WORDS FROM THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN THERE
Disclaimer for testimonies:
Although we honor and appreciate the words of clients who have found success with Patty’s Hope, not all testimonies are happy ones. Many clients come from places of extreme pain, trauma, and oftentimes guilt. We at Patty’s Hope are not here to condemn, rather to offer a realistic practical avenue for women to find hope, which is not always appreciated or welcomed.
For every successful story there is oftentimes twice as many unsuccessful stories – women who leave with pain in their heart rather than freedom. As you read the joyful success stories we ask that you pray for all that have not found freedom in their journey of reunification.
I ached for my baby, and I was willing to do whatever I needed to look into my babies eyes every day, to see her warm smile and run to me with arms open, yelling "MaMa!" And God could feel my desire, and sent me some of the best people to have on my side, and that was Patty's Hope.
I remember the first time I had ever heard of Patty's Hope. I had been referred by the Foster Care Worker in a case for my newborn daughter. I was in a treatment program at the time, and one night I checked the voicemails on my phone, and heard what sounded like an Australian guy leaving a message to call him back, he was from the program. The day I met Pete I was surprised at how earnest he was to help, he really cared about my plight. He had firsthand experience from 'the other side' as far as dealing with the foster care workers and courts, but he had done something that most foster parents never do- helped the mother. I never imagined at that point how much they would come to help me in my life, or more truthfully- how God would work through them to better my life, so that I could get back on track and be the Mother I needed to be for my daughter.
After I left the treatment program, they were communicating and reaching out to me right away. Pete brought me a recovery bible within the first week, and Leslie had got together some more personal items I would need. Within 2 weeks my living situation with the person I moved in with after I left the program didn’t work out. Thankfully, God had blessed me with qualifying for a program that would put me in a home and help with rent and bills, but because of Covid and some other circumstances, that was taking quite a long time, and in the meantime I was homeless. Back at square once again, I had nowhere to go and it would be quite a while until the housing program would finally go through. I never told Patties Hope, because I didn’t want them to worry about me, but I was even staying in an abandoned building.
God had a plan for me though, and it worked through them. They called me up one day and said the Patties Hope house was available and I would be able to move in almost ASAP. That was such a huge relief for me, and it would turn out to be one of MANY things they have helped me with that had saved me.
When I moved in, it was very apparent just how "rough around the edges" I was. Most people took for granted the small things, like showering and A.C. in the heat, or clean clothes and a refrigerator. Pete and Leslie worked with me patiently, and I gradually got myself into a more "normal" routine. They prayed with me often, and when there were things that I needed to work on, they helped me and treated me with respect, and never judged me. They never made me feel unworthy or unwelcome. They genuinely tried to understand the problems I had, and helped me to work to fix my problems, from a place of love from the heart.
It took some time, but gradually I started to live like a normal person again. Pete and Leslie were there every step of the way, and I was able to communicate with them more openly than anyone else. Soon I got into a place of my own, and they stood right beside me then, too. I don’t think that I would have been nearly as successful as I was with them there to keep me accountable, to express concern when they saw something I should work on, and be there when I needed anything. They helped me with Christmas presents for my daughter, and furniture and other items I needed for they recommended a great Christian place for therapy that helped me to work on my issues from the past, they linked me up with a place to help me get a job. They were there for me at my court dates. They took me to the art museum, because they knew I love to draw, and taught me what it was to have community in my life, and people rooting for me to win, instead of expecting me to fail.
After a year, I finally got custody of my beautiful daughter back. I can’t imagine being as successful as I was without the help that came from them holding me accountable and helping me to see what I needed!
I really believe that God put them in my life for a purpose. He sent me the best team of people to have in my corner, helping when I drop the ball and cheering when I am winning. And helping to train me the whole way.
I feel honored that I was lucky enough to come across Patty's Hope, and I hope that many other Moms get the gift of working with them in the future.
"My Patty’s Hope Experience
...as a mom."
My experience with Patty’s Hope has been awesome. They are genuinely trying to help us mothers that are struggling to get their children back.
They are different from the Foster Care Agency, or the DSS workers, they are not here and helping because its their job, they have a genuine desire to help, looking for anything they can do to help us… Its sincere, and they are also genuine workers for God and Christ, they pray to see the best path to go, they have the sight to see the signs that God and Jesus puts in front of them. Its refreshing to see the earnestness that they have in their heart to help, because so often this is an area of the system that people are their most judgmental, and sometimes it can be hard to find help when we are needing it, or even knowing what we need help with, or where to start.
Luckily, with the knowledge and experience that has been bestowed upon them through their own experiences, they have a pretty good idea of what we need and how to get there in order for us to get our kids back. They have kept up with me, checking on me weekly when I got out of my inpatient treatment program. When things didn’t turn out as stable as I would have liked once I got out of treatment, they kept up with me, making sure I was ok and safe until they had a spot open in the Patty’s Hope house for me.
