December 11, 2006, was the worst day in my life. Child Protective Services (CPS) took my baby girl away. Back then, I was so deep into my addiction to drugs I couldn’t see what I was doing to my child and my family.
One day I started to understand where my life was headed. I decided that I wanted to change, to do the right thing. I went to a rehab program and got clean and sober. I found an apartment and everything was going so well. The caseworker from D.A. Blodgett – St. John’s (DABSJ) began doing home visits. I was happy that things were starting to work for me. And then it started to change. I began to feel scared and overwhelmed. I was happy, but I also felt as if things were going too fast. Could I really change my life? So I fell into my old ways. I hid my feelings and stopped talking to anyone about my doubts. Then it happened: I was using drugs again and trying to hide it. It didn’t take long before I lost everything. Then came the hardest thing yet—I had to give up my rights to my daughter permanently so that someone else could raise her.
I knew that was the best thing for my daughter, but I felt like the worst mother that ever was! After that, I stopped caring and began to live recklessly again. I became pregnant and my second daughter was born. I had been using drugs throughout my pregnancy when I should have been working on my recovery program. The caseworker from DABSJ offered all the help she could, but my addiction kept me from seeing who I really could be. Not long after my second daughter was born, I had to do what was best for her. I signed over my parental rights. I felt like my life was over because, once again, I couldn’t be the mother I wanted
At one point I started to hate their adoptive mother, Lori, because she was the mother I so desperately wanted to be. But then, on December 4, 2009, my whole life changed. My third baby was born three months early because of my drug use. As I saw my baby girl fighting for her life, I finally got the wake-up call that I so desperately needed—I had to change my life! I remember telling the CPS worker, “There is no way Lori or anyone else is going to raise another one of my kids.” That’s when I decided to get clean and sober and really work the treatment plan. It was hard at first, but once I got into rehab again I was able to complete the program and finally get a handle on my addiction. But I didn’t do it by myself.
The woman I had resented so much— “Mommy Lori”—was there for me every step of the way. Without her, I would have never made it. I also give thanks to DABSJ for never giving up on me. Here I am—five years later—clean, sober and enjoying life with my baby girl, Leticia! She is my whole world and I will not let anything ever change that! And today I can be a part of all my kids’ lives even though they are not all with me. You see, “Mommy Lori” has brought me and my baby girl into her family as well. I don’t live there, but I’m still able to see them and am able to show each of them that I love them and that I’m a strong woman. I have a good job and a future, and I can fight any battle that comes my way.