Adopted at age 5, the behavioral issues began early for young Karina. For years, she adamantly fought against her parents and new sisters. She stole from them. She cursed at them. She would take her parents and sisters most sincere belongings and destroy them out of spite. She literally hated her “new family.” As she grew up, Karina’s behavior continued to worsen. She had failing grades. She began to cut herself. She would fight at school. Karina even swallowed an entire bottle of pills in an attempted suicide.
Over the course of time, Karina’s parents had worked with numerous counselors, family therapists, and psychiatrists to try to reach her. In one final attempt before removing Karina from their home, they called Sheridan House.
Fourteen year old Karina arrived at Sheridan House suited up in armor and ready for a battle. From the moment she arrived, she refused to refer to the house mom as “mom.” The food was “stupid,” the rules were “stupid,” and even the dog was “stupid.”
Although Karina came to Sheridan House ready to battle, it was amazing how quickly she let her guard down. She began to thrive off the loving family environment here. Her hesitations of using the word “mom,” we found out, came because of the abuse her biological mother subjected her to as a child. After a few weeks here, Karina would start and end a sentence with the word “mom” and would even find a place somewhere in the middle to toss it into conversation. It would sound something like this. “Mom, what do you think about the color purple, mom? Do you like it, mom?” We couldn’t believe how quickly she was responding.
Most of her life, Karina spent her days in the garage watching TV, isolating herself from the family. They could go for days without even hearing her speak. Since enrolling in Sheridan House, Karina’s personality began to shine brighter each day. She’s now cracking jokes, bringing up conversation at dinner, and smiling all the time. Additionally, she even made good grades!
As months passed, we helped Karina’s parents develop both structure and discipline at home, and the progress in Karina’s life continued. When her parents drop her off each week, they say, “We don’t even know who this child is anymore!” Karina is now a contributing part of her family. She no longer spends days isolated from her family. She eats meals with them, watches movies with them, makes conversation, talks about her day, and even goes to the gym with her mom and sisters.
Through Karina’s journey at Sheridan House, she also made a decision to follow Jesus Christ as her Savior. We are so proud to announce that Karina will successfully graduate the Sheridan House Residential Program in two weeks.