Your Wakeup Call

Lydia Meeks Profile
Article by Lydia Meeks
Assistant Houseparent

Once upon a time, in a residential facility by the name of Gateway Woods, there was placed a young man into the loving care of the houseparents of Maple House. This young man, although pleasant in nature, was extremely lackadaisical in his treatment and struggled to stay motivated to complete expected tasks in a timely manner. Unfortunately, this pleasant-natured young man struggled with staying awake and would prefer to stay in bed until the last minute before racing out the door for school. Then at school, he was apt to lay his head on his desk for periods of time and occasionally, a snort could be heard by his fellow classmates.

As time went on, this young man began to leave for school later and later and was sent to bed early every night, but the pattern of lateness continued. “How,” the houseparents asked, “can we inspire this young man to wake up on time for school?” As they contemplated the problem, an idea began to form. “What if,” they ventured, “we hide five alarm clocks within his bedroom…and set them at different minute intervals…could this inspire our young man to vacate his bed in time for school?”

It was a worthy query. And executed immediately. While the young man was at school, his houseparents hid alarm clocks throughout his room. In addition to this young man’s personal alarm clock, four more were hidden under his bed, inside a desk drawer, under a pile of dirty laundry, and behind the overflowing trash can. His houseparents did not have to worry about an early discovery – cleanliness was not an obsession of the young man.

And so, the morning came. Breakfast was served, and the houseparents waited with bated breath to see if the young man would emerge before the time for school had passed. One alarm could be heard from the depths of his room, then two, then all five. His door burst open and the young man emerged, awake and indignant. “That’s not funny guys, I was already awake!”

As houseparents, we work with kids from all walks of life. Some kids are extremely motivated and thrive, while others need a bit of a wake-up call.

Not just to get to school on time, but also a wake-up call to realize that there are people surrounding them who love them and truly want them to heal from the hurts of their past. And that is what happens here at Gateway Woods. Teenagers, who believe they are unlovable and beyond help, feel safe enough to trust their houseparents with their story. And by sharing their story they open the door of their heart to allow in hope for healing and love.

Brothers and Sisters, at this time we have a great need for several positions at Gateway Woods to be filled. To put it plainly, we need new houseparents to come and awaken our kids to new life. Please contact us ASAP.

Lydia is currently a Foster Care Case Manager at Gateway Woods. She also served as an Assistant Houseparent.