- Macheal Vanderslice: Keeping It All Together
- By JOSH BICKEL
- The 63rd Missouri Photo Workshop / Clinton, Mo.
After losing her two sons, Daymian and James, because of drug and alcohol addiction, Macheal got clean and got them back after 15 months about three years ago. With her second chance, Macheal has built a house of tight discipline — a necessity because Daymian has phperger's Syndrome and James has ADHD.
Now, Macheal sacrifices to provide for her sons and 18-month-old daughter, Pandora, while searching for a job and receiving $129 a week in unemployment. However, job hunting while maintaining an environment fit for her kids proves difficult. As a single mother, she has to be home when Daymian and James come home from school in the mid-afternoon, which limits her ability to work nights or late into the day because she can't afford a babysitter.
Still, Macheal provides for her kids in exchange for providing for herself. Her socks have holes and her winter coat is old, but that's OK as long as the children have what they need.
"I can go without," she says. "But not my kids."
Macheal also tries to help out friends whenever she can, allowing them a place to stay that's away from negative influences.
"No matter how poor you are, you still have something to give," she said.
Macheal, center, helps her son James order his school bag before taking her sons to a doctor's appointment, then taking her daughter, Pandora, and a friend's daughter to daycare.
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