A New Start
*Photos reflect the spirit of CFA and are not of any individuals associated with these stories
When Wanda was 22 and her daughter, Nevaeh, was 4 months old, Nevaeh was removed from Wanda’s care because she had been injured in an incident of domestic violence between her parents. Centered on the goal of safely returning Nevaeh home to her mother, Wanda was referred to Child and Family Agency’s Reunification services.
Initially Wanda was furious about losing her daughter and insisted she didn’t need help. However, her anger melted when her daughter toddled into her arms during visitation. As they laughed and played together, the strength of their connection became clear. Wanda’s heart broke when she had to say goodbye.
Over time, Wanda talked about her own childhood. At 4, she’d been removed from an abusive mother with addiction issues. She bounced through 11 foster homes in Oklahoma until she eventually aged out and moved to CT. Without a high school degree, Wanda couldn’t find work. She stayed with several short-term boyfriends and began using drugs to manage stress. She was hopeful when she became pregnant and tried to take care of herself and her unborn child. When Nevaeh was born, Wanda loved her fiercely but encountered enormous challenges in meeting her daughter’s needs. Wanda was eventually able to recognize that Nevaeh was in significant danger when she was removed.
Wanda’s fierce determination to raise her daughter and provide the love she’d never herself experienced helped her to do the intense work required by the reunification program. She learned new ways of responding to the world as an adult and a mother. Shortly after Nevaeh’s second birthday, mother and daughter were reunified. Wanda continued with the reunification program for 6 months. During that time, she completed her GED and enrolled in a vocational program. Wanda still receives individual counseling at Child and Family Agency. She and her daughter also participate in the Child First program, which helps Wanda grow into the mother she always wanted to be.
*At Child and Family Agency we respect everyone who comes to us for help – and many are working toward a fresh start in life. So while their stories are true, client names, identifying details, and images may have been changed to protect their privacy. Thank you for understanding.