Sometimes when children first arrive at Mercy Home’s door, the suffering and trauma they have experienced is not immediately evident. Instead, it is hidden deep down, and makes itself known in moments you don’t expect. This is what it was like with Andrew.

When Andrew first came to Mercy Home, he was as pleasant as could be. He was well-mannered, well-spoken, and his chores were always finished without prompting. Though schoolwork didn’t come easy to Andrew, he made sure that his assignments were completed each night.

But after about a month, the issues that led Andrew to Mercy Home began to surface. You see, Andrew is a perfectionist – because in the house he grew up in, there was no other choice.

One day, Andrew’s roommate at Mercy Home made a mess in their room.

“One day, Andrew failed his math test at school, and his teacher told him he needed to get the test signed by his father. Andrew was terrified. In his head, he debated if he would be better off just forging the signature. Andrew eventually showed his father, a decision he immediately regretted.”

Andrew exploded in anger. It had become a natural reaction to him, because when Andrew created a mess in his father’s house, he would be hit.

When Andrew was seven-years-old, his parents divorced. His mother moved away to another state, and Andrew lived alone with his father. When he returned home from work at night, Andrew’s father immediately began to drink. And if Andrew’s chores weren’t done exactly right, or if he hadn’t finished his homework, Andrew’s father became physically abusive.

One day, Andrew failed his math test at school, and his teacher told him he needed to get the test signed by his father. Andrew was terrified. In his head, he debated if he would be better off just forging the signature. Andrew eventually showed his father, a decision he immediately regretted.

Andrew’s father was furious when he saw the test. He told Andrew that he worked too hard for him to come home with failing grades, and he beat Andrew so badly that his lip split open and his face was covered with black and blue marks. Because of the visibility of these injuries, Andrew’s father forbade him from going to school the rest of the week and called the school to tell them he was sick.

For years, Andrew suffered physical abuse and lived in fear. Whenever a cut or a bruise became noticeable, Andrew’s father instructed him to explain that he got hurt playing sports after school. By the time Andrew got to high school, he began to display anger problems of his own. He was quick to lose his temper in class and was often sent to the principal’s office. Then, Andrew got into a fistfight with a classmate and was suspended from school.

After the suspension, Andrew was required to meet weekly with the counselor at his high school. The counselor sometimes noticed the cuts and bruises on Andrew, but Andrew always had a story.

“But in working closely with his therapist, Andrew learned to identify the things that trigger his anger. He discovered different breathing techniques and conflict resolution skills. Now, he can deescalate tense situations peacefully. He shows compassion towards others and has formed a tight bond with the boys in his Home.”

But eventually, Andrew could no longer keep up with his lies and his counselor began to connect the dots. When the staff at his school told him they needed to speak with his father, Andrew begged them not to – he was scared of how his father would react.

The school staff assured Andrew that everything would be alright, and they began to explore different options. They thought that Mercy Home might be the best fit for him.

Andrew’s first several months at Mercy Home were filled with difficult moments. He was quick to lose his temper and was very confrontational with the other boys.

But in working closely with his therapist, Andrew learned to identify the things that trigger his anger. He discovered different breathing techniques and conflict resolution skills. Now, he can deescalate tense situations peacefully. He shows compassion towards others and has formed a tight bond with the boys in his Home.

I am so proud of the progress Andrew has made at Mercy Home, and I know you are too. Thank you for your ceaseless, prayerful support of our children.

A special partnership for the sake of Mercy’s kids and for our televised Sunday Mass

You can make a difference in the life of a troubled child. Fr. Scott needs Partners to pray for our kids at Mercy Home–and also faithful Partners to help broadcast Sunday Mass at Mercy Home.

By pledging your support and your prayers, you’re offering a precious gift to Mercy’s kids–and helping our community of faith join together every week.

The boys and girls of Mercy Home are very proud of the difference they are able to make just by sharing their time and heart with others. None of this would be possible without our kind, faithful supporters, for not only sharing their friendship but for also setting an example of generosity and compassion for them to follow. During this month, please keep the young people of Mercy Home and all of our generous benefactors in your thoughts and prayers.

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