Our journey began with Orchards PARC a few months after adopting Jackson in January 2016. We suspected he had special needs due to being born severely addicted to heroin and cocaine. He had extreme difficulty sleeping, never came to us when called by his name and was deathly afraid of having his feet off the ground. He was unable to potty train and was 18 months delayed in speech. PARC’s resources have been incredibly helpful to us these past 7 and a half years. From the superb training that has given us valuable information on brain trauma, severe ADHD, and executive functioning deficits plus many seminars on helping our children learn self-coping skills when they are experiencing hard behaviors. We have also heard from top notch therapists on ways to decrease our parental stress by mindfulness and breathing techniques.

PARC has monthly support groups and we benefited greatly from these when Jackson was younger. The families we met there shared honestly and openly about their good and hard days with their children . We understood their struggles and they understood ours. At the meetings, we felt acknowledged, encouraged, understood , and able to share our toughest moments without feeling judged or embarrassed. We walked away from those encounters feeling truly listened to and the “mom and dad” guilt fell silently off of us leaving us feeling refreshed and fully able for whatever the next day brings .

As our son has gotten older , we’ve done as many as 9 therapies in a week and we also home school ! As you can imagine life is quite busy and we had to let go of a few activities with PARC (the monthly support group and some of the training classes being offered). But, we’ve been so blessed with PARC’s Family Fun activities. Trunk or Treat, Holiday party, Back to School event, Beach Picnics, home visits from the Easter Bunny and Santa and many other exciting activities . All of these promote the opportunity for sheer fun for the kids and time for parents to relax and allow wonderful memories to be made .

We have felt deeply loved and listened to from everyone on PARC staff.

Carl, Jenny, Nicole, Sierra, Jane and Julie have all been so very helpful to our family in so many different ways. For years we personally struggled with frustrating and extremely difficult behaviors with Jackson. Many times Jenny or Nicole would receive a frantic phone call from me and they would simply listen. Listen to me cry, or vent, or discuss my fears. They would always be so sympathetic and ask how they could help or give me ideas that may help the situation. It was most comforting because I truly felt loved and not so alone. Words can’t begin to express my gratitude for these two incredibly amazing women. We also want to thank any volunteers that have helped out at the activities. I can’t begin to imagine the work involved in putting the activities together and we are so thankful for each of them!

PARC has been FAMILY to us and as we look back, we’ve discovered it’s also been our SAFE PLACE –A place we wouldn’t trade for anything!