Earlier this month my family was able to experience Jill’s House for the first time. To say that this weekend was a blessing would be an understatement. My husband, Scott, and I have three sons, Peter (12), Christopher (9), and Nathan (7). When Peter was three years old he was diagnosed with autism, and raising this sweet boy who intensely loves maps, foreign languages, and cats has had many challenging times. Social interactions are particularly difficult, because success, even with our relatives, requires careful planning. There is an intensity in parenting Peter that is absent with our other boys, and we often feel exhausted and discouraged.
In fact, we had an especially tough week with Peter right before our scheduled weekend at Jill’s House. Peter was screaming a lot and fixating on things to the point where we were all anxious and weary. I have never before felt so desperate for respite. Of course, it was still hard to leave Peter when the time came. The Jill’s House staff helped put our minds at ease by jumping right in, welcoming Peter and helping him get acclimated. He ended up having a great weekend–he told us about swimming in the pool and some fun activities in the computer room.
Knowing that Peter was well cared for was a tremendous relief for our whole family. It gave us time to truly unwind, and we felt rested and refreshed. We were able to concentrate on Christopher and Nathan for two whole days, and even accepted an impromptu after-church lunch invitation from a friend.
By the time we picked Peter up on Sunday afternoon, I felt “full” again and ready to serve. I am so very grateful for Jill’s House.