When faced alone, pregnancy, at any stage of life, can be frightening.
Like many of us, Maggie’s Place mom Christine didn’t have the perfect past, but her determination to correct her mistakes is producing unmistakable change in her and her son’s lives.
A California native, Christine married young and had three children. Her marriage was hit hard after her youngest son passed away, and she became divorced soon after. When Christine first discovered she was pregnant again her first thought was guilt, as she was still struggling with a six-year on-and-off addiction to cocaine. “It’s the devil’s drug,” she recalls soberly. Additionally, Christine’s brother had adopted her daughter years before, and she felt ashamed to tell him that she was going to have another child.
Unemployed and living in her oldest son’s apartment, Christine searched for a place to go that would provide the assistance she needed and give her support to stay sober. She called a Maggie’s Place home, and moved in shortly after.
Sadly, Christine lost custody after giving birth to her son Matthew due to mistakes that happened early in her pregnancy prior to coming to Maggie’s Place. But she has not lost hope. In the Maggie’s Place Community Covenant we recognize that “great strength can develop out of pain, and that God longs to provide healing.” Christine has demonstrated this strength and is working tirelessly towards regaining custody of her son by working to rebuild her own life.
“I knew what I had to do,” she says. Affected by the destructive nature of drugs, Christine made a firm commitment to remain sober, and has stayed so since moving into Maggie’s Place. “I want to be clean, not only for me or Matthew, but also for my oldest son. I have to be a good role model for him.” Christine is also looking for a job, and in the meantime, has participated in Maggie’s Thrift Job Training program. Here, she builds retail skills like pricing, creating store displays, and customer service. She plans to complete the program soon, and will be awarded free furniture from a partnering local store.
“I’ve been told all my life that I should be a counselor. I stopped being against it and started to do it.”
Her determination doesn’t stop there. Christine was recently accepted to Rio Salado College and is taking online classes towards a degree in Counseling. Her long-term goal is to get her Master’s Degree in Family Marriage Therapy. “I’ve been told all my life that I should be a counselor. I stopped being against it and started to do it.” Christine is moving into the La Casa de la Madre, Maggie’s Place transitional apartments, where she will live with another Maggie’s Place alumnae mom and child and continue to receive support.
The best news of all will come later this month, when Christine will regain physical custody of her son. She is also reestablishing other family ties: “I want to build enough trust with my brother to see my eight-year-old daughter. I gave it to God. I prepared myself for the worst and prayed for the best. And now we’ve started emailing. That’s progress.”