Over the summer I was privileged to attend the wedding for one of our Turning Point clients. Joan* came to us over 4 years ago when she found herself with an unplanned pregnancy.
She wanted to parent but needed the support and resources to do it. Joan’s family didn’t live nearby, and relationships fell apart when she told them about the pregnancy. Her boyfriend at the time was somewhat involved but not very happy about the pregnancy either. They were living together and wanted to co-parent but neither one of them thought marriage would be a very good thing for them.
Joan gave birth to a healthy baby and shortly after became one of our first clients we enrolled in the Earn While You Learn Program. She was faithful to come every week, by herself, and soon earned a crib, stroller, bouncer, clothes for the baby and enough diapers to last her maternity leave. She continued to come even after the baby was born and was eager to learn as much as she could.
Joan broke up with her boyfriend for good about a year after the baby was born. She moved out and found her own apartment, went through the CLIMB program, got a good job and started to make a better life for herself and her child. We saw Joan infrequently as she was adjusting to her new routines. She would sometimes come on her lunch hour to do a parenting class and talk. Joan loved talking about all the things her child was doing and saying, she clearly adored her child.
We hadn’t heard from Joan in quite some time, but I was overjoyed when I got the news that she was seeing a very nice man, and they were going to be married. Joan invited me to go to the wedding and represent her family as none of them would be attending.
Joan was a beautiful bride. It was a small ceremony with only friends and those they call family. The most precious thing was her child giving her away as she walked down the aisle toward the man who loves her just as much as her child.
I sometimes see Joan and her family around town. They are always smiling and seem very happy together.