A Family for Me

A Family for Me

From Chicken Soup for the Latter-day Saint Soul

A Family for Me

And it came to pass that Enoch looked; and from Noah, he beheld all the families of the earth; and he cried unto the Lord, saying:“When shall the day of the Lord come? When shall the blood of the Righteous be shed, that all they that mourn may be sanctified and have eternal life?”

Moses 7:45

I grew up in a dysfunctional family with not enough money to go around. Mom shielded my siblings and me as much as possible, but the reality of the situation began to hit me when I was about twelve. I had brown eyes when both of my parents were blue-eyed. My father always treated me differently, but I had assumed it was because I was the eldest.

When I was thirty-two and expecting my first child, my mom confessed that I had been adopted. After the shock wore off, I was able to gather the important information— my real father’s name—and come to terms with the knowledge that I had a whole new family out in the world. I tried to find them, but to no avail. The Internet was a great tool, but it yielded no names for the geographic areas where I looked. I gave up looking, but life dealt a cruel blow when my mother passed away two years later.

In the greatest sorrow I had ever felt, I searched for answers about life, death and the presence of God. My search led me to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I was baptized with my husband in February 2004. After my baptism, I had a burning desire to find my family. Logging on to the Internet, I performed the exact search I had before, and a list of names appeared on the monitor. I sat in shock, realizing that this was Heavenly Father’s gift to me—and I was scared to open it.

At 10 A.M. on March 30, 2004, I dialed the first number on the list and got an answering machine. I left a message for an Ernest Butler, asking for information about an Olin H. Butler. I then called the other numbers on the list and got either no information or “out of service” recordings.

After work that day, I came home to a message on my answering machine from Ernest Butler. My heart was pounding. I couldn’t breathe, and I knew that this was real. When I called, he told me that he was my brother— and that my family had been looking for me for thirty-five years. We stayed on the phone from 8 P.M. until 3 A.M. With tears of joy, I felt such relief that I had finally found my family. I was also very uncertain whether they would accept me.

We met two weeks later, and the relief I felt was staggering. I looked like them, they looked like me, and they were my family. I am blessed because I now have nine brothers and sisters, including the brother and sister from the family I grew up in. But I am even more blessed because I was able to share the gospel with my brother Ernie, and he was baptized in May.

Some people ask whether I am happy knowing that my mother had me out of wedlock; I reply that she was the strongest woman I’ll ever know. She chose to keep me and lived a life of literal hell on Earth to raise me with a man who hated me and all I represented to him.

I know that Mom is waiting for me to be baptized for her, and I know without a doubt that she has accepted the gospel. Our Heavenly Father’s plan has worked out perfectly for me. Because of obedience to His commandments, I now know my family and what we are here on Earth for. It is my destiny to unite my family and a lost lineage to our Heavenly Father.

This whole experience was akin to sweet pain for me, because I always doubted who I was and why I never seemed to fit in with anyone. I was meant to live the life I did because it prepared me to accept and be a part of a much larger picture. I may not understand or agree with my newest siblings, but I know that I will always love them unconditionally, the way that Heavenly Father loves me. We are, after all, a family.

Ruth Moore

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