Kelli Wild’s Story
Holy Ground: a place where the presence of God is overwhelmingly powerful, a knowing that restoration and healing can be done, a feeling of reverence and trust in God’s sovereignty – holy ground is hard to come by, but God can take us there. He can bring us directly to our purpose and tell us to run on the ground He has set before us. Kelli Wild, LCSW, Clinical Therapist and Founder of Attuned Parent and Child Therapy, knows that God has set the route before her and she is walking barefoot. When in the trenches with the families she serves, Wild explains, “I feel like I am stepping on holy ground and God is telling me to take off my sandals.”
Kelli Wild has a long history of caring for vulnerable children. After becoming a Christian in high school, she has been answering her call. She has worked in group homes, a psychiatric hospital, domestic and international adoption agencies, and with children manifesting challenging behaviors in the foster care system and the parents caring for them. She pursued the necessary degrees that allowed her to further her work, and the countless hours of training that leads to licensure. However, being a mom of four, and an adoptive parent herself, has given her the most insight into the challenging journey parents face. As a young social worker working with children in the foster care system, Kelli soon realized, “I wanted to be a part of permanency for kids -because when kids are in limbo, they are anxious. Until permanency is established, it is hard for the deeper inner healing to begin. I have worked with every part of the adoptive triad over the years,” Wild states.
With twenty-nine years of experience, Wild felt called to launch Attuned Parent and Child Therapy in January 2019 and has been providing therapeutic intervention for children and parents alike. She provides in-home and outpatient therapy for children alongside in-home and online parent training. “This process unearths a lot of our own stuff (as parents). The journey for caring for children from hard places has much to teach us personally. Many of the parents I serve are exhausted, experiencing burnout, and feeling the need to better understand their attachment styles and how their family of origin experience has impacted them. I provide therapy for all families – biological, blended, adoptive,” Wild says. Offering in-home therapy allows Kelli to take a more authentic approach, it provides her with a deeper understanding of the family’s dynamic. One of Kelli’s greatest gifts is her ability to listen and create a space for people to feel understood. She lets her understanding turn into practical guidance designed for real life. She teaches parents that self-care is vital to their success. Coming up with real ways to conserve energy and to keep the tank full, along with allowing room for grace in the journey, are all important in order to sustain the marathon. After her personal season of experiencing a deep level of burnout 10 years ago, Kelli is now able to relate and facilitate restoration in tired homes. Wild expresses her heart in a powerful way:
“A number of years ago, I entered a desert season with nothing left. I was completely depleted. It took me about a year and a half to crawl out of it. The Lord was teaching me how to receive and rest, and at first, I wasn’t a very good student. Ever since that experience, I define the win differently. I choose how to expend my energy carefully. I now view my time in the desert as a gift – it has enabled me to better connect to other families in the trenches. I can see parents and they know I’m not judging them. For us to affect change with our children, in the beginning, 95% of the effort comes back to us (parents). This is about attachment, about a parent coming alongside and co-regulating and leading children through developmental experiences they missed – to do that, we have to be okay. Acknowledging our own depletion, our own challenge, our own feelings is a game-changer. Many parents don’t feel heard. They don’t feel others believe them when they describe how challenging daily life is in their home. I believe them.”
After learning what sometimes only a walk through the desert can teach, Wild does life differently; and you can too.
Imagine having a front row seat to God’s goodness and faithfulness. Sovereign work is not always easy. In fact, at times it can be very messy and sometimes we feel like God is not paying attention – but, He is. He is sovereign and good. We all get a front row seat to watching God move in our lives and the lives around us. We must trust that He is Lord. He is Lord when He moves people into position for their long-term destiny and He is still Lord when there is exhaustion and confusion.
Raising children is walking on Holy Ground. Beautiful, hard, exciting, wearing, scary, humbling, precious ground. “God gives us children to parent because so often there is work He wants to do in us. He says, ‘I want to heal you, mature you, I want you to know me...,’” Wild explains.
Take your shoes off, acknowledge his presence, and grab on to his boundless grace. It is sufficient.
- This article was written by Shelbi Hales. Read more about her and her work at her blog: Love Into Freedom