what direction next?

my 24 hour nightmare

my 24 hour nightmare

Oh my.  I hardly know where to begin.

I will begin with our trip to Job Corp yesterday.   Sadness set in, which we were prepared for.  We thought we knew how to deal with it.

We took her ( I will try to make this brief).  (mind you, we did not experience ANY of this on our initial “tour” so I feel like we were slightly misguided)

Starts with a SEARCH of all her belongings as soon as we arrived.   Now, I am thinking WHAT ON EARTH ARE THEY LOOKING FOR???   my daughter would have not brought anything inappropriate with her, let alone, I spent alot of time helping her pack.  Hellooooo???    but regardless I overlooked this part as best I could.   (and they did so kindly offer all the horrible details of things that they have confiscated in the past)  WOW  !!!!

Next, if there are two words I have never used to describe my daughter, it would be NAIVE or INNOCENT.   She is a mature girl, possibly beyond her years in OUR world, but there???  she was niave, innocent and a fish out of water.

We were taken around by a very nice enough student, but one that came from a VERY different background than what we live.  She was from Chicago, and I am fairly certain she had no parents and she was also 23 years old.  I am sure SHE was doing just fine at Job Corps and was a good fit FOR HER.

She warned us in a nice , but blunt way of the possibilities of the “funny things” that often happen there.   Still knowing we were this far into it, I tried once again, to look past this, although, they were VERY shocking possibilities, and this job of “overlooking” was getting increasingly harder for us.

Fast forward to the car, when we had to tell Madison good-bye and it was a very tearful one, and I expected that.

As soon as we backed up, my husband went into HYSTERICS .  I have been with him for 28 years total, through alot and I have never ONCE witnessed him this distraught and emotional.  NEVER.  He is a man of very few words, and at this time, completely inconsolable.

Bad went to worse.  The things we were promised to ease our minds were NOT happening once we drove out of sight.   She was thrust into a very big world, all alone, and ignored.  Hardly in with the “welcome committee” like we were told.  I am not sure whos fault this was, but it was not one my husband (or I ) were prepared to deal with.  She begged us from the road to turn around and come get her.

I did manage to get my distraught husband home, wrap our minds around what just took place and vowed to get a good night sleep, despite the situation.  We did , I texted her last night until she literally fell asleep holding her phone, and before the sun came up this morning, my husband and his sister went back to get her.  They are en route heading home as I type.  I am working today and trust me , I needed to do just that.

I think Job Corps has a very good place in the world, but not in ours.   I think for disadvantaged youth, with maybe no home life, or very little of one, this is a good and safer place for them to be.  I have a daughter that comes from a very loving, functional, christian, and unbroken home.  She needs to be here.  We will figure out other options for education.

Two years ago, she hit a big bump in the road of life.  She is a completely different person now, and she is a person I am not willing to live without, much less let her live in less than ideal surroundings.  After the warnings that the tour guide told us  about, it could have easily been detrimental to the progress she has made.   I am not willing to take that chance.  NO WAY.

What is next??  I don’t know.  I pray to God that something comes our way and I believe it will.  It is a true test of my faith to wait.  God has a plan.  Maybe I was trying to stand in the way of it?  but out of every bad situation, something much better is in the making.

It is just a matter of getting through it, and we will do it…..together.

Thanks once again for hearing this out with me.


42 Responses to “what direction next?”

  1. Pam Van Weelden Says:

    You’ve got lots of support, Kelli. Lean on them for the things you need. Madison is lucky that she has your support, too. Together, you will all figure out what the best thing for her is. I dunno what the answer will be fore you, but maybe consider home schooling her for these last two years….Apparently it’s not as hard to do as you might think.

