When Rosie was seventeen, two significant changes occurred in her life: she started using drugs and gave birth to her first child. When he daughter was nine months old, Rosie's mother offered to babysit one day. Rosie walked out of the house and didn't come back for more than a year. During that time she took pills, used marijuana and, while working in a brothel, got turned on to methamphetamine and heroin. But during the entire time she was on drugs, she never stopped thinking about her daughter.

For years, Rosie was "in the drug life," as she calls it. Sometimes she would give her mother money to care for her daughter. Years went by with Rosie repeating the same pattern: she would get locked up and then go back to her neighborhood and back to doing drugs. When Rosie's daughter was eleven, Rosie had some money and went to pick her up. "I took her to a crack house, but I ran out of money. So I told the lady at the crack house to watch my daughter and I didn't come back for three days. I was prostituting and getting money and spending it. I came back and my mother had come and picked my daughter up."

Nine years later, Rosie had a second child. Determined to quit her addiction, she went with her baby son to a facility for mothers and children where she was put on methadone. Her son was 18 months old when she was discharged from the program. But after moving into her own apartment, she relapsed and lost custody of her son to other family members. 

One Christmas Eve, Rosie was walking alone on the street and thinking of her two children when she heard a car horn beep; it was her children. Her daughter Rosie told her, "Come home with us." It was then that Rosie prayed that she would never have another cold and hungry Christmas Eve on the street. Soon afterward, in 2007, she went to jail and was paroled to Interim House.

At Interim House, she was reunited with her children and received parenting resources. Interim House's former coordinator, Shenise Nicole Henderson, took Rosie to court and to visit with her son. "That's when I realized that I wanted to be a mother again. I want to be that mother who helps her son with homework and takes him to ball games and cheers him on. Miss Shenise helped me get my son back."

Rosie took weekly parenting classes. She says, "I learned not to holler at my son, but to sit down and talk to him. I learned how to be a parent to my son; I learned to chastise him without spanking or raising my voice. When we first got together, he wouldn't hug me or tell me he loved me. Now he hugs me, he tells me he loves me. We go to the library and The Franklin Institute; we spend quality time together. It made it much easier to reunite with him. Interim House prepared me for when I went to get my son."

Rosie's relationship with her adult daughter has healed as well. They talked about the time when her daughter was eleven. "My daughter said, 'Mom, remember that time you left me inside the crack house?' I apologized to her and asked her to forgive me. She said, 'That woman who left me there was not my mom. My mom is back.'"

On Christmas Eve 2008, Rosie's daughter helped her move into a new apartment with her son. That Christmas, Rosie woke up with her daughter and son. Her prayer was answered. Now 47, Rosie is working on all her goals. Formerly a peer mentor volunteer at Interim House, she was promoted to peer specialist, a paid position. She also is studying for her GED and her driver's license. "I'm still going forward, I've got my apartment, my son. I'm meeting my goals. All I wanted to do was be with my family and stop doing drugs. But there is work that you have to do inside to stop doing drugs. My daughter is my life; my son is my life. Doors have opened for me. It's beyond my wildest dreams."