They have worked with me on a level that is more in tune with my life and what is expected of me and how I can get there and achieve it, moreso than anyone else, navigating me through my own pitfalls and helping me to the other side, with Gods love as our savior and guide.
Patty’s Hope is truly a one of a kind organization, we are lucky to have them in our community, and there needs to be others out there like them. I hope they will inspire others in this unique position to follow in their footsteps and reach out to the mothers that are struggling.
Thank you guys for being there for us, and for caring- not shaming, us mothers that have lost our children along the way.
A mom… with a child in foster care
Partnering with Patty's Hope has been life changing for my family.
Patty's Hope along with other organizations helped me to navigate some very challenging times in my life. I found myself jobless, without custody of my 3 children, and as a result a different person. With the help of numerous factor's I regained a sense of confidence which allowed me to obtain employment, reconnect with my children and even found new housing. None of this would have been possible without the dedicated support received from so many involved.
Patty's Hope helped me with transportation to gain employment, temporary housing until I found an alternative which equates to a real starting point to build upon and hopefully build upwards.
This is my testimony for other moms who feel as if they have lost everything, because of life's ups and downs that all things are possible. My faith in God has helped me to look at every situation with promise. For my fellow sisters and moms out there in a similar situation, things can and will get better. Connecting with the right people and organizations will be key I am thankful for my partnerships and Patty's Hope.
"A lot of love and caring"
1. What are some words that describe your childhood and growing up? Stressful; never knowing what I’m coming home from school to find. Some days mom drunk and on others she was fine. Panic attacks in first grade. Fighting between parents, and between parents and my brothers. Like watching a war.
2. What was your life like when you first entered the Patty’s Hope program? Stressful; I was at a very low place in my life, depressed and hurting because of losing my daughter and my dog; I felt low down and useless and not very good about myself.
a. Where were you living and what was that like? Snow White Motel, depressing, at least not on the streets.
b. What was the biggest challenge you were facing? Money, trying to stretch it out and find housing.
c. What were your hopes for the present and the future? To find an organization that would fully help me to get my life back together.
3. What led you to make the first move toward the Patty’s Hope program? When on the street I was trying to find organizations to help me, then finally I found the number for Patty’s Hope.
4. What was the hardest part of being involved with the Patty’s Hope program? Transition from the chaos of being on the streets to the different life that I had to learn how to live. It’s hard to ask for help. Trusting people is hard.
5. What things have you learned or gained from being in the Patty’s Hope program? I’ve learned a whole lot. I’ve been around good Christian people. I’ve learned how to put things into words. I’ve received life coaching—everything that you all offered helped me. I found out things about myself I didn’t know—how my childhood can affect me for my whole life.
6. How have you changed in the last year? I feel more confident, more at ease in all areas. I feel like I want to get out there and give back to the community to help others who have less than me.
7. Now that you’ve gone through this program, what is your life like? Not stressful, it’s nice. I have things to look forward to. My daughter is visiting more now. I have people around who invite me to do things and go to church, and I help them out with things.
8. What is your outlook for the future? I want to get into volunteering more to help others, possibly go around my neighborhood to offer services (dog walking, etc.) to make some extra money. I’m looking forward to spending more time with my daughter, being more there for her as a mother. See where the Lord leads me.
9. What do you think other people should know about Patty’s Hope? It’s a very, very good place for women who have troubles and children in the court system—very loving, very calming. You give people chances. There is a lot of love and caring. You’re the real Christian people, not the fake ones.
"Repeated cycles, violence and abuse…"
When I was in the hospital after my car accident, I heard that my child was put into foster care because his father was physically and mentally abusing him. The cycle was repeating itself as his father grew up in foster care and was physically, mentally, and sexually abused himself and never had people that wanted to understand him, to offer him unconditional love and nurturing.
After the accident that left me bedridden and in a nursing home disguised as a rehab center with no rehab in sight, I had no had nowhere to go, no helpful supports, no money, no housing, and a lot of red tape. I was stressed out yet determined but had no one to help me reach my goals. The people at Patty's Hope gave support me so that I could move on to my next step; get a job, get housing, and get stable. Once I got a job from my hospital sickbed, Patty's hope was able to help me get housing and the equipment I needed for my new position; professional clothes, a computer to work from, a home phone number, and an address at the Patty’s Hope house. They also gave me knowledge of places to go for resources and case management so that I will reach my goals. They spoke to the foster care worker and helped them understand that all I want is my child in a safe place and I am ready to work hard to be the person, and therefore the mother, my child needs me to be. Having someone to help me with the court systems, especially when I am not the accused, has been huge.
I want to thank Patty's hope for being there when nobody else could or would. The needs are real, and the impacts are life-altering for us mothers and our children. May God bless the people that work at Patty's hope so that they can bless others.