    BIG hugs,

    • simplyaltered Says:

      Thanks Pam!!! I had high hopes, but I have a completely different perspective now!!! she ought to be home about 4 pm today!!! thank GOODNESS!!!
      and yes, maybe I am smart enough to home school afterall!! 🙂

  2. Ruthi Says:

    Hey – heard the story from laVonne. My god, sounds awful!!! wonder why they don’t let you know these things from the start. ATleast you found out day one and not after “something” had happened. Keep your chin up, things will get better. R

    • simplyaltered Says:

      good, I am glad Lavonne let you know. She got to hear ALL about it in full detail!!! I think alot of this was shielded in the beginning, which makes even ME feel a little taken advantage of. Not a good thing. I will be talking to you later. Thanks for your good thoughts through this with me.

  3. bejes Says:

    Thinking of all of you today. Wish I were around, I would be a great homeschool teacher! 🙂

  4. BarbM Says:

    I know nothing about Job Corps but I do know as a mother that following your gut is a REALLY GOOD THING! You’ll figure it out — my thoughts and prayers are with you.

    • simplyaltered Says:

      you are so right, and my gut feeling and the feeling in the bottom of my heart, was to go along with Glenn and get her HOME and start over!!! Morning could not come soon enough for us today!!

  5. Judy Says:

    OMG ! Prayers and good vibes flowing your way. You and your husband are great parents.. you will figure this all out and be better for it.

    • simplyaltered Says:

      thank you so much!! I am confident something good will come out of this and if nothing else, a HUGE lesson learned!!!!

  6. Noelle Bolibaugh Says:

    I cant imagine how you feel Kelli. Glad to hear she will be home safe and sound. And yes, Jes I agree! You would make an awesome teacher for her! 🙂

    • simplyaltered Says:

      I always thought following your gut instincts was importand, but even MORESO now!!!! as a mother, it is the VERY best advise!!!

  7. breanna Says:

    can she take her GED and start jr courses at hills???? but then again, education isn’t everything. 😀 it’s just a stepping stone to the next thing and often times isn’t necessary! i know this is crazy in this world where everything revolves around education… but when i stop and think, i wonder if it really does (in the sense of a requirement in order to be a successful adult). 🙂 glad you guys were able to do the hard thing and go get her!!!!! 😀

    • simplyaltered Says:

      I just got off the phone with your mom. She was MORE than relived!!! 🙂 I value her advise. I know what you mean about the whole education idea, I do agree…..just with the public school system, I also feel a little “trapped” sometimes as well. Being pulled in so many directions….but tonight, I am looking at our family time in a whole different light!!!! 🙂
      I (and my daughter) saw a whole different world out there, I really do not care to see again, any time soon.

      • breanna Says:

        so glad you are both feeling better!!!!! sometimes figuring out which path to go on is determining which one you do. not. want. to go on. 😀

  8. Lori Says:

    There are many options other than the “traditional” method of schooling. We homeschool and enjoy it very much. It doesn’t need to be “school-at-home” situation.
    Whatever you decide, it will be the right decision for your family.

    • simplyaltered Says:

      Thanks Lori, I am depending on that!!!! and anxiously awaiting her arrival BACK HOME where she “belongs!” 🙂

  9. Julie Says:

    Do you have an alternative high school in Osky? We have one in Grinnell and the kids in there all have different reasons for being there — many have been bullied, some have crummy home lives, some are teen parents, etc. It seems to work well for the kids and their families and has a pretty good success rate. I know there are several in the program who have open-enrolled from other districts. If Osky doesn’t have a program (or if their program doesn’t meet your needs), realize that you could open-enroll into a district that might better serve your needs.

    • simplyaltered Says:

      I was not very familiar with our alternative program, but from what I hear, the whole thing is being revamped. Not sure where that will take us. I do know however one reason they are doing it, is because Job Corps is coming to Ottumwa and that would affect everyone in the community that offer alternative schooling……makes me shudder to think one of those will be this close!!!! I used to think that was a positive program, but I will keep my REAL opinions to myself to this point!!! you are lucky to be in Grinnell. Such a fine community, and now one more thing they have going for them…a good alternate schooling program!!!!

