This past year I had to make the hardest decision I’ve ever made in my life – either drag my children downhill with me through my addiction or give them a better life – the life I’ve been running from ever since I can remember as a child and looking for love in all the wrong places.  I love my children so much that I made the unselfish decision to sign adoption papers in 2015.  When I went to prison in 2009, my children lost their mother who did her best.  I took care of my babies the best way I knew how to at that time.  I had to pray to a God I didn’t know, although I’d heard of Him throughout childhood from foster parents and group homes. 

During my own childhood I was either running away or put in group homes and moved from foster home to foster home.  My mother did her best.  She loved me the only way she knew how – so she tried to get me help.  Not only do I suffer from addiction but I also deal with mental health issues.

While I was learning about God and His word in prison and the more I prayed and put my children in his hands, God led me to a wonderful program, Jonah’s Journey.  See, I didn’t want my children to go through what I went through in foster care and in group homes.  As soon as I wrote to Jonah’s Journey, they came to see me.  They picked up my sweet babies from a terrible place and took them in like their own children.  When I was released from prison in 2012 I went to a halfway house.  I did good for a little while, then reality hit me hard that I couldn’t give my sweet babies the life that they deserved to the fullest.  I didn’t want to bring my children back into poverty.  I was weak and I allowed my addiction to allow me to believe that I couldn’t change.  I started to believe those negative thoughts again.  Then I started using again.  That’s when I started to run from my guilt for letting everyone down who was rooting for me.  I just couldn’t stop using at this time of my life, and life events kept happening that sent me back to running.  I just couldn’t keep having my children wonder what was going to happen to them, so God gave me peace to sign those papers.  Although, that day I felt as if I signed my life away. 

Since that day, I haven’t been able to stay clean, and by me using, I ended up here in jail once again.  Being incarcerated has saved my life many times.  I’m content with being here – safe and not running in the streets from my pain within myself.  At least in jail I’m able to face my feelings, and each time I’m learning to deal with my emotions instead of running from them. 

I also have hope being in DreamWeave.  Not only is it helping me while I’m incarcerated, but they will help me when I’m released.  I have my hopes, dreams and goals, although the most important desire to my heart is to live a sober life that’s stable and healthy because that’s the only way I’ll be able to rebuild a relationship with my family and my children.

I truly believe God will bless me with the best relationship with my children – above and beyond my deepest dreams.  As long as I  do my part, I know all else will fall in place.



Melissa’s Dream

Nashville Arts Magazine size 10 purse

 I dream one day I’m grilling out with my children and enjoying the beautiful summer together, carefree.

 I dream walking downtown on a late night listening to my headphones, enjoying the fresh city weather and amazing view.  Thanking God for the strength to stay sober and restoring my relationship back with my children, their forgiveness and love.

 I dream of owning my own home.  Walking on my hardwood floors, cleaning my house while I’ve got dinner cooking in the oven.

“I can be as free as an eagle if I just believe.”


An incarcerated recovering addict and mother

Melissa’s Purses

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