our son and us with respect and compassion. By the time he arrived at the ranch, he was ready to talk to us!

Over the course of the next year, our son experienced a well-planned routine of school, chores, life skill classes, therapy, and community involvement. He learned how to have respect for himself and others, while gaining an incredible work ethic that enriches his life daily. Their program had a level system that required our son to earn privileges, think about his behaviors, express himself in positive ways and how to advocate for his needs. And as a bonus, he earned his high school diploma! It was an incredibly proud day for all of us when he graduated from Storm Ridge Ranch.

Then as we thought life was settling down and we were moving on from challenges from the past, our adopted daughter began running away and refusing to deal with her emotional issues. It was an extremely frightening time for all of us!

Since we had traveled this road once before with our son, our first thoughts were to call Storm Ridge Ranch and seek advice and recommendations for possible placements for our daughter. Unknown to us, in the time we had been away from the ranch, they grew their program to include girls in need as well. After a thorough discussion, we made the decision to send our 15-year-old daughter to the ranch. This time, we chose to drive her ourselves. It was a much different experience, but equally amazing. Our daughter was welcomed at the ranch like a niece arriving at an aunt and uncle’s home for a visit. While I processed with staff, my daughter was welcomed by other girls and staff. We had high hopes for our daughter and knew she was in safe, competent hands at the Ranch.

As with all residents at the ranch, we received weekly letters, pictures and when the privilege level was earned, we received regular phone calls. Our daughter took a little longer to get into the program routine (she was positive, she didn’t belong at the ranch!)

Our daughter suffered from extremely low self-esteem and self-worth. Prior to her arrival to her adoptive home, she had been abused and neglected. She suffered from depression, attachment disorder and a sundry of issues. Gently, carefully and cautiously, her program developed. Through counseling, therapy and journaling, she began to understand her needs and issues and transitioned into being a role model and leader to other girls at the ranch. She realized she needed to be at the ranch to get her in the best possible space for life. As her trust level grew in herself and staff, we saw a beautiful young woman emerge. Not only was she mastering her self-care, she was succeeding in her academics, auto maintenance skills, animal husbandry skills, life skill abilities, community service and her ability to reconnect with us, her family! A truly awesome transformation gave us our daughter back this year as the best Christmas gift ever!

Her return home has been an incredible experience, all the while being prepared and supported by Storm Ridge staff. We have all worked hard in the transformation of our girl! We don’t believe it could have been possible without the loving dedication of the staff at Storm Ridge Ranch!

Putting off the decision to help your child is not going to help you or your child. A week or month from now you will still be dealing with the issues and the doubts. You will also still be dealing with the negative behavior your child is creating and more!

Take a deep breath…then make a decision that will change all of your lives for the better…call Storm Ridge Ranch today! We spend a lifetime letting our children go, let’s let them go to become all they are meant to become!