As a baby, I was placed for adoption at birth and adopted when I was only 6 months old. Although adoption can be a great experience for many, to me, it meant I was not wanted. By the time I was 2 years old, my adopted parents divorced. I remained with my mom. My adopted Dad tried in the beginning to maintain a relationship with me, but it just never worked out. My dad had moved on, remarried a few times, and the new wives made the relationship too difficult. He eventually had a biological son and then proceeded to tell me I was not his daughter. This reinforced to me that I was not wanted.
My adopted Mom tried her best, however, with no mothering role model, plus an alcoholism battle, things were not good. I was put in foster care for being abused, thrown out of the house many times, lived in shelters, friends homes, and on the street. All these experiences reinforced to me that I was not wanted. This led me to believe I was not worthy to ever have a family of my own. In my 20's, I met with both of my biological parents. The "reunion" did not go well. It wasn't long before we weren't communicating anymore. More proof to me that I was not worthy or wanted.
After starting my relationship with God, I soon began to see myself as the daughter of our heavenly Father. Even with this revelation, I still believed I was not worthy of having a family or parents that cared for me. As soon as I started coming to Living Hope, I began to feel and see the church members as my family. They were there for me when I became ill and loved me in a way I had never experienced or felt worthy of. Pastor Bob became a father figure in my life. From the messages during services, he taught me how to forgive, not to take offense, love the unlovable and how a healthy family should function. Even in all this, I still struggled with the fact I had no natural family of my own. One day, one of the ladies in church, whom I had a lot of respect for and wished that I had a mom like, said she would be proud to call me her daughter. That was a turning point for me - the lie was dead!!! I knew I was worthy.
Shortly after this, my biological mother contacted me. She lives in Edmonton and she wanted to meet up. She was willing to pay for my airfare. I didn't want to go there, but I felt God wanted me to go, and I trusted Him. I ended up not having to go out West because my mom came here. My niece was playing in a hockey tournament for a weekend, so it provided the opportunity to meet with my family. With the skills I learned from my church family and the feelings of worthiness, I confidently met many family members whom I had never met including aunts, uncles nieces, cousins, a brother and my mom. My mom proudly introduced me to everyone as her daughter. My natural family had been restored. I will always consider Living Hope as my family but now I have my natural family back too. God is a restorer of families!