Mother vows to not celebrate Christmas until children come home

An East Tennessee woman battling addiction got a second chance to get her family back together in time for Christmas.
An East Tennessee woman battling addiction got a second chance to get her family back together in time for Christmas.
Published: Dec. 20, 2022 at 6:48 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 21, 2022 at 5:36 PM EST
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - An East Tennessee woman shared her journey through addiction and how she got her family back in time for Christmas.

Five years ago, Krista Hill lost custody of her 7-year-old daughter due to drug addiction. “After I lost custody of my daughter, I went down a spiraling hole. I wanted to die, didn’t want to live,” Hill said.

From that moment on, she swore she wouldn’t put up a Christmas tree again until her daughter was back home.

“Christmas was for her, not me,” Hill said.

Hill struggled with drugs almost her entire life. She grew up in a home with drug use and domestic violence. Starting at just 14 years old, she started smoking marijuana and eventually found herself addicted to meth.

She was arrested and sent to court-ordered rehab. When she got out, she found herself pregnant with a baby boy.

That’s when she knew she had to stay clean. “All I really want is them to be together, grow up together. They love one another and Raven’s always wanted a little brother,” she said.

Her saving grace was Hand UP for Women, a nonprofit that helps women after addiction, domestic violence and other difficult circumstances.

Hill became a success story for the organization.

“Since joining the program, Krista has soared! The only time she missed class was the day after she gave birth to her son, Sparrow. She and her mentor are more like mother and daughter. In fact, she refers to her mentor as her parent,” said Executive Director, Eva Pierce.

Hill got a job through Tennessee’s Second Chance Program with the City of Knoxville. “If you asked me three years ago if I’d be working for the City of Knoxville, I would’ve told you, you were lying,” said Hill.

Every Christmas, Hill’s home has gone without Christmas cheer. This year, her tree is up.

“It’s been 5 long years in the making, and I never thought this would happen, but my children are going to get to be together,” Hill said.

For those battling addiction, Hill said there is light to get out, but you just have to look for it.