Abused from an early age, Natasha describes her childhood as a place filled with darkness. “I had no direction, no self-worth, and no boundaries. I was lost.”
When I got pregnant at 14, I was pressured by the principal and teachers to drop out. Natasha married her boyfriend shortly after their daughter Alexis was born, and they struggled to make ends meet.
“When we discovered I was pregnant again, we made a difficult decision to give our son up for adoption. We knew we couldn’t give him the kind of life he deserved.”
Within two years, Natasha was divorced, raising her daughter on her own, and battling an addiction to drugs.
“I never touched drugs until I was 18. But once I did, I spent the next three years battling an addiction that nearly killed me.”
Natasha made an effort to get sober when she was 21. That lasted a little over two years, during which time she had a good job and gave birth to another son. But her sobriety was short-lived, and when she relapsed again, she lost everything.
“My addiction led me to prison. My son went to live with his father. And I relinquished custody of my daughter to my mom.”
At first, things were manageable, but when her mom died from a heart attack while she was still in prison, Natasha was desperate to find someone she could trust to care for Alexis until her release.
“I wasn’t sure what to do. I didn’t want to make life for my daughter any more difficult than I already had. When Natasha was released on probation, she worked with DCS (Department of Children’s Services) to find a new placement for her daughter.
She knew it was going to take some time before she could regain custody, but in the meantime, she was determined her daughter would be in a healthy setting.
“God is my provider,” said Natasha. “My daughter is safe and secure in a new fostering situation.”
When Natasha looks back, she can’t believe all she has survived. “I’ve been suicidal and overdosed on numerous occasions. I’ve been beaten, was unconscious for two months, and last May almost died two different times. God snatched me up out of that. He is real, and He changed me. I’m not the person I was. I am thankful and excited about the future.”
Natasha is looking forward to reuniting with her daughter very soon.“I want to be a godly woman and mother. I want to give my daughter the things I never had, and I know it starts with putting God first. I’ve learned this and so much more in the Mission’s Life Recovery Program. I felt alone for so long. I didn’t realize all I needed was God. With Him, anything is possible. Mother’s Day is going to be extra-special this year, because it looks like Alexis will be here with me to share it. I am so thankful.”