  10. Jules Says:

    Oh Kelli! I am so sorry this was such an awful experience for you guys. I know the preparing for her being gone at a ‘good’ place was hard and then to take her there and go through all this, yuck! Madison is so lucky to have great parents like you. And even thought she might need to be somewhere other than the traditional setting this one obviously was not the place either. It will work out how it is meant to. Remember when God closes a door he opens a window. This saying has been true many times in my life and I still thank him to this day for each and every window he opened! It is however sometimes important to have those doors shut as they build who we are also. Someday down the road you and Madison will look back and realize exactly why you went this far (all the way to leaving her there vs. finding these things out in the beginning) and you will be thankful. You all knew you loved each other and meant a lot to each other but this preparing and going through this experience has just solidified all those feelings! Even though she probably had no doubt how much her family cared for her she is certain now I am sure!

    • simplyaltered Says:

      it was the biggest slap in the face to me, and I still feel very decieved….and roped into their idea of “opportunity”. I am so thankful that my daughter is who she is. Brave enough to go out on a limb and give things a try, yet smart enough to know where she does belong in life. I know this is going to get better……I just need to wait it out and look for the way God is directing us.

  11. Diana W Says:

    I have been praying for your family since I heard the path that Madison was to take. I have a very good friend whose son went to Job Corp. It sounded like the ideal place for him to learn a trade, get some life skills and start to grow up.
    Well, long story short, there were some very disfunctional kids there. My friend told me that many, if not most of these kids, had some legal trouble and this was a last ditch effort to reform them. They were not old enough to go into the service, so were placed here as a form of forced discipline.
    I was so hoping you were going to have a better experience and that Job Corp had changed. Sounds like it has not.
    My story – my youngest is adopted from a drug addict mother and has fetal alcohol syndrome. He has had nothing but trouble in school since day one. He graduated in May from high school (3.5 GPA and with honors) and is now attending DMACC in the Building Trades program. We were seriously looking at Job Corps until my friend filled me in. He is doing fabulously and is very happy at DMACC.
    I’m so sorry I did not say anything to you, but knew you had looked into it well, and as aware of the program and it’s pitfalls.
    Keep praying – there is an answer for her. Talk to her high school counselor and see if you can be referred to a Vocational Rehab counselor. She does not need a GED or diploma to seek their assistance.
    I will continue to pray for your family.

    • simplyaltered Says:

      I am happy to hear your insight into all of this and that maybe things looked rough for awhile, but look now!!! what a beautiful story you have shared!!! There is NO doubt in my mind, when thrust into the Job Corp world that we were last night, I would have not known the beautiful daughter that I have once she would have been done…or even too far into it. She would have had a diploma in her hand, but there are certainly other ways to go about that.
      TOmorrow…..we go back to the drawing board and who knows, in the end, this might be all it took to make her realize how easy High School is and exactly WHO she does not want to be like……all the people she was with last night.

  12. Lana Says:

    OMG reading this made me start crying Kelli. How scary! I am so glad she knew….without you having to even tell her. Maybe Osky schools will seem ok once she was introduced to a much scarier world outside of her small community. Everything happens for a reason…you know that. She will find her way…she already has….

    • simplyaltered Says:

      Lana!!!! you would have DIED if you witnessed this!!! I think I know why everyone seemed to be staring at us. We were NORMAL and one family unit walking around!!!! there were 8 kids arriving yesterday and all 7 besides Madison arrived by Shuttle bus from God knows where!!! I should have known!! WHO sends their kid away on a BUS??????
      …and your last sentence spoke volumes to me!!! thank you. You are right. It is all part of the process. 🙂

  13. Wendy Siefken Says:

    Thank you for the candid view of Job Corp. The school here has suggested that as a place for my son as well, he comes from a good home with two very loving parents. He has a stable home life and a good group of friends. I now know this would definitely not be the place if it ever came up. I am sorry your daughter had to go through it. But because she did and you wrote about it, it has caused this mom to seek elsewhere for training for my son in the future. And probably other parents who read your articles too. Thank you.
    And on Home schooling, it is not that hard. I did it with my child. you can get school books to help with the learning, and its a bonding experience besides. there is a lot of help out there for home schooling. Your daughter is very lucky to have such good parents, I will keep your family in my prayers too. Take care.

