It was an ordinary Tuesday when Mary and Michelle got a phone call from Mary’s son asking them to drop everything and pick up their grandchildren from Child Protective Services in Las Vegas. Mary had been preparing for her first day at a new job, and together, she and Michelle have been planning for the future as a couple and what that might hold. That phone call changed everything, and by Saturday that same week they were on a plane bringing Jeremiah, Jayda, and Justyce back home with them. “They’re my family, so it was a high priority that we did as much as we could to make sure that these children would be protected.”
Mary and Michelle had to scramble to transform their home to accommodate the kids with furniture, clothing, and everything they’d need to start school the following Monday. They struggled alone for nine long months to take care of everything. “We were out there on our own.”
Mary made the phone call to HopeSparks that would be the beginning of finding the support they needed.
Mary and Michelle first accessed a parenting class at HopeSparks, where they learned about the Relatives Raising Children support group. Attending the group and sharing the experience of raising their grandchildren with other families facing the same challenges became an opportunity to learn about even more community resources. The families they’ve met continue to be a source of strength for Mary and Michelle. “We became friends with them and have bonds with them, it was almost like we were extending our family.”
Two years later, the family is busy with fun activities for the kids and they are thriving in school and at home. The family has accessed counseling services at HopeSparks, as well as the basic needs bank, Hope’s Closet. Mary and Michelle aren’t struggling to hold things together anymore, which has created room for them to make new plans and dream about their future with the kids. “Now I can’t imagine my life without them.”