ParisAfter losing her marriage and children to drugs and alcohol, Paris’ mom found the love and support she needed to turn her life around at Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission.
Around the time she was six, Paris was taken away from her mom, Steph.
“I didn’t know it then, but my mom was using a lot of drugs,” Paris says, “and one day my aunt came to visit. She could see how bad things were and just threw me and my little brothers in the car and drove off. After that we lived at her house.”
That transition was hard for Paris. “I couldn’t understand why my aunt was doing this,” she says. “It was like I had to start my life over. I’d been going to the same school for years. All of a sudden I had to start at a new school and I didn’t even have a chance to say goodbye to my old friends.”
Also, Paris didn’t trust her aunt or her cousins. “Even though they were family and stuff, there were times when they weren't very nice and I had to step in and comfort my little brothers. I had to be a mom to them and make sure they were okay.”
At the same time, without her children to help keep her grounded, Steph’s life quickly spiraled out of control. “I went from being a mom with a normal routine to just sitting there with people and doing drugs,” she says.
Soon, Steph’s marriage ended and she lost her home. For the next few years she was on a rollercoaster ride of addiction, treatment, and relapse until she entered treatment for the last time in 2013.
“I believe God led me to the Mission and Hope Place,” Steph says. “I was accepted into their long-term recovery program, and as I got better, my kids were able to come and live with me. The classes I took and the people I met there changed my life and helped me become who I am today.”
Best of all, Paris says that for the first time she was able to have a loving relationship with her mom. “One of the first conversations we had was when she said to me, ‘I didn't really have a relationship with my mom so I don't know what that looks like, but I want to try to have one with you."
That was the turning point that led to where they are today.
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