by Melissa in Texas
From my birth in 1971, until I was ten months old I laid in a crib with little to no attention. My birth mother did not want me and pumped me full of drugs trying to kill me when I was only 3 months old. She had already let go of one daughter and had a 1-year-old son. I was just another tie down in her party style life. She and my birth father did not want me nor have they ever to this day even tried to be a part of my life.
Around August, in the summer heat, my birth mother decided she had enough and took me, a nine month old who could not even sit up on my own, and left me on a strangers door step. She never returned. My birth father never even tried to fight for me. I ended up in CPS care but shortly thereafter I was given to my grandparents along with my brother. Then two wonderful people, Billy and Diana, decided that they wanted us and took us as their own to raise. For many years they raised us without our knowledge of birth parents or CPS due to our young age.
I was around 10 years old when my cousin got angry with my mom and told me, "You're not even their daughter. You were trash to your mother and they felt sorry for you." Just imagine hearing someone tell you at 10 years old that your whole life has been a lie and that you are worthless, unloved and unwanted by the very people who should love you beyond life. I was hurt and angry and felt alone. By age 12 I was being sexually abused by my grandfather – instilling even more thoughts that I was worthless. For nine years I would stay quiet and use drugs to not feel anything. I couldn't tell anyone because the threats made were life threatening for others, like my mom. At 17 years of age I would marry my first husband who would get paid to turn and walk away while the sexual abuse continued. At just before 18 I would give birth to my first child. By 23 I had put my grandfather in jail (he did not stay), have two more children, been in three abusive marriages and used drugs daily as if they were a pack of cigarettes. I was not proud then nor am I now. I would pray daily, “God, please protect me and my children and, God, whatever it takes get us out of all this mess.”
By the time I was 25 it would take my baby girl ending up with shaken baby syndrome at the hands of her own birth father before I would see the bottom of my life. My precious little girl in foster care hurt in a way I swore would never happen to my child. I blamed myself, and others blamed me too. I was ready to die and didn't care what it took. Drugs, alcohol and a car don't mix but I didn't care. Then God intervened and had other plans. In October of 2002 after getting clean and sober, fighting and winning my case with CPS for my daughter, and many years of counseling I would trust Christ as my Savior, and by Feb. 2004 God would provide for me an awesome Christian husband. Through the past 8 years I have had God's mercy poured over me, God's Grace cover me and His tender heart take over my life. I have found and given forgiveness more than I ever thought possible. See, God does not make mistakes He only fixes them. He has molded me into a beautiful, fine piece of china and I am forever grateful to be able to help others going through things similar to my personal journey. He has blessed me by turning the horrifying experiences in my life into wonderful training to help others overcome and forgive. My wonderful husband and I have been blessed by God to now be the proud parents of 11 children, 3 that are my biological children, and 8 that we have adopted through CPS. We have a wonderful church family in Palmer, Texas and a Pastor who never once gave up on me. To Bro Gary thank you, to my church for all your prayers through so many years, "thank you.” And please know that I love each and every one of you.
I want all victims to become survivors and know that there are people who love them and will pray them through. I want other girls and boys alike to know there is healing no matter how horrible the past. No matter what has happened to you and no matter what you have done. There is forgiveness and sweet peace in Jesus. It is a free gift that you receive. There is nothing you or I can do that God can't heal and turn around.
Today, I am in the process of getting a support group started at our local Junior College as well as in our county for those who have endured child abuse. We are also working on building a shelter called a “Place Called Home” for young adults who are trying to change the patterns of their lives.