How did you get connected with The Fatherless Daughter Project?

Torri J. Evans-Barton, PhD, with The Fatherless Generation, Inc. connected me with The Fatherless Daughter Project.

How did you get connected with The Fatherless Generation?

In January 2015, a very good friend of mine knew the founder, Torri J. Evans-Barton, PhD, of The Fatherless Generation and contacted her on my behalf of my story.

Can you tell us in a few sentences about your personal story of father loss and now father reconnection?

Daniela and her father

I uncovered some date discrepancies during the divorce proceedings of my parents (biological mom and dad in 2013) that made me question if my dad, who raised me with my mom, was really my biological father.  My doubts were further fueled by some family rumors over the years.  At the time I did not know that my dad was really my stepdad.

I finally addressed those doubts in January 2015 by asking my mother. She disclosed that the man who raised me, now her ex-husband, was actually my step dad. My good friend put me in contact with Torri and The Fatherless Generation. She helped me locate my biological father within a matter of weeks.

On Valentine’s Day of 2015, I received a phone call from my younger brother that he received my letter that was intended for “our” dad. He informed me we have an older brother as well.  He gave me my biological dad’s cell phone number, and I left him a voicemail message.  My biological father called me back the next day, Sunday, and said he had prayed for this moment for us to reunite for a very long time.

Unfortunately thru my parents’ divorce my dad, who I now know to be my stepdad, made the choice to disown my brother and me.  As I have lost one father, I have gained another and two brothers and a sister.

I was able to meet my biological father for the first time in May 2015. It was surreal meeting him for the first time.  As you can imagine, I was feeling a lot of different overwhelming emotions. There are significant struggles in trying to establish a bond with a complete stranger like trying not comparing him to my stepdad who raised me and trying to figure out what role he will play in my life as an adult woman.

My biological father also recently told me that he and my mother gave up a female child for adoption.  My mother has since confirmed this as well. This would be my sister and only full-sibling, who am I am now interested in locating.

Daniela and her older brother

Please tell us about meeting your siblings in person.

On Saturday, April 2, 2016, I met one of my siblings, my older brother for the first time.  It was surreal, awkward and exciting all in one.  It seems easier to forge a bond with one another since we have similarities in our struggles with building a relationship with our dad. Plans are in progress to meet my younger brother, hopefully this year.  I hope to locate my sister in hopes of bonding with her as well.

What has helped you to survive?

My strong faith in God helped/helps me survive.  He is with me during this journey. Through Him I have the strength to push through the hurt and other array of emotions that comes along with this journey. I did not allow myself to stay broken, and I have forged ahead in my journey.

Is there a special person(s) in your life that has helped you find healing?

First and foremost, I would say my relationship with God as I need supernatural healing and strength to go through this journey.  I am very fortunate to have family members and a core group of friends walk this journey with me and keep me lifted in prayer, love and continuous support.  I include Torri as part of that core group as she has been by my side through this entire journey.

Where do you shine?

I shine when I wake up daily and realize I am coping with all of this better today than yesterday. I have experienced some traumatic things in my life, and through the pain, I try to show I choose not to stay broken.   I work through the pain, find healing and understand that my past and present circumstance does not determine my future.

What would you tell your younger self?

I would tell my younger self that you are loved and worthy. I would tell her to stay focused on God knowing that He will never leave or forsake you.  You will ALWAYS have your Heavenly Father in your life even if your Earthly Father isn’t. I would tell her that life lessons serve a purpose in making you into the person you were designed to be in His timing.  God does everything in His timing-He does not cut corners.  God values the work you put forth in pushing thru your journey.

If you could have a theme song, what would it be?

He Has His Hands on You by Marvin Sapp and The Way That you Love me by Jonathan McReynolds

How do you hope to make a difference in the world?

I am transparent with my life experiences.  I find that by doing so I am able to encourage and love on others based on those experiences.  I have learned we all have our own varied degree of brokenness.  We all need love and compassion.

Fill in the blank: “The most amazing thing about my life is _______________.”

…..is my new family dynamic.   I am redefining and discovering who I am.

Thanks, Daniela. We are stronger with you in our sisterhood!

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