A Miracle in the Making

miracleMiracle Bridgeman’s motivation wears red high top sneakers and dozens of bright barrettes in her hair.

Her tiny one-year-old daughter, Jordan, is all the motivation Miracle needs to complete the transformation of her life that began when she came to the St. Vincent Catholic Charities Children’s Home.

“I don’t want her to go through the things that I went through,” Miracle said, a clear resolve in her voice.

The young woman was just 14 when she and her six siblings were removed from their mother’s care.

“She just couldn’t take care of us,” Miracle explained. “It was just too much for her.”

With no available foster homes in Berrien County, Miracle came to the Children’s Home. Initially she didn’t like it. Rules about lights out, meal times and school attendance were all new to her. She learned to embrace the routine, eventually attending Waverly Public Schools where she played basketball. In time, the lessons from her mentors and staff began to stick.

“They really helped me become the person I am today,” she said. “Learning how to ride the bus, look for apartments – I wouldn’t know how to do any of that without them.”

She left the Children’s Home after two years to attend a trade school and moved back to Benton Harbor. She graduated from Benton Harbor High School and was ready to head to Michigan State University (MSU) when she became pregnant with her daughter.

Her grandmother and an aunt help care for the little girl while Miracle juggles two jobs and classes, often working from 5 a.m. to 2 p.m.  She is working toward her associate’s degree in child development at Lake Michigan College. Once completed, she hopes to return to Lansing to attend MSU.

Miracle wants other children in the foster care system to heed one piece of advice: “Don’t let your past define you or stop you from achieving your goals. Nothing is impossible, and it’s all doable.”

Miracle is well on her way to transforming her life, thanks to the coping strategies she learned at the STVCC’s Children’s Home and a pint-sized bundle of energy who’s now part of the journey.

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