135 Years, 135 Stories title image
Thank you Florence Crittenton Programs of South Carolina

BARB, South Carolina

Jennica came to my husband, Terry, and me at the age of six months, along with her four siblings, into our foster home where they stayed for the next four years. When they were freed for adoption, Terry and I adopted them into our family with the four girls that we already had. When Jennica was about nine, she found out that she might have been the product of an affair her biological mother had had. This information helped foster her already lowered self-esteem issues to even lower levels to make it almost non-existent, it was so low. Jennica began to sneak out of the house, run away, steal, and lie from a very early age and became promiscuous with boys. She was entered into counseling at about 10 years of age and has continued in counseling ever since, to no avail. Her behavior continued to deteriorate. She was thought to be ADHD, bi-polar, with traits of anti-social, anti-authority behaviors and in trouble with the law for stealing.

On June 10, 2011, Terry passed away and left an even bigger void in Jennica’s life. By then, Jen was completely out of control. We were living with dead-bolt locks on our bedroom doors because she would pick regular locks and take whatever she wanted. She had no respect for herself or anyone else, or their space. She preferred to live in filth with her room littered with trash from dirty dishes and moldy, rotten food to used, unwrapped pads and tampons scattered on her floor. She had attempted suicide by pills a number of times and was into cutting herself. Although she admitted she becoming pregnant to have someone (the baby) to love just her, her behavior continued out of control. She did give up smoking, drinking and drugs for the baby, but the lying, stealing, and disrespect for all continued.

As a last and desperate alternative, her counselor and I investigated the Florence Crittenton Center for pregnant girls in Charleston, SC. Jen and I visited, she was accepted, and against her will, was brought back to Charleston. The day I brought her back to live till she delivered her baby was one of the hardest days in my life, ranking right next to watching my husband pass away. I drove away from the home crying hysterically, praying to God I was doing the right thing. I felt incredible guilt, remorse, and that I was abandoning her at a time when she was most in need of me as her mother. At this time, I entered counseling myself to deal with not only my grief, but the guilt over my daughter. The ensuing months were not easy for any of us. Her siblings and I learned that we did not have to live with deadbolts, stealing, lies, and constant tension, but most of all, Jen has developed into a beautiful, young woman. Although she’s had to grow up and mature faster than what she should’ve had to, she has done a remarkable job of it. There were many, many nights of tears, threats, and begging to come home over the phone, but it was well worth it.

The Center has returned to me a well-educated, thoughtful, compassionate, loving young lady. Jen entered the Center without empathy, concern or respect for herself or others and has come out of it looking forward to being the “best mommy I can be”. She has learned coping skills, parenting skills, and it has helped her improve her self-esteem like no amount of counseling alone has been able to do in the past. She is still stubborn and impatient, but she’s learning to cope and put others first, most notably, that of her soon-to-be-born son. We all know life will be no bed of roses for any of us, but for Jen, I think the Center has helped save her life and that of her son’s. They have been incredibly compassionate and understanding during a time of crisis at home, as well as unbelievable patience with Jen. Although I regret the time lost with Jen during her pregnancy, bringing her to the Florence Crittenton Center was a life-saving event and the best decision ever made.

Thank you Florence Crittenton Center Staff.


PS. Her son is beautiful and her training and teachings at Florence Crittenton shows through daily in her care and patience with Scott. Thank you.