“Take a deep breath, let it go, and move forward” has become Chris’ motto. She even has a plaque on her desk at work to remind her of this every day. Finding the strength to live out her motto has been the hard part.
Chris first came to HopeSparks in 2012 to seek out counseling for her 5 year old grandson, Devaun, who had recently come to live with her.
Little did she know how much this decision would impact the future of her entire family.
She connected with Rosalyn, Program Director for the Relatives Raising Children Program. Having chronic health conditions, feeling strapped financially, and dealing with the pain of having a fractured family, Chris wasn’t sure if she had what it took to successfully parent her grandson. Rosalyn was able to get Chris into counseling services right away. Chris credits the care and support she received from Rosalyn and the counseling staff at HopeSparks with saving her life.
“It was a very profound thing in my life to know that there were people whose job it was to provide services, who cared enough about me to make it personal and to literally take my hand and say, ‘No, you still want to be here, we still want you here and we’re going to help you.’”
Chris was connected to other grandparents and relatives raising children who are not theirs by birth. “Devaun’s best friend is a boy that he met through this program at HopeSparks. We have made some really good friends here, people that are part of our family now.”
Fast forward to today, and Chris’ daughter Amy is back home and parenting Devaun and his two sisters. Thanks to the life-changing care and support that Chris received, it was easy for her to refer Amy and her granddaughter Meygan to seek counseling at HopeSparks. The collective family is now working towards rewriting their stories.
“Each of us have made the decision that, even though we have all lived through some very difficult years, we will never forget about them, as they have made us who we are today. Every day, we each use those memories to make us stronger. I take a deep breath, let it go, and look forward.”