Tana Elizabeth was only 5 years old when she lost her mother and stepfather.
“I woke up one morning with my brother who was 7, and we quickly noticed no one else was home. We ran through all the rooms. Looked in the garage, both vehicles were there. It was just us.”
A traumatic part of her earlier memories, Tana recounts how her brother immediately jumped into action when they realized they were all alone.
“I remember my brother grabbing the phone book and flipping the pages, trying to find someone we knew to call. Next thing I knew, there was a knock on the door. This knock was about to change our lives, forever. We looked through the window and saw it was police officers and other people in different clothing.”
Like most children are taught to do so, Tana’s brother didn’t automatically answer despite the knocking, keeping in mind the strict rule for him and Tana not to ever open the door for anyone. But given the circumstances, Tana’s brother used his best judgment and allowed the police officers to enter their home.
“They sat us down. Introduced themselves. Talked to us. Then, they gave us the news: our mother and step-father had been in an accident and had passed away. I had no idea what that meant. My brother immediately started crying. And seeing his crying and pain, I cried too. I cried for him.”
So after a few weeks, Tana and her brother were dropped off at a home in Texas with their bags of clothes.
It was their father’s home where his current girlfriend, Kay, also lived.
Tana remembers how horrible her father’s girlfriend was.
Kay never attempted to get to know Tana and her brother. Nor did she extend kindness to the children of her boyfriend, especially after finding out they had lost their mom and stepdad. Tana recounts,
“She abused us. She tried multiple times to choke my brother to death. She would lock me in a room for days with no water. No food. She would kick us out and make us sleep in my dad’s red pick up. We never understood what we did to make her mad. We honestly were good kids. Even though we had just lost our mother and step-father, we were still good. We listened. We did as we were told. We tried.”
It was a real-life wicked stepmother situation that proved whose side Tana’s father was really on. While he let all this happen, he also made it official that he was choosing his girlfriend over his own kids.
One day, Kay asked Tana’s father to choose between her and his two children. So he packed his kids’ clothes and drove them to child services without any remorse at all.
“He said we had no other family and they could do what they needed to do. He told them he would be back the next day for all the paperwork. He never came back.”
To see and hear your own dad telling strangers he wanted nothing to do with you definitely leaves a wound.
So Tana and her brother were matched with more foster homes. It wasn’t always easy. No matter how kind some foster families were, there was no denying how horrible living conditions were.
“Our clothes never fit. We had lice living there. We were dirty. They didn’t take care of us like they should have.”
But a silver lining came in the form of family who refused to give up on Tana and her brother.
They drove to Texas, appeared in court, and requested visitations at child services until one day, Tana finally found a real home and a family she would gladly call her own.
“My aunt and her husband (who had never met me) fought for me. Picked me.”
Tana was overjoyed at finally meeting the father who truly wanted to take care of her and love her like his own daughter.
“He didn’t have to take me in. He was young. He had never met me. But he wanted ME. He chose ME. He chose to love ME. He chose to be MY dad.”
Despite the hurtful situations Tana found herself in during her earlier years, she didn’t go through life with resentment and bitterness. She was just extremely grateful for her dad.
“I’ll forever be thankful for the man who gave me a chance. Who wanted me. When the one man who was supposed to, didn’t.”
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Source: Love What Matters