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The Brocard's Story

Why would we allow two strangers to come into your home in the middle of the night to remove your son from your home?

On May 12, 1998, my wife and I hired two strangers to remove our son from our home in the middle of the night to place him in a structured wilderness program in the mountains of Utah.

At the time, our son was 16 years old and in the 10th grade. He was totally out of control. He was using drugs (marijuana), was drinking alcohol, lying, stealing, and manipulating us (his parents). He was extremely disrespectful, used profanity aimed at us and angry all of the time.

He would verbally abuse us and cuss at me in front of my wife and challenge me to fights late at night. He tried to hurt me once by pushing him down his stairs. He would not accept responsibility for anything he did, as he would always blame us or someone else for all of his problems.

His constant outbursts of anger and rage scared his older sister and younger brother to the point they were afraid to be around him. His mood affected our whole household and our marriage. He had a new set of friends that used drugs and they wanted to party all of the time.

He didn’t appreciate anyone or anything we did for him; it was all about him. He was beginning to not only destroy himself, but also our family and our marriage. He was using our time and attention and he drained us of all our energy for our other children.

Our Family

At the time, we had been married 20 years and had a daughter who was 17 and a son who was 9 yrs. old. I was (and still am) an attorney and my wife was working full time for our church. Our struggling son was a boy scout and was a year round swimmer, and was very popular with his high school teachers and friends. He also attended church regularly. We appeared to be the all-American family.

The Impact of Our Son’s Actions on Our Marriage & Children

We seemed to have no time for our other children because our son demanded so much of our time. Our daughter was graduating from high school and we couldn’t really enjoy that special time with her. Our marriage began to suffer. My wife and I argued a lot and we were stressed and tired all of the time. We took this out on each other. We were too embarrassed to talk to anyone about this.

Tough Love

After months of counseling with a psychologist and much prayer we were advised to take our son out of our home and school to send him a long way from home to get help.

This was the most difficult decision we ever made in my entire life.

See, we loved our son so much, we were willing to do whatever we could to get him help. We had to “let Go, and Let God”

We learned he had an anger management problem and that he used drugs and alcohol to self medicate to take away his feelings of anger. While he was away in treatment, he learned how to positively deal with his anger and not to rely on drugs and alcohol to deal with his problems.

Our son went on to graduate from college, became a Young Life leader and then worked for a Transport agency and an Intervention group. He is now mentoring young men and teaching Special Education in our high school and coaching football and Lacrosse.

Good Families Can Have Children That Make Bad Decisions

What We Learned from All of This

  1. We learned that there is Hope! We are all subject to pain and suffering, but God will never abandon us. He will get us through these tough times.
  2. We learned that we couldn’t fix this problem ourselves –that we had to “Let go, and let God be in control” We didn’t cause it, We can’t control it, We can’t cure it!
  3. We learned to love unconditionally – not only our son, but also other kids that are struggling
  4. In the end, we all know that God is truly in control, and that He loves our children even more than we do!

After going through this painful experience, God changed us! We started a Bible study support group with 7 other couples and we learned that we could have JOY again in our lives and that there was that HOPE that is found in Jesus Christ.

In 2004, we started Prodigal Child Ministries, a non-profit organization, that reaches out to parents of struggling teens and young adults. We provide support groups and resources to help them in time of crisis.

Our life verse has become Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you a HOPE and a future.”