Story of Hope: Diana
Diana is a woman living daily in hope to reunite with her children and
Diana was committed to her marriage, sacrificing her career and education to be a stay at home mom with their two kids. Diana reflects that she would have graduated with her Master’s this May with an agreement with the attorney she had been working for to go to law school on his dime and maintain a place in his firm. “I absolutely loved staying home with my kids. The sacrifice was worth it until things began to fall apart.” Diana learned that her husband had been unfaithful in marriage and began to recognize his controlling nature. She found herself consistently trying to keep the peace in their home.
Diana had given birth to their daughter prematurely, leaving her a whole new set of concerns in keeping a healthy, stable home. Diana endured for the sake of her children. Then, things took a terrifying downward turn. At two years old, Diana’s daughter was abused by a family member. Diana sought help for her daughter but was accused of making up the abuse. Family and friends turned their back on her. Charges were brought and then dropped due to insufficient evidence. Diana felt so alone.
She finally asked her husband to leave, then living in the limbo of separation, attempted co-parenting, and trying to survive financially as a single parent. Diana lost her car, her marriage came to an end, and was then served eviction papers. She went to stay with a friend and later learned that this is when her ex-husband had her served at her previous home with documentation for a custody hearing. By the time she learned of the hearing, she had no money and her attorney resigned from the case. Diana lost custody of her son and daughter by default.
“I had absolutely loved being a stay at home mom and I was in shock. I didn’t know how to get up everyday, how to keep going, what to do with myself. So many people around spoke in judgement, saying things like ‘moms don’t lose their kids.’ I felt like my whole world had turned its back on me.”
Diana began reaching out in every direction to gain stability so she could continue to fight for her children. She applied for Hillcrest Hope and was a perfect fit for the program, working far more than 40 hours a week, doing everything in her power to make progress toward seeing her children again. Yet, Diana remembers how fragile she still felt.
“At Hillcrest Hope, the lack of judgment from staff, volunteers, everyone, spoke so deeply to me. I was physically exhausted and emotionally drained when I was welcomed in the doors of Hillcrest Hope.” Yet, Diana was dedicated. “I love my kids too much to ever stop fighting. And God keeps saying, ‘I’ve got you.’” Diana shares that she doesn’t want to ever forget what she has walked through because that how she can help others through their trials. She reflects about how she always used to walk in fear but no longer lives that way.
Diana’s children have not made it home full-time but she sees them weekly. She continues to do everything in her power to care for them and show them her fierce, unwavering love.
“I’ve always been a compassionate person who has been inspired by the stories of others. I would wonder what it must have been like for others to endure trials and tribulations. I know that I am now that person. My story can inspire. I don’t know what this story sounds like to other people. I only know what it has looked like through my eyes, how it has felt, and how it has changed who I am. I want to allow it to help other people. I know that God has made my story one of humility and hope.”