    • simplyaltered Says:

      this makes my experience all worth it then!!! honestly, I can not stress enough DO NOT do it!!! unless you are backed up against a wall for certain reasons, (and I do not know your circumstances) it is NOT the place for him!!!! two parents that love him is reason enough for me to hear!!!
      Or you could send him, open his eyes in a real hurry and then pick him up the next day like we did!!! HAHA!!!! my husband clocked in 12 hours of driving in two days as well as took 2 days vacation to do all this the HARD way!!!! he was SO right, we should have turned around a mile out of town and bring her back THEN!!!!!!
      Seriously, if you even consider it or want to know more, contact me, I have plenty more reasons NOT to choose this option……I definitely censored my post to not be as brutal as I wanted to be. 😮

  14. jeanne overton Says:

    you did good getting her out of there. you never know what a place or a program is like until you go see it and think not enough parents take notice, you did good i am glad she back hoome with you,

    • simplyaltered Says:

      we will all sleep MUCH better tonight!!!!! what a nightmare for all three of us. …not to mention, my son also saw his hysterical Dad in a way he never has. Might have made a significant impact on his as well!!!

  15. MelissaE Says:

    It sounds like you did the right thing! I know I would have done the same. Trusting your instinct was the right thing to do!!

    • simplyaltered Says:

      I will never second guess my gut instincts or my hear again…..it is a true way to make decisions as a mother.

  16. kim aka machita Says:


  17. kim aka machita Says:

    always remember…. i am just RIGHT across the street if you need me 🙂

  18. simplyaltered Says:

    when you are THERE.

  19. Amber Wallace Says:

    Wow, your story gave me goosebumps.. I’m glad you brought her home.. Things will go the right direction..

    • simplyaltered Says:

      it is hard to believe now that there is a good solution out there, but I am holding on to faith that there is……

  20. Laura Carriker Says:

    I am so glad Madison is home with you Kelli!! From the beginning of your posts about this I worried about all of you being apart. I know how important she is to your family, and the heartbreak of her leaving home at 16 was something I could not imagine any of you getting through easily! She is where she belongs and I am sure she is evaluating her future and where she wants it to go. My thoughts and prayers are with you all in the hopes that a clear path will be shown to you very soon!! So thankful you are all under one roof again!! 🙂

    • simplyaltered Says:

      now to try to open enroll her is beginning to be NOTHING but a nightmare as well!!!!
      She has re evaluated things, ready to have a “do over” and once again, we have hit a brick wall with administration. I am still banking on the clear path to be shown to us, but so far, it is very discouraging….but she IS home, and that is above all, most important. !!!!!!!

  21. Helen Says:

    It’s after 2 AM so no time to read ALL of the comments. God gives us parents and especially fathers as an umbrella of protection. Intuition is also given by God. Don’t try to understand it, just follow it. I homeschooled my son all the way to college and am now teaching my granddaughtrer. THERE ARE SO MANY WAYS TO GET AN EDUCATION AND THERE IS NOTHING SACRED ABOUT ANY AGE OR TIME FRAME. She can get formal education at a future point. Her heart and love for God and family is more important than formal education. We brought our daughter home from college to protect her heart. Remember, you blog is Simply Altered. Seems there is wisdom there for many aspects of life. Prayers.

  22. simplyaltered Says:

    Thank You Helen!! your post makes me feel much better than in the end, all will be well once again!!

  23. DianeDiane Says:

    Madison said she was open enrolling to Eddyville. Glad you finally got somewhere

    • simplyaltered Says:

      that is our plan….but getting past THIS school board is like an act of Congress. They are working AGAINST me, rather than with me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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