A Home for Joe

“We’re ready to start the process,” I told the case manager. “We need to find a home for Joe.” We always knew this day would come. We never intended for Joe to live with us forever. But even when you know its the right decision and the time is right, its still bittersweet when it comes.

Joe had graduated from high school and we were having a difficult time finding him any kind of day program that was more than just a day or two. We had moved up to Puyallup and had found an adult center in Tacoma, but it wasn’t enough. I was tired. Tired of the caretaking that Joe required. I loved being his mom, but there was so much more. Then Michael’s contract job ended and we decided to move back to White Salmon where our home and heart was. A few months back in the Columbia Gorge and I couldn’t even find a day program within an hours drive of our house.

Michael and I talked and that led me to calling up Joe’s case manager. She told me it could take up to a year to find a good placement for Joe. We talked about locations and she asked me what 3 cities I would consider for Joe. I told her Vancouver, Longview or Kennewick. All within 1-2 hours drive for us. We wished he could be closer but there wasn’t any group homes in our local area.

The process began and soon we heard that there was a home in Vancouver that had reviewed Joe’s placement packet and wanted to meet him. We drove up a week later and led Joe into the home. Sam introduced herself as the home mom and the aide Ruth. We got the tour and saw which room would be Joe’s. We met two of the other clients. Reality soon started to sink in.

Joe at his group home

The Sunday after Thanksgiving, we drove Joe up to Vancouver with everything he needed to begin his new adventure. He would have his own room in the house and have 3 other housemates, 2 girls and 1 guy all around his age. He was 24. All the dashed hopes and dreams we had for Joe before we learned of his diagnoses hit me again. Joe was supposed to be in college or working, going out with friends, dating and looking forward to marriage and children of his own. Moving him into a group home with 24/7 care wasn’t in the cards, was it?

Yes, this was Joe’s reality and God was providing for his needs and my peace of mind. Maybe it wasn’t the golden dream I had for my son, but it was good. We were very very picky about who Joe lived with and God provided a wonderful christian couple. They are attentive to the needs of all their clients and love Joe dearly. Joe has brought laughter and joy to the home which they remark about continually. When we take him home for a holiday they tell us they will miss him. And to bring him home quickly!

Joe loved going to church with us as he grew up. And when we had trouble finding him transportation to take him to church the weekends we couldn’t pick him up, Sam offered to take Joe with her to church on her off time. Over the year Joe has lived there, Sam has kept me updated on his days, sending me pics of his activities. She’s kept me in the loop as he’s had to go to the doctor a couple times. She’s asked questions and given me helpful info on things pertaining to Joe. We feel so blessed and know that God went before us as we made this decision and moved forward.

Psalms 68:6 God sets the solitary in families …

3 thoughts on “A Home for Joe

  1. Praising God with you for his wondrous care for Joe and His respite for you! He is such a joyful young man and I’m so happy that he has adjusted to his new home and caregivers!

    Liked by 1 person

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