First-time mothers can have very many differences. Age, background, life experiences, single, married, high school dropout or college graduate. But all have one thing in common: the unconditional love they have for their child. Every mother at The Cradle of Hope has one other thing in common, a dream. To have a good life and a better life for herself and her child.
"The Cradle of Hope taught us that our dreams are achievable, and also taught us the life skills we needed in order to achieve those dreams."
Everyday is scheduled and follows a routine. Cooking and cleaning chores were rotated every week. This taught us structure while at the same time showing us teamwork skills. Every night we would sit down together and have dinner. The COH also offered us lots of spiritual guidance and advice about the personal aspects of our life. And there was always an ear to listen and a shoulder to lean on. They also taught us how to be independent, strong women. Many times you hit a road block with something and you keep trying until you achieve the goal you wanted.
When I arrived at The Cradle my son was 4 1/2 months old. I started out with practically nothing but my hopes and my dreams. He is now 2 1/2 years old. Now, I have my own vehicle and my own apartment. I went to school, graduated, and now work as a CNA. My son attends daycare regularly. He has many friends and enjoys going there and all the activities they do.
I also still have a strong and continuous walk with the Lord. I continue to work hard and enjoy life. I also learned not to stop at just one dream, to keep going way past the limit of the stars in our sky into a whole other galaxy. Whatever you dream you can achieve. I plan on going back to school to continue my education even further.
The Cradle of Hope made it all possible with a foundation of love and guidance. We all have our differences. But the Cradle brought us all together as a group. The other mothers and I are still friends, but also so much more. We are sisters, we are a family.
T.M. completed her year at the Cradle of Hope in July 2010 and moved to her own apartment with her son, J.