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Hope's Story

Hope's Story

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Published by eagleranch
Getting on the Same Page

With backgrounds in ministry, teaching and even life coaching, Teresa and Michael Leahey thought they had mastered the formula of good parenting. They didn’t think twice when Teresa’s young niece and nephew needed a home. Hope was 8 and Mason was 5 when the state placed them with the Leaheys. The first years went well, and Teresa and Michael spent much of their time and energy rebuilding trust and establishing the new family. But in 2009, tragedy struck when the Leahey’s
Getting on the Same Page

With backgrounds in ministry, teaching and even life coaching, Teresa and Michael Leahey thought they had mastered the formula of good parenting. They didn’t think twice when Teresa’s young niece and nephew needed a home. Hope was 8 and Mason was 5 when the state placed them with the Leaheys. The first years went well, and Teresa and Michael spent much of their time and energy rebuilding trust and establishing the new family. But in 2009, tragedy struck when the Leahey’s

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Published by: eagleranch on Jun 01, 2012
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06/01/2012

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Getting on the Same Page

With backgrounds in ministry, teaching and even life coaching, Teresa and Michael Leahey thought they had mastered the formula of good parenting. They didn’t think twice when Teresa’s young niece and nephew needed a home. Hope was 8 and Mason was 5 when the state placed them with the Leaheys. The first years went well, and Teresa and Michael spent much of their time and energy rebuilding trust and establishing the new family. But in 2009, tragedy struck when the Leahey’s oldest son died. Grief brought instability to the family, and problems with Hope and Mason that were not apparent before emerged in the midst of the turmoil.
Hope: I still felt connected to my birth parents. I took my anger out on my aunt and uncle. I saw them as the people who tore me away from all that I knew, even though it was unhealthy. I started getting into things that were not leading me down a good path. Teresa: When our son passed, we were struggling to do the basic things in life. Hope and Mason felt like they had been put on the back burner. I really feel like they reverted to survival behavior — acting out to protect themselves from the pain. Hope’s behavior led us to Eagle Ranch. Michael: The fact that we were involved was important. We learned quickly how much we didn’t know about parenting. We have grandchildren who are the same age as Hope and Mason, but times have changed. The basic parenting skills are

Hope with Michael, Teresa, and brother, Mason .

The Blessing Home

Hope, 16

the same, but what kids are exposed to has changed with technology and instant information. Eagle Ranch has been a tremendous opportunity for growth as parents.
Teresa: After Hope was here for a year, we decided the Ranch would also be good for Mason. His issues were totally different, even though he has the same background as Hope. He was having a lot of trouble in school. He’s a bright kid, but he put himself in a position that exposed him to bullying. Mason: It’s been good for me here, and I really like the horsemanship. Hope: When I first came here I thought I was the problem, but being here I realized it’s really all of us. We’re a team. We all work together. Teresa: We’ve still got work to do, but now we’re on the same page.

“Now I know what ship looks like after watching my houseparents model that and watching my aunt and uncle – a good relation-

who are my parents now – more closely.

allowed me to grow.”

relationship grew

Seeing how their

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