Mary Jo was sitting in a rocker surrounded by baby gifts, a beaming smile on her face. She had a glow, like all pregnant mothers do, and she looked excited and happy, just like other pregnant mothers...except for one difference. Mary Jo was sitting in a rocker at the Center for Great Expectations after embracing a program of recovery while she was pregnant.
As I sat watching her with her exuberant personality, laughing and smiling and so "together," I knew it wasn't always so. I also knew her story, like all the other residents, wasn't typical. In her case, she had a husband and other children who loved her, but it wasn't enough to keep her from using. She found herself in a desperate situation — in danger of losing that husband she loved, her children, and possibly her own life and that of her unborn baby boy — because she was an addict.
Addicted and in need of help is a familiar story. What was different in this case was that Mary Jo had a support system in place rooting for her to get well. Her journey toward wellness was not an easy one, but she made it with the help of the staff and program at the Center for Great Expectations. Along the way, she came to embrace the program, learn from her bad choices in the past, and gradually turn toward the future where hope, faith, and a new beginning for her and her new baby were waiting for her.
On that special day, after the baby gifts were opened and all the adults exclaimed with delight as if every gift were the best, Mary Jo spoke to the other residents of the Center about her journey of recovery and about her ardent belief that a power greater than herself had brought her to the Center.