SAN ANTONIO — A San Antonio mother has reached a milestone. Gabriela Medellin is getting a second chance at life and will graduate from Bexar County Family Drug Court on Friday. The former drug addict who lost her kids is now sharing her story of redemption. 

More than a year ago, her poor choices in life caused CPS to take away her three daughters. 

"I just looked at my daughter and told her, 'you have to be strong,'" she said. "'I need you to be mommy right now. I need you to be mommy for your sisters.'"

The mom said she was in an abusive relationship with her kids' father. Her life was spiraling out of control. "It was stealing, asking for money," she said. "Putting my kids in danger."

Her addiction started with prescription pills, which lead to drugs on the street. "It is easy to find," she said. "You can find them anywhere."

Medellin was keeping the shameful secret from her family. For more than a year, she didn't get to see her three angels.

"I see it is a blessing in disguise, rather than something bad that happened to me," she said. "Because I learned what I had to do to get them back. What I went through, I could never compare what they went through."

For the past year, the single mom has been in the Bexar County Family Drug Court. The program helps parents recover from addiction and reunites them with their children.

"Where I felt like, 'I can't no more, because this is hard,'" the mother said, "I knew they were waiting for me and I couldn't stop."

Just a few months ago, Medellin got her kids back. She completed the extensive program and will graduate with 14 others on Friday. On the big day, about 38 children will also be officially reunited with their parents. 

"It is a new beginning," she said. "It is a future of success. And I want my girls to know that we all make mistakes, but we have to get up. We have to be strong women."

Medellin is going back to school in January at Texas A&M San Antonio. She plans to get her master's degree to be a counselor. She wants to help other mothers who have been down a similar dark road.

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