[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]An ex-addict once told me, “While being addicted to drugs, you are in a committed relationship with that drug; your partner (the drug) is your first and only priority.”

Women who have children while still in active addiction, cannot adequately care for their children. Most of these children end up in the care of grandparents or other members in the community.

U-turn has journeyed with many mothers who have taken up their mother-role again, after winning their battle against addiction. Before the children are returned to their care and in the honeymoon phase of parenting it seems like a dream come true. The reality is that taking up motherhood again is a tough journey, but worth the trouble in gold.

In the next weeks we will follow the journey of four mothers.

Shafieka had to give up care of her son when he was 1 year and 3 months old. She was fired from her job because of drug abuse, and with no income she just couldn’t care for him any longer. Luckily for Shafieka, she had a family member who was willing to take her son into her care.

In the years when Shafieka was still in the clutches of drug abuse, her son used to run away from her when he saw her coming down the road. She could see that he was scared of her and it made her feel hurt.

When Shafieka’s son was 7 years old, she finally got victory over her addiction. While in rehab she thought that taking up her mother role again would be easy. She dreamed of coming home strong, playing games and bonding with her son again. She dreamed of running in the park with her son, reading to him and telling him how much she loves him. When she was ready to take on motherhood again, the reality that awaited her was a steep hill to climb. Because his foster care-giver spoilt him rotten, Shafieka had to establish routine and discipline with her son; all skills that was rather new to Shafieka and in stark contradiction to the fun and games that she dreamed of while in rehab.

Even though the journey was tough for Shafieka, she says that she would encourage every mother in her position to take up the challenge with both hands, because for as many difficulties as there are, there are awesome times too. She says that motherhood is such a blessing!

Her favorite memory of the process was when her son hugged her again, clearly not afraid of her anymore. She feels so proud of herself when her son tells her that he can see the difference between the way she was before and how she is now.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]