Imagine being separated from your three-year-old for most of his life...never seeing or talking to him for years at a time, and not knowing when you might be able to see him again.
Breaks your heart, doesn't it? But that's the situation that faced Anael. It was a situation of her own making; she was sent to prison for eight years for drug dealing. But unless you have a heart of stone, you'll be touched by her story:
"Being away from him, the separation...none of it was worth it," she says now. Because she knew she'd be in prison for a long time, she says she had to just not think about her son because otherwise she wouldn't be able to handle it. Whenever she did have contact with him, via phone calls or visits, he was very disconnected with her.
Eventually, a social worker at the prison encouraged her to start writing to him. So she writes him regularly with "Mommy fun facts" about her favorite color, food, etc. so they can form a connection. Conversations go better now, she tells us. However, she recently had to answer his questions about where she is and how she got there, and that was a difficult conversation.
What do you think of Anael's story?
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