In the months before I got my sons home from foster care, I built a bond with my boys. I picked them up every other weekend and always had some- thing planned for us to do as a family. We went out to the movies, the beach, the pool, a museum or the library. Sometimes we would just stay home and play family games. I would also make them their favorite foods. But the one thing that I made sure we did on Fridays was a family conference.
Our family conferences were a chance for them to let out their feelings about what they went through because of my drug addiction. They were allowed to ask me any questions they want- ed about when I was not with them. Answering their questions, I would get very emotional, but it helped us get closer.
My son JonPaul asked me why I left him with grandma for such a long time. He said, “Didn’t you love us? Was it something we did?” I prayed that they would forgive me for my honest answers.
I told my sons, “I had a drug problem, which not only took over my life but my mind as well. Even though I thought about you and love you, the drugs were more important to me at the time. That was what the drugs were telling me.
“And that is why I left you with grandma: because I didn’t want to drag you into my world of drugs and insanity. But you were always in my heart and in my thoughts while I was dealing with my own demons from my child- hood.
“You did not have anything to do with that. And in no way did you do anything wrong. I was the one that messed up. What’s important is that I’m here now and I love you guys to infinity and beyond.”
When I got my children back, I felt that God had given me a second chance to be the best mom I could be.