I was born the 6th child of 8 in my family. My parents were both addicts. We got our food from the food pantry or we stole it from the grocery store. My clothes were from the church or the school nurse. I can remember going to a large warehouse and being told that I could pick out one toy for Christmas. I learned that there was no Santa at a very young age. I really had no religious education, never was brought to church by my family. I just existed. Everyone knew who I was and what my parents were. I was “labeled” and kids made fun of me because I was poor and dressed in “hand me downs.” We moved every six months. My life was tough.
My mother and father never told me they loved me. I was rejected by my own grandparents because I didn’t look like my sisters and brothers. They told me I was not their granddaughter and I was treated as such. I can remember praying to “God” because I just knew He was out there somewhere. I prayed for Him to help me…to take me away from all of this…to get me a new loving family. I looked at the other children around me and wished I was them instead of “Dirty DiDi.” I promised I would be the best kid possible if God would please just take me from this.
It was a long time coming…but He did come through for me. As a young adult, after leaving my home, I met a boy who is my husband. He and his family opened their arms and hearts to me. They showed me what a REAL FAMILY is supposed to be like. It is now 35 years later and we have 4 children. I tell them I love them EVERY DAY because I wasn’t. I want them to know that they are a precious gift. I teach them to be kind, considerate and compassionate to everyone.
Most importantly, I teach them to look beyond the surface of things and not to judge a book by its cover. Many a treasure has been found beneath dirt and grime. I am so happy that my new family took the time to see the real me. I thank My Wonderful God above that he had delivered me into this Family.
I learned that a person is not a victim. Never be ashamed of your life situation. You can change your life if you are determined to do so. You just need to keep grasping just beyond your reach and never ever quit.