Well, I have been trying to get into Mercy Ministries since October of 2008. I all but gave up after doctors and one previous residential treatment centre made it nearly impossible to get past records and medical health summaries.
It took me until 8 June to finally get onto the waitlist, at which time I did 9 half-page/full-page assignments based on books they sent me every 2 weeks. I also had check-in phone calls from their intake department every two weeks.
On Thursday (two weeks ago), I got a call from the director of the brand-spankin' new California home. I was really sick at the time, so I waited until this last Monday (7 September) to call back, at which time she just asked some questions and asked how I was feeling about coming to Mercy- "Do you still feel like you would be able to challenge yourself while here, and are you feeling ready and open to coming?" I had a feeling that she was hinting that I would be given an admit date soon.
And I was right: one of the ladies called me this Monday, left a voicemail (I screen my phone calls if I don't recognise the number), and I called back Tuesday afternoon. Finally, they dropped the bomb:
I will be going to Mercy Ministries in Lincoln, CA for an indefinite period of time (6+ months) on 7 October, and my intake time is at 1.30 PM.
What does that mean? It means I will be very homesick, and definitely longing for outside familiarity. Basically, I'm implying that I would LOVE e-mail or a comment in this blog entry, asking for my snail mail address and phone number for while I am there at MM.
(I will edit this post when I find out the hours for visiting and accepting phone calls. Also, if you're visiting, I just wanted you to note that the address I provide, unless otherwise stated, is only a mailing address... not the actual home's location.)
I'm really scared, terrified, anxious, angry, fearful, selfish, guilty, ashamed, and all of the above, so I apologise in advance if I seem distant in the next few weeks while I prepare myself.
Some of you have asked about visiting, which is just so super awesome radical fantastic coolio! (Haha.) At any rate, according to the paperwork I just received yesterday after via e-mail:
"[Visits] are typically done outside the home (in the city where the home is located) and reserved for weekend passes for the most part. Your parents/family may call the Program Director to schedule these after you have been in the home for thirty days."
That means, in essence, that after 30 days, you should be able to call me, and we'll talk about your visit, and if we agree about it (read: if I can handle a visit!), then I guess you're supposed to call the same phone number listed above, and ask about visiting/speaking with the Program Director. However, I'm not really sure, since they said "parents/family," if friends can come visit, after all. I sure hope so! But anyway, I cannot put the address of the home here in this note, but when you call to speak with the Program Director about visitation, you'll be able to get it then! :)
And, I just received this in an e-mail about phone calls and vistations:
"Lincoln residents can receive calls on Saturdays between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. You’ll be eligible for a weekend pass after the first 30 days. You may want to contact the Lincoln home to verify times you can call out on Sundays. They’ll be happy to assist."
In response to Jessi B's question: Sadly, I am only able to bring five Christian books (though I'm sure more can be sent in, ya think?), but I'm curious- what book is it? And no, I truly doubt that they would throw away your letter if you curse since I have a right to receiving my own private mail, unless there's some sort of threat (which...I doubt you're gonna threaten me, are you?). But in all truth and honesty, we might as well not curse, cos I find no real purpose to it. ;) Thanks for asking those questions, and let me know about the book's title!
In response to Lizz's question: I will update this later when I get an e-mail back, but I'm pretty sure I could accept care packages. I just sent a message asking what is considered contraband when people send mail, but I'm pretty sure you know a lot of it already. Thanks, Lizz- that's so thoughtful! I will seriously be so happy to receive mail from anyone, even if it's just a "hey" and your name.
And, I just received this in an e-mail:
"Regarding care packages, tell friends that they cannot send music CDs or books that are not Christian in nature. No clothing with inappropriate logos, symbols, writing. Once you get to the home, you can speak with your counselor about appropriate care packages."
In response to Donna's and Alli's question: No, there are no internet or cell phones at Mercy. Just gotta do it the old-fashioned way (which I like better, anyway)! So...uhm, send phone cards? :D
I will continue to edit this note when I get more definite information, and as the intake date draws nearer! <3
Thanks for understanding, guys, and for all of your continued support and care.