Regaining Hope, Purpose, and A Son
Darin’s parents were drug users and he eventually was separated from his family. He and his brother ended up living and out of foster care. Darin wanted to make a better life for himself and his brother, and when he was old enough he got an apartment for them so they could be together and get a fresh start.
But, they did not find the good life he had hope for– instead, their hopes and dreams were crushed by drug use. Darin eventually went to jail. Living in a tent next to the railroad tracks during the dead of winter, addicted to Meth, Darin hit bottom. He came to The Shepherd’s House broken. He had lost everything and believed that no one even cared.
SHM: Tell us what has happened in your recent past.
Darin: I graduated from The Shepherd’s House in September of 2019. This place helped me so much. I got a full-time job and am living with six other guys in a big house. I got a job painting, which I really like, and got my driver’s license and a car. Over those two years, I had been seeing my son and working to build a relationship with him (Darin had not seen his son in over 7 years).
SHM: Tell us about your son.
I last saw my son when he was 2, but I always wanted and even dreamed of being a dad and taking care of my son. So, I started seeing him on weekends. I quickly learned that I knew nothing about being a dad. My discipleship partner at The Shepherd’s House had been a really big help to me learning what it means to be a dad.
SHM: What’s it like being a dad?
Darin: My son is now 9 and he has special needs, but we are so blessed. I am learning to be a parent, how to meet his needs and not just make him conform or do things but help him want to do things that are right and good. I have a lot to learn, but I don’t have to do this alone.
I threw a birthday party for him. It was so awesome. So many people care and came and he had a great time. And in June, I gained full custody of my son. He now lives with me and the six other guys. Two of the other men in the house also have kids here so we have a house full. We all do life together.
SHM: A couple of years ago you talked about wanting a better life for you and your brother when you were both in foster care, and now, you, as a dad are making a new and better life for you and your son. How does that feel?
Darin: Just thinking about that makes me tear up. This past year I was able to reconnect with my mom and apologize for being a tornado that just tore through life and relationships. It was so good to make amends with her, and now, I am a dad. I don’t want my kid to go through all that I did. I have hope that we can do this. We are blessed.
When you give to The Shepherd’s House you help men like Darin, and the women in our recovery communities and their kids see amazing changes as they find hope. You help these families break cycles of poverty, drugs, abuse, and violence. You provide them and their children the chance to have a brighter future and you help to create the opportunity for generational healing for many like Darin.
If you would like to support others like Darin, you can make a financial contribution here.