‘I’m speechless right now’: Spokane man overcomes addiction to spend Father’s Day with kids

‘I’m speechless right now’: Spokane man overcomes addiction to spend Father’s Day with kids
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José Eriza spends Father's Day with his daughter Ariany after overcoming his addictions and winning back his parental rights.

For many, the third Sunday in June brings memories of spending time with dad, doing what they love most. But for a certain group of men in Spokane, Father’s Day hasn’t always been the most joyous occasion — until today.

Just ask Jose Eriza. For the first time in two years, Jose is celebrating Father’s Day alongside his children.

“It feels, it’s — I’m speechless right now,” he said.

This time last year, Jose spent Father’s Day alone. His kids were in foster care after his drug addiction tore them away from him.

“I thought I had it under control because I was able to go to work and do what I needed to do,” Jose said. “There was a moment where I wanted to just throw my hands up and say ‘I give up.'”

That’s when his pastor turned him onto SpoFI.

“I was hesitant about it because I didn’t really know, I thought I had everything under control,” he remembers.

Morning and night, two times a week for 12 weeks, Jose formed a brotherhood with the dozens of dads in the program as he worked to prove to his kids — and a judge — he could handle fatherhood without turning to drugs.

“He gives us the credit but he did the work,” said SpoFI president and founder Ron Hauenstein.

Now clean and sober for 18 months, Jose has his kids back. And he doesn’t plan on losing them again.

“I think I have changed and grown, not just only as me who I am, but as a father for my kids,” he said. “It was something, that I was worth it. That I can be able to show my kids that I don’t give up my fighting.”

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