FAYETTE COUNTY, W.Va. (WOWK) – In the midst of the opioid epidemic many, many families are split up this holiday season. For the Woodard family, being home for Christmas has never meant as much as this year’s Christmas.
“We had messed everything up so bad that it was going to take something so much bigger than us to fix it,” says Misty Woodard.
In 2015 Stephen and Misty Woodard admit their opioid addiction had taken over their lives.
“We had lost the kids three different times to CPS and that last time was from an overdose,” says Misty. Stephen adds, “The state actually said we would never see them again. They said there’s no way you will ever see them again… They were going to give us a visit to tell them goodbye for the last time because they said other than that we would never ever have a chance to have ’em.”
That year Christmas together was spent days later during a four hour extended visit.
“So you try to put on a brave face and you try to be happy but at the end of the day they are still leaving and it was awful so we didn’t want to do that anymore,” says Misty.
They both knew that working towards recovery was the only way to gain peace again and reunite their family.
“I had to trust God, that was it because I had done everything else,” she adds.
The journey they both embarked on wasn’t going to be easy.
It was just putting one foot in front of the other one and doing everything we could to go away from that life to a positive life and you just keep trudging, keep trudging and keep believing,” says Stephen.
Now clean for four-and-a-half years, they will spend another Christmas together with their family while helping others fight addiction. Stephen works full time in the coal mines and Misty is a recovery coach who also works at a local hospital, giving back to mothers less fortunate. Soon she will graduate from Concord University with a degree in substance abuse counseling.
That and this Christmas whenever it gets dark we’ll get to tuck them into bed, we don’t have to load them up in a car, you know, we can tuck them into bed and kiss ’em goodnight and see ’em in the morning,” says Misty.
This will be the family’s second Christmas in their new home tucked away in Fayette County.
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