Well, sort of.
Instead of expecting a baby, we’re expecting 6-8 at-risk pre-teen and teenage girls.
And instead of waiting about nine months, we’re waiting about a month and a half.
Ok. Let me explain:
Sarah and I recently accepted the unique position of being a family-teaching couple at Boys Town here in the Omaha, Nebraska area. It’s an amazing and challenging role in which we will be helping take care of 6-8 at risk girls in a home setting. We’ll be moving onto Boys Town’s campus into a house where we’ll live and do life together with these youth. This will be our (more than) full-time job.
We will move onto campus on July 29th and start a two week intensive training course in early August in preparation for living into this new role of ours. There’s a lot that has to happen before we move, but we’re excited and healthily nervous about this big transition.
There’s a lot that I could say about why we want to do this, but simply put, we believe that this is an incredible opportunity to live into many of our values. Even though the work will be incredibly challenging, it will also hopefully be extremely rewarding and fulfilling. One of the biggest benefits of it is that Sarah and I get to partner together 24/7. It does mean that Sarah will be resigning her job as a nurse, but this sort of all-encompassing work is something we’ve had as a goal for a long time. We had assumed that it would be in Japan, but it seems that our life has taken a slightly different trajectory due to Micah’s diagnosis this past January.
And we’re ok with that. We feel confident that this is where God would have us. And this potentially could be something that we could do for many, many years. We’ll see what ends up happening.
Of course there’s a lot more I could say, and I probably will write a few more posts about this transition with more detail. But if you have questions, let me know.
Here’s a video that gives a glimpse and overview of the job:
Here’s another video that is the first in a series of following a family-teaching couple and their family:
And here are some details that might be more clarifying and answer some questions that may come to mind:
– We’ll have a house of our own with 6-8 girls. Two girls to a bedroom in a nicely furnished house.
– We will be one of 60 households similar to ours on the Boys Town campus.
– Sarah, the boys, and I will have a separate attached part of the house that is our own private apartment.
– The girls will go to the middle school and high school that is on campus.
– Micah and Ezra will go to the public school system, not Boys Town’s schools.
– We will take the girls to church on Sundays.
– Although it was started by a Catholic priest about 100 years ago, it is considered a non-denominational, non-sectarian organization.
– We’ll have an assistant family teacher that helps us about 45 hours a week.
– We’ll have one weekend off a month where we don’t have to watch the girls and where our assistant takes our place and stays at the house.
– The majority of our work with the girls will be from the afternoons through the evening.
– We will be given a 15 passenger van to transport everyone.
– It is a very structured and intentional community. We will have a supervisor that is available to us 24/7. They will be in regular contact with us, and will be there to help us and the girls.
– The campus is split into five different communities. We will be in community four.
– Each community has a director which oversees the family-teachers and their supervisors.
– The average age of the youth on campus is 16 years old.
– 50% of the youth are private placement.
– The average length of time for youth to be there on campus is a year and a half. Some youth are there as few as six months, some for quite few years.
– There is quite a variety of reasons for why the youth are placed in this program at Boys Town. But these kids need lots of help and support and love.
– We’ll experience all sorts of behaviors from these girls. But Boys Town operates in a way that believes there is no such thing as a “bad kid,” only bad environments which lead to bad behavior.
– Boys Town works with a very intentional cognitive-behavioral approach. They believe that behavioral changes will lead to heart change over time. The goal is for Sarah and me to model a loving, trusting, and consistent environment where these girls can learn how to behave appropriately and thrive as a result.