Saturday, July 19, 2008

Who Am I? - Part 1 of my Testimony

Well, let's see...From what I understand of my heritage, I am part Native American, from the southwestern tribe of Hopi Indians, and part Spanish (~Spain.) I was raised in a very all American, middle class home in the heart of the deep south. That alone should tell you I was influenced in a variety of ways in my up bringing. But, wait, it gets better. You need a little back ground to get the full picture.

I was raised in a three generational home, meaning my dad was born in the 20's, my mom was born in the 50's, and I was born in the 70's. My dad was married and had two children, (whom I was never raised with) before he met and married my mom. My mom was his secretary. And no, as cliche as it may sound, she did not break up his marriage. It is rather complicated though. You see, he isn't my biological dad. (Complicated? yeah. Are ya, still with me?)

My mom worked as my dad's secretary, when he asked her out. She had already secretly commented to her sister that she found him attractive, so she was naturally delighted when he asked her out. That is, until she found out he was married. What?! Yes. Separated, but still married. Well, she was furious and wasn't about to be a home wrecker, so she broke it off. That's when she met my father.

His name was Tony. She had known him as an acquaintance from years before, but this time it was different, and so they started dating. My mom said he was very charming and charismatic. She said he was very well known around town, and if they were out at a restaurant or night club with a piano or small band, people would often come up and ask him to sing. She was very quickly swept up in the relationship. Then they found out she was pregnant. Well, she was surprised to find that he was actually ecstatic about the news, and wanted her to meet his family right away. They lived out of state, however, so they took a trip to visit them. While there, she said she started spotting, so they thought she was either losing the baby, or not pregnant as she had thought. They were disappointed and thought that they would wait to share any news when they were sure. Then they had a fight. My mom said that she can't even remember what it was all about. She did however, remember that his mother took his side in the matter, which made her feel very out of place and unwelcome in her home. So, she started packing and decided to leave on her own. She was going to take the bus home, when the next thing she knew, there was my dad. He drove all the way there to tell her he loved her and didn't want to be with out her, and he had finalized his divorce. So, she got in his car and rode away.

When she found out she really was in fact pregnant with me, my dad told her he wanted to marry her, and he would raise me as his own. And he did. He is the only father I have ever known. I remember when I found out about everything, and I wanted to talk to him about it. I sat down and told him I knew and that it didn't matter to me, because he was my daddy and I loved him. I remember he didn't look at me the whole time I spoke, but when he did, he looked straight into my eyes and said, "I don't know what you're talking about." And that made all the difference in my life, because, he never treated me or even thought of me as if I were not his own. Truth be told, I never would have suspected if I hadn't been told the truth, so long ago.

And my real father? My mom tried to let him know she was in fact pregnant, but his family (taking his side of course,) never told him she was trying to contact him. He did find out, when I was about two years old, and he tried to find me. But, my grandmother stepped in and asked him to leave us alone. She told him we were happy and that my dad was a good man and he loved us very much. I do know that he was married at least once and that I have at least one brother and sister somewhere. I'm told that if I ever ran into my sister we would know we were sisters, because we look almost exactly alike. She just has more of an olive skin tone than I. I wonder about them all sometimes. But, unlike many people who have been adopted, I don't feel the need to go looking for my biological father. Even with all the complicated chaos of family dynamics and relationships in my life, I am pretty secure in who I am.

And yes, my life has been filled with drama. (Who's hasn't?) I have survived the effects that alcohol and addiction have had on my family, abuse, an eating disorder, my parents' separation and the threat of divorce at least three times in my life. As well as, my own self loathing/self destructive behavior. And that's just my childhood. But, we will delve into that side of things next time. I am lucky to have had a real relationship with my savior, Jesus, for many years now. I have been deeply loved by Him, and know the security of what it is like to be held in the palm of His hand. He is my rock, my shelter, and my fortress against all the drama and chaos. He is the one and only thing that has never waiver ed or failed me in my life. He is the reason I am still alive.


freetofly said...

Tiffany, what an amazing life you have had! And you are such a beautiful person (inside and out) and I believe that is because of the choices you made to lean into Jesus. I have been thinking more (now that I am older - you find yourself looking backwards trying to understand how things happen they way they do...) that even BEFORE we come to Christ, you can see the little choices we make that bring us closer,

I am looking forward to hearing (as Paul Harvey would say) The Rest of The Story!

I am truly blessed to have gotten to know you in the blogosphere!

God bless you, Tiffany!

Denise said...

You are so precious. I enjoyed reading about you, looking forward to reading more sweetie. I love you.

Penless Thoughts said...

We have something in common. My father was 52 years old when I was born and my mother was 21 years younger than he (31). They had been married 3 years when I came along. I had sisters (my fathers children from his wife that died that were almost as old as my mother. A very different family to grow up in.

Christy said...

what a neat story-that is so romantic and it is so powerful to see how God worked that out for your parents. You were blessed to have a father like that.

I am looking forward to the rest of the story!

Anonymous said...

hey my sweet. so glad you decided to share this with others. you are so inspiring and open about your choices and your life. i love that about you!!! i thought i knew most of this, but i did learn a few new details.

miss you!