It was this time of year, two years ago, when the lives of my children and me changed. With the assistance of the Outreach Program I made the decision to leave my husband after 10 years of marriage, and 10 long years of physical and emotional abuse. The turning point for me was when I began to hear the same comments my husband would say to me everyday, being said by my 5 year old son towards me and his older sister. Seeing this made me even more aware of the impact of what was occurring within the home, and provided me with the motivation to make changes. At the time, I knew the separation would be hard. However I also knew that I had the support of my family. I was working full time and could support my children and myself. At the end of October we moved into our new home. We started out with just the basics, but I knew gradually with each week and each pay check I could finish everything off. It was the next week that I received a layoff notice from the company that I worked for. Thinking that I was secure in my job, I had not guessed that this was going to occur. Then my life was turned up side down even more as my mom had passed away expectantly. Financially, I was at my end point and emotionally I was done. It was my Outreach Worker who had then suggested that she could help out our family through the ‘adopt a family program’. I was truly only concerned that my children have a happy Christmas in light of all the changes, and knowing that I would not be able to do that, I was grateful that there was help available. Through the donation our family received I was able to make us a nice Christmas dinner, have toys and clothes under the tree (they even donated a tree to us), and with all of the bedding, small appliances and curtains we received, our house really became a home to us. It is at times like these that my confidence in the world around us is replenished. Knowing that our family was going through a bad time and that there are generous people out there to help out, I didn’t even know how to say thanks enough.
Two years has gone by. I am working full time again, my kids are doing well and we have been working hard at healing from our experiences. It was my daughter who suggested that this year we ‘adopt a family’, as a way to say thank you and help out another family, just like we were helped. So this year we are starting a new tradition and are giving back as a way to show our support to other families out there just like us.