“I took this opportunity to get the help that I so desperately needed…”

Evan A.

If you asked me to tell my story 18 months ago, chances are you would have heard ramblings of how unfair my life had been and that I always seemed to get the short-end of the stick despite the intentions I believed were well-intended. Today, I can say with clarity and confidence that my story is one of trial and error, choices and mistakes, fortune and misfortune, and a whole lot of luck (that is if you believe in that sort of thing).

When I met Jason and Tara, I was on a destructive path full of drugs and crime. I had my first and only child on the way, and though I always talked big plans for her future, my actions were pointing to a much more grim reality. When my daughter came into this world, her first experience was that of suffering. She was born mildly addicted to heroin and had traces of methamphetamine running through her tiny little body. Luck would have it that she was not physically dependent on the heroin enough to get hooked up to a morphine drip in order to wean her off, but it was obvious she was in pain and the guilt I carried as her father was enough to make me want to lay down and die...

We came clean to the nurses who, as mandatory reporters, came clean to CPS. Within 3 weeks of my daughters birth, we still hadn't the strength or will power to clean up and our little girl was taken away from us. Again, luck showed its face when I was introduced to Jason and Tara Hood, friends that my mom had known for years. They stepped up and took our baby in and cared for her like she was family.

I took this opportunity to get the help that I so desperately needed and went to a beautiful rehabilitation center, Betty Ford in Newberg, Oregon with my health and my daughter being my hope and inspiration. After 3 months, the mother of my daughter went into a women and children's recovery home and was able to have our girl returned to her, and boy did they take such great care of her.

Tara and Jason continued to show their support in any way they could. They showed up to our monthly court dates and shared what growth they saw in us, and eventually saw the case come to an end and I had my daughter in my arms with full custody.

It was out of the kindness of their hearts that Tara and Jason did what they did for my family, and for that I could never repay them. So instead, I'm writing my story, as painful as it is to remember, it is equally beautiful. My daughter is where she belongs again, at home with her daddy who now has 17 months clean. Sometimes I wonder what could have happened had she ended up with a family I didn't know or trust.

All I can say is if God is real, Jason and Tara are doing his work... From the bottom of my heart, thank you.