Losing custody of a child can be one of the hardest things for a parent to go through. And working to regain that custody, can be even harder.
But today, the Michigan Supreme Court celebrated three families who’ve done just that. Bringing them together with the judges and professionals who worked on their cases in honor of Michigan’s 2nd Annual Reunification Day.
“I had no idea where to go, I needed help,” says Edmund Tallon.
Edmund Tallon battled a drug addiction for nearly 7 years. His wife, also suffered from the same problem and they were trying to raise two children.
And it wasn’t until he was deemed an un-fit parent, that he finally decided to turn his life around.
“It’s hard, it requires courage and commitment on the part of the parent to address those problems,” says Ingham County Circuit Court – Family Division, Judge Laura Baird.
Judge Baird worked on Tallon’s case. She says, when the court takes children away from a parent, it can be hard for some parents to listen to what the court tells them to do.
But she says, to get custody back, they have to.
“It’s not a lack of love, it’s the fact that they have barriers that prevent them from being adequate parents,” says Baird.
Baird says, Tallon’s kids were put in foster care until both he and his wife could get sober, get a job, and go to therapy.
“You have to carry on all these things and see your children and re-acclimate yourself to life again without the use of substances, and that’s a big change right there,” says Tallon.
It took a year and a half, but today, now two and a half years later, Tallon and his wife stand proud with the two children they once lost, and with a third they’ve since added to their family.
“We were in a rough spot in our lives, and we needed someone to step up and do something for us,” says Tallon as he thanks Judge Baird.
Looking back, Tallon says while loosing their children was exactly what they needed at the time to get sober and back on track, it’s not anything that he ever plans to go through again.