When Baby Alice was brought to ECTLC, she was only in her 2nd trimester of life.
Like a stowaway in the belly of a rudderless ship being tossed to and fro by the raging seas of hopeless despair, Baby Alice was helpless to control any direction of her life. She was totally dependent on the “captain” at the helm; her mother Shannon. Unfortunately, Shannon had long since lost control and the ability to direct her own life. But, in the midst of the tempest, there was a beacon of light which allowed this mother-ship to avoid being shipwrecked.
Landing safely on the shores of hope at ECTLC, both mother and child would begin the long process of recovering from the harrowing experiences brought on by mental illness and drug addiction. Baby Alice’s mother had previously been “dual diagnosed” and had already graduated from several “traditional” recovery programs. But her inability to appropriate the Power she needed to end the cycle of bad choices led to repeated relapses and spiraling moral decay.
Shannon remained in bondage to hopelessness and despair. ECTLC was possibly their last chance. Only little unborn Baby Alice provided her mom the motivation to stay alive.
Everyone rejoiced when sweet little Baby Alice and mother came home from the hospital. Yet even the joy of childbirth quickly vanished as Shannon’s mental illness triggered a severe postpartum depression that resulted in Baby Alice’s immediate removal. Poor little newborn Baby Alice was remanded to County Child Protective Services.
The Director of ECTLC’s Family Services, Crystal Scott, pleaded with CPS to give her temporary custody of the baby while Shannon underwent medical and psychiatric treatment. This incredibly compassionate servant of God loved and nurtured Baby Alice for nearly two years. Ms. Scott brought the baby to work every day and took Shannon to her innumerable appointments and counseling sessions. Meanwhile, everyone fell in love with baby Alice.
The process of recovery and restoration can be a long and heartbreaking one. Shannon was mandated to complete this process if she wanted to even hold her child again. The governmental regulations and requirements were strict and sometimes seemed impossible. The probabilities of successful completion were extremely low due to Shannon’s previous history of failure.
But in addition to Shannon’s commitment to meet the state-mandated medical and psychiatric requirements, Shannon also voluntarily entered ECTLC’s one year Women’s Discipleship Program to ensure that she would more fully develop her newly found faith in Jesus Christ. Driven by an intense desire to be a Godly mother to Baby Alice, Shannon sought to embrace Jesus–the Way, the Truth, and the Life–believing that only He could empower her to make the right decisions for herself and her child.
Now, after nearly two years of separation, little baby Alice has been returned to her mother! In addition to the 1 year Women’s Discipleship Program, Shannon also completed the ECTLC Family Restoration Program. In doing so, we see the power of God’s Grace transforming not only one life, but having a rippling effect. Restoration has expanded to Shannon’s other family members who have been estranged from her for nearly a decade. Now a new and better life has begun as Baby Alice and her mother Shannon moved from ECTLC to live with her aunt and uncle who are also devoted followers of Christ.
As Baby Alice and Shannon transition out of ECTLC toward a bright future, we see that “with Christ, all things are possible.” We are reminded that, “He who began a good work in you is faithful to complete it.” And we celebrate and rejoice in the miracles as we continue pursue our vision of “Inspiring people in all communities to make right decisions through Christ”
In graduating Shannon with her precious baby Alice, we at ECTLC are touched by all the loving sacrifices that made it possible:
- The financial sacrifices you and other donors make to ECTLC so we can continue to minister to the countless numbers of men, women, and children who are in need,
- Crystal Scott’s sacrifice of raising baby Alice herself for nearly two years,
- Shannon’s willingness to sacrifice her old ways to trust in Jesus, and most of all,
- Jesus Christ’s sacrifice with its power to transform any life.