Yes! My son is back with me, at last.

I’m so happy – I’m elated. This is the second-happiest day of my life. Only when my son was born, was I happier.

Our family court date was today, and my son has been placed back into my care. The magistrate’s exact words were “I see no reason for foster care to continue”. For once, I am at a loss for words (though I will update this post with more words when I find them), and can not fully express just how good a day this is. I’m overwhelmed.

But I will say this: To all the other drug-addicted parents whose children have been taken away because of your addiction… You can change, and you can get your children back. It is possible. I know this because I have done it.

This has taken a long time, longer than I imagined it might be when we started this journey. He was taken into the care of my brother and his wife, at the age of 18 months, although at the beginning it was a private arrangement rather than formalized foster care. That came later when I was unable, at that time, to stay clean and sober. I did get my act together eventually, but it has been a tough ride, and at one stage, just as I could not imagine my life without drugs, I could not imagine having my child reunited with me. But I never gave up, and I did get my life back in order. Honestly these last two years and three months have been mostly easy, with a few ups and downs, but overall easy. It was the years before that, that were not easy at all. I’d like to thank Josh’s foster parents who did a great job of raising him while I could not. You will always remain a large part of his life, as will his mother. I hope that we can continue all to be a part of this journey together, but I am also relieved that not only is he back in my care, but also that you believe in me. As stated, this has taken longer than I wanted… he will be eight years old in April. But I’m glad that he is back with me.

I sometimes think about my friends in Cape Town from years ago, friends who had also had their children removed. Those friends never did get their children back, and I remember one of them who didn’t even seem to care. I pity them, and wish that they could get their priorities and choices in order. No parent should put their life of drugs and all that drugs entail ahead of their children. I wish that those people could understand what it is that I feel today, and at the very least, try to make this journey too.

But otherwise, I really don’t know what to say. So here’s a photo of my beautiful son, taken last Thursday when I tested the camera on my new phone…

IMG_20151210_162242

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About Jerome

I am a senior C# developer in Johannesburg, South Africa. I am also a recovering addict, who spent nearly eight years using methamphetamine. I write on my recovery blog about my lessons learned and sometimes give advice to others who have made similar mistakes, often from my viewpoint as an atheist, and I also write some C# programming articles on my programming blog.
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