When Will arrived on our campus the summer of 2021, he was solemn with hollow eyes. He’d spent the last six years bouncing between his meth addiction, prison, and various park benches - and hadn’t seen his children in two years. After meeting One Eighty staffers Chad and Justin through The Turn class they led in Scott County Jail, Will decided he wanted to come to One Eighty for our addiction recovery program.
Will made steady progress through recovery, trying to rebuild relationship with his family. At first, his ex-wife wouldn’t answer the phone or let his boys talk to him. But last Christmas, Will rang the bell for the Salvation Army and made some extra money - choosing to spend it all on his kids and ex-wife. That gesture tore down some walls and reopened communication. Will graduated from One Eighty this August with hopes of serving with the Salvation Army permanently. But then a phone call changed it all.
Will’s ex-wife relapsed in her own addiction and his two kids - Jax and Kai - were now at grandma’s house. This was Will’s moment to step up and begin parenting again. He set up two extra beds in his room at a One Eighty stability house and went to pick up his 12 and 11 year old boys immediately.
“It’s been like an endless sleepover,” Will laughs. “I haven’t had time with them like this for years. This is stuff I’ve prayed for and I see it coming alive.”
Now the family of three has moved into their own One Eighty family stability apartment where they have a little more space. The kids are settled into their new school routines. Will has a good job as a welder. Things are starting to feel more normal and they are ready to celebrate Christmas together. Will’s opportunity to parent his boys daily is more than he dreamt God could do.
“This is my biggest and most important job ever. This all could have been stressful, but it’s not because of the support I have here.”
This month, as we celebrate the birth of our Savior who came to earth so people could have a relationship with their Heavenly Father, we believe He is shouting for joy as these young boys regain a loving relationship with their earthly father. This only happens because of the broad support we have from people like YOU who give of their time, talent and treasure to support Will and others like him. Thank you for Unwrapping Freedom so that Jax and Kai have a father in their lives again.