• Nicole Hanks

{Update on Jaden}

Working as a co-host on a radio morning show, my life was an open book. I shared with my listeners about the good, bad, and ugly. Brutally honest about every aspect of my life. From infertility to struggles with our oldest son. It can be difficult to be so vulnerable to people you will probably never meet, but it's also so fulfilling when you connect with someone who is struggling in the same or similar way. It's that "you're not alone" feeling.

When I left radio to stay at home with my kids, it was an adjustment. I had worked in the industry since I was 17 years old. I was so grateful that many people still connected with me on social media after I left the show and had even reached out to ask how my oldest was doing. I wanted to write an update for those who have followed along and were curious about how things were going.

A little backstory for those who haven't heard it before.

We adopted Jaden when he was 6-years-old. He had been in foster care for a few years. It was a long process and he was out of state. We knew based on his past and the trauma that he faced at such a young age, that he would have some struggles. The honeymoon phase lasted about a month. Then, we started to see his behaviors. Some of those behaviors were age appropriate. Lying, stealing, temper tantrums. It was as he started getting older that those behaviors not only didn't disappear, but became worse. Instead of stealing a granola bar or a pencil case, he was now stealing iPhones and money. His ability to manipulate to get what he wanted or to say what people wanted to hear, became increasingly worrisome. He could see that it would work and that alone was encouragement to continue.

Because of the increase in negative behavior and some really poor choices (that we chose to keep private for Jaden), we knew he needed to get the kind of help that weekly therapy wasn't covering. He went to a therapeutic school in Utah for a year, where he focused on individual and group therapy, as well as school and additional tools to help him succeed.

He completed the year and returned home. He was home for a couple of months before he made more really poor choices and had been involved with the law. We looked into outpatient services locally, but his needs were too great to be accepted into any of those programs. We found an amazing ranch that specialized in kids and teens with his specific struggles. An opportunity for kids who had been diagnosed with his disorders and experienced the type of trauma he had. It was a process, but we were able to get him into the program. If anything has the ability to get through to him, we truly feel it's being exactly where he is now. Their approach is exactly what he needs and we pray that this is the answer to getting him on the right path.

© 2019 by Hanks Family Life