My contact mom, Lacey, is moving out of Maggie’s Place after having lived here for over a year. So what does one year at Maggie’s Place look like?
You move in without really knowing what Maggie’s Place is beforehand; when you get to your new home for the first time, you realize it really is a home, not a facility. Your new contact person gives you a tour of the house and you start to feel a little overwhelmed and very blessed.
You hit some milestones a few weeks after moving in: you find out you’re having a boy, you get a job down the street, you get a new roommate when your old one moves to a single room because she is closer to her due date, and you register for school.
Simple September flies by and you forget what life was like before eating dinner by candlelight to save electricity, competing to take the shortest shower, and leaving the TV turned off. You play a lot of board games this month.
You start classes at a school nearby.
It’s Thanksgiving and you spend one dinner with your family and a second dinner with your Maggie’s Place family. All the homes are invited to celebrate together, and you get a chance to meet the moms and MissionCorps from all over the Valley.
One of the moms that you have become close with relapses and you watch her move out and keep praying for her and her baby. There are some tears.
Now it’s Christmastime and the house is watching Elf together (you’re completely fooled because the MissionCorps hid it from you so it would be a surprise), decorating the Christmas tree, and finally spending Christmas morning together opening gifts that have been bought for all the moms and their babies by generous volunteers and donors. There are some more tears and lots of laughter.
You’re almost ready to give birth! You finish up your last homework assignments (you’ve been going to school this whole time) and organize all of your new baby things.
You give birth, your contact person visits you in the hospital, and then it’s time to come home. You suddenly don’t have the urge to eat peanut butter on everything anymore.
You realize what it really means to be sleep-deprived.
You buy a car with your pile of savings from the last 8 months.
You start working again now that baby is a few months old, and then you start going to school again too. You realize what it means to be a full-time mom, full-time employee, and full-time student all at once. You start counting down the days to graduation.
Your baby rolls over for the first time but refuses to do it again unless you aren’t watching.
Your contact person spends hours walking laps around the house with your baby in a baby carrier because it’s the only way he likes to sleep right now, and you need to finish your homework.
Your baby sleeps through the night for the first time and you wake up feeling like a new person.
You reach one full year of sobriety!
Your baby starts to eat solid baby food and you realize that his old dirty onesies were nothing compared to these carrot stains. You find out his favorite is mangoes. You taste-test everything before you feed it to him.
You graduate from school and start looking for a job in your new field.
You have your fiftieth contact meeting with your contact person.
Your baby turns six months old and you realize your exit date is very soon. You think back to who you were when you moved in and who you are now, and you can’t believe everything you’ve done. You never want to leave.
You finally move out into your own apartment, and your baby has his very own room, and life is just too good.
By Lucy Miller, a MissionCorps member