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Tawnie Wilson | SBJ

No Ceiling: Christina Ford

The Rebound Foundation and Kids Inn Child Care Center LLC

Posted online

Local women share their journey to the top of their professions and the challenges and triumphs they faced along the way. They’re rewriting the script on success and there’s no ceiling.

Christina Ford is my final guest of No Ceiling, Season 4. She’s the founder of The Rebound Foundation, which provides housing and support to survivors of domestic violence, and the owner of Kids Inn Child Care Center, which provides drop-in care. Christina and her family moved to Springfield in 2018 when her husband, Dana, was hired to coach the Missouri State University men’s basketball team. She quickly planted roots in the community, opening transitional housing for women and children fleeing abuse. Her nonprofit is inspired by her own story and her family’s story of domestic violence. In this conversation, Christina talks about the uncertainty that comes with being a coach’s family, not knowing when or where their next move will come. She also shares about the death of her daughter, Promise, and what she has learned about herself in grief and motherhood.

Below is an excerpt from the start of our conversation.

—Christine Temple, Executive Editor

Christine Temple: You’ve described yourself as a third-generation survivor of domestic violence, and that’s influenced the primary thing that you do for your mission and the community, The Rebound Foundation. Tell us about the experiences that you witnessed and then experienced as a young adult.
Christina Ford: Unfortunately, that was our family story that abuse was prevalent in the home and knew that from my mom’s story and knew a little bit of my grandmother’s story, but of course not as much as my mom because I was in it in the home seeing what it looked like for her to leave and all the things that happened from that.

But I normalized it and thought that that’s just what happens in relationships. It’s OK for someone to call you names, make you feel bad about yourself, I thought that was what love was and that if someone’s not doing that, then they don’t love you.

So unfortunately, that ended up in me getting into an abusive relationship throughout my teen years into my early adult years. And thankfully, I was able to come out of that and finally realized that this is not OK, that abuse does not equal love, and that there was more out there for me as far as romantic relationships.

Temple: What was that moment of realization for you?
Ford: I don’t know if you’ve ever heard women be like, “You know what? I am done.” That moment just came for me. This is not OK. It wasn’t what you think of – this big thing that happened. Multiple abuse had happened before then, multiple big things that happened where I could have said, this is serious, this is dangerous for me, I need to leave. But it wasn’t actually that big moment, it was just a realization of I no longer want to do this. And once I made that decision, that was pretty much it.

Thankfully I was done, but as we know from abuse, that person is not. So, that person did not accept that I wanted to move on with my life. And so, for years, they continued to find other ways to be abusive through social media, through my friends, through my son. And so unfortunately, it’s not just you saying I’m done and I want out because that person has that control, they don’t want to release that. They don’t want to see you go forward in life, and so they continue to try to sabotage everything that I was a part of for years to come after.

Temple: With your decision, you became a cycle breaker in your family story, and then you wanted to help other people experience that. Tell me about the idea for The Rebound Foundation and what services you guys provide.
Ford: Me and my mother were searching, at the time we wanted to give back. Thankfully, she was now in a healthy relationship, and I was in a healthy relationship, and we knew what it was both like to go through abuse. We knew how normal it was. You hear so many stories about others that experienced that.

So, we both wanted to give back. We just didn’t know where we start. One night, I remember very vividly having a dream and I saw my mom in a home, and she was helping people, and I was like, that’s something. I woke up, and we talk every day, and so I had to call her, and we played phone tag throughout the day. I couldn’t reach her. Finally, she’s like, “Christina, I’ve got something to tell you.” And I’m like, but I’ve got something to tell you.

We are believers and so she was in prayer, and she was like, “Lord, I want to do something. I want to give back.” And he gave her an address to a home. That was the day after I had my dream, and so we just knew from there that housing for survivors was something that we were supposed to do. So, we took that dream, we took what she felt like the Lord was telling her, and then birthed The Rebound Foundation.

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