There have been trouble with my middle child for years now and it has gotten so bad that we didn’t even talk to each other in the end. I fell into despair, I was spastically looking for a solution. I tried to ask for help from psychologists, educational councelor, but nothing worked. I felt the time and need for drastic change. That’s when I’ve received a link from a friend about the Chance Program. I’ve immediately made a phone call and the next day we were on our way to Budapest. It was the last moment, the last second, which made it easy to make the decision about my son’s departure. He got on the plane and flew to Srí Lanka on the 31st of May.
The kid’s departure also gave me a chance to calmly think over what I’ve done wrong. After a few weeks I clearly and exactly saw where I went wrong.
After the passing of the first week Günther was already calling me – after not speaking to each other for more than a half year. He friended me on Facebook, sent me pictures, wrote me daily, he told me about his joys and woes. Then he started to get in contact with his sibling with whom he didn’t have any contact for long years. So something started to happen. ’Seeing is beleiving’ – I told myself.
I had the opportunity to see, since there’s the chance of visiting my child in this program – so I was excited to get to August.
My arrival was already fantastic. I finally hugged my child who hugged me back the way he used to! I could see in him eyes how happy he was to see me. We talked all the way through the trip from the airport to the accomodation.
After getting there Günther enthusiastically showed me around the house and introduced me to the team. I got to know exciting people. The mentored kids were all nice and happy – one wouldn’t even think that these kids are dragging serious issues inside their hearts. The endless patience of the mentors and the quality of love they gave the kids was astonishing.
So I’ve gotten into the group where everybody was accepting everyone else. Where the most important was to make the children realise how valuable and loving they are.
The daily routine was the same every time. Wakening, breakfast, work, filmmaking, filmwatching, english class, lunch, group therapy, afternoon free program with hiking or swimming, whatever kids would like. We decided who does which of the chores next day with card games every night. We talked, barbecued, played the guitar, sang, had big meals. It was community life from dusk till dawn.
We’ve unnoticeably gotten closer with my son in the meanwhile. We both wanted to be better. We’ve spent a lot of time together, we shared a room, we talked every night and played a lot of card games. We’ve usually spent the free time together, just the two of us. Günther showed me the local things worth to see, introduced me to the local people he had a good connection with. We went to the market place where he selected the things to buy and argued for the price with big expertise – in english. Since he has also learned to speak english during this three months.
The country was beautiful. Now I understand why it is called the ’jewelbox of Asia’. It was uplifting to see a world that’s so much different from ours, and to get to know the people living there who seem to be happy and accepting things the way they are and not infected by the westernized, material world. Our kids turned to them with love, treated them as friends, kept in touch on a daily basis. It was interesting how two deeply different culture finds the way to each other. When we were saying good bye, I’ve seen teary eyes which made me overcome by emotions.
I’ve never spent so much time together with my son. We talked about subjects we’ve never touched before. My own problems, our family, about what’s going to happen to us, how I see our lives, his future, and what he wants. As the time came to go home, I could see on my son how much he wanted to see his family again. The first meeting was touching, because Günther hugged his little brother first – his brother of whom he was so jealous. He was happy for his sister also, he bought a pretty ring for her. His siblings were also happy to see Günther. We stayed in Budapest for a day, hanging out, talking, having big laughs.
Few days after getting home the school semester started. We had to adjust to the usual rhythm. Günther started the school year, fitted in the boarding school well. I was asking about him from his teachers and I’ve only heard good things. We talk on the phone every day. I can feel he is well, accepted the rules. When he comes home on the weekends we talk, watch TV together, I find he feels good at home. Sometimes he doesn’t even leave.
I needed to go to Srí Lanka to see my child. The Chance Program could probably be more efficient if the parents could take part in the therapy, because we have to accept that the child is only carrying the symptom of the problem in the family.
I’ve learned a lot during the three weeks. I’ve learned that I don’t have to know everything better all the time. The child doesn’t have to be perfect. We don’t correct a person in front of other people. Things don’t have to be forbidden for a child just because we think he is too young for it. We don’t bore each other with uninteresting stories. We have to tret each other as partners. Children have to feel safe, the loving hand of the parent, and most of all, they have to be happy. And I’ve learned that if any matter comes up, the most important is to love our child even more!
You’ve chosen a difficult profession when decided to set the right path for our ’problematic’ children while also sharing your knowledge with us and stand for us as an example. Thank you for what you did for us. Thank you for giving my child back to me.