“When I woke up I was in the hospital with alcohol poisoning. It was my Mom’s birthday.”
Connor grew up in a loving, suburban family, but by his sophomore year, he was smoking pot, drinking alcohol and his grades spiraled downward. Even under his parents’ watchful eyes, his behaviors were getting out of control and they needed professional help. Connor’s mom and dad made the most difficult decision a parent can make to give up their child, in this case to a Boys Town Family-Teaching Couple. Today, Connor is a young man with purpose and a bright future. Watch his story below.
Watch Connor's Story
Connor: Once I had the house to myself, I went straight to the liquor cabinet and started drinking. I didn’t stop until the bottle was empty. When I woke up I was in the hospital with alcohol poisoning. It was my mom’s birthday.
Connor’s dad: You realize as a parent, you probably have maybe 18 or 20 years to shape and mold your child. So, we looked at it as the clock was ticking in terms of helping Connor.
Connor’s mom: Well it kept sort of escalating and that was the scary part. He got in a fight, ran away and drank a lot of alcohol at home by himself.
Counselor: I initially saw Connor for a substance use evaluation. I think every situation is pretty unique and in Connor’s situation, he’d been struggling quite a bit at home. Things really weren’t improving and his home was somewhat of a trigger for him. Moving out of the home into a different kind of environment sort of removed some of the distractions that were present at home and kind of gave him a more focused place to sort of address those concerns.
Connor’s mom: When we first took him to Boys Town it was probably the scariest thing we had to do. To give up your child to another family for a period of time, it’s nothing that we could have ever prepared for or imagined.
Connor’s dad: This sounds maybe a little bit odd or strange but there was almost a sense of peace of mind that Connor was someplace safe, that there was other people that we were being introduced to who have done this for years who were going to help Connor. Initially it felt lonely. We felt like there was an empty seat at our table. Every day as I was driving down 144th, I could look over and see it and it had a very difficult feeling of knowing my son was so close but yet so far away.
Connor’s mom: I’ll tell you what, after we got to visit with him, probably a week or two later, he was doing good and I just was amazed even in that short of amount of time. I think what he needed was healing away from the noise of life of a teenager. No cell phone, no constant electronic media of any kind, it’s all shut down there. I think that allows you to listen to yourself and your heart and start that healing process.
Connor’s dad: We are very proud of how he has made the transition from Boys Town back into our home. He’s just exhibited these behaviors of maturity and responsibility and accountability and that’s really transferred into his decision for looking at college.
Connor’s mom: Don’t be too proud to look for help because we all do our best and you know, it’s a humbling experience to ask for help but I think you have to follow your gut.
Connor’s dad: Listen to your child. In many cases they are asking for help. They just don’t know how to ask for help and so as the parent you have to look for ways to get that information and then do something with it.