Maggie is a happy, generous person who was a blessing to our household. Her cheerful smile reflects how far she has come.
Before she moved here, Maggie was involved in a domestic violence relationship. Her husband also got her involved in using drugs with him. On the surface, all seemed well, but her children were being neglected, her husband was verbally and emotionally abusing her and the children, and things began to fall apart. A call to Child Protective Services led to the kids being placed in foster care. Maggie, not believing she was being abused and not willing to quit using drugs, stayed with him a while longer until she had the courage to enter a residential drug program. There, she slowly realized how abusive the relationship was and that losing her kids was a natural consequence of the combination of drugs and abuse.
Toward the end of her time in the residential treatment program, Tara, her 8-year-old, returned to live with her. They moved into Hope House together. Maggie was grateful for the structure and accountability that she found here which was a step between the strict structure of the treatment facility and the freedom of having her own place. Here, she had the support structure and friendships she needed to transition to her next step.
Adjusting to being a parent again was challenging. Maggie moved from wanting to spoil Tara to learning to provide structure, set limits, teach her new self-care skills and give her responsibility for chores. She worked hard to share the skills she had learned in treatment and the trauma class here with her daughter so could also recover from the traumas of absent and drug-abusing parents, an abusive father and being put in foster care for months, away from those she knew and loved.
Carter, 12, initially visited his mother and sister. He had found stability and love with the foster family, and did not want to return to his mom. It took some time for him to see that she had changed, would not use drugs or go back to the abusive relationship, and that it was safe to return.
Maggie got help in parenting through classes and mentoring. She had the support of others who were sharing her journey in staying clean, parenting well, and moving toward finding a job and a place to live. It was not a smooth journey and it isn’t over, but Maggie, Carter, and Tara are a family again, in their own home, and building new family traditions.
*Names have been changed to protect identity.