TORI COMES FULL CIRCLE
How God has brought her from a Hope child to a cottage parent.
More than 20 years ago, a troubled young girl named Tori came to live at Hope’s Tampa home.
She arrived carrying many hurts and deep confusion, but in time, Tori was transformed. Yes, thanks to the support of friends like you, Tori’s time at Hope empowered her to believe once again—in herself, in her future, and above all, in God’s abundant love.
Tori shares how she’s followed God’s calling to pass that blessing on to other children just like her…
“I received Christ as my Savior at the age of 5. But when I was 12, I started rebelling. Since my church supported Hope, my parents decided to place me there.
In the beginning I was so confused. I didn’t understand why I had been “sent away.” I felt abandoned. But after just a few months, I knew I was right where I was supposed to be. I felt loved and cared for, and I knew I could call on God for help and strength.
There were many staff that I can still recall who cared so much and helped me through many trials. Other houseparents at the Tampa home, Aunt Vonda and Uncle Harold, were always there. Anytime I was feeling down, Aunt Vonda would give me the biggest and best hugs!
Then there was Aunt PJ. She was my housemom in my senior year and a mentor to me. She made a HUGE impact on me.
The night before I graduated—almost 20 years ago now—I sat on the back steps of the girls’ dorm and I told Aunt PJ that I didn’t want to leave, that Hope was my home, with tears flowing down my face.
Fast forward to about 3 or 4 years ago, when my husband, Gerald, and I were on a trip to Florida and we visited Hope together. The whole way home we talked about how we could feel the Holy Spirit working in our hearts about coming back to Hope someday…
Since then, God has worked out everything in His timing. It couldn’t have been more obvious as God opened more doors for us to return.
So here we are, back at Hope as houseparents! We are so excited to be here to be able to help these children in the same way that I needed help!”
Being at Hope set Tori on a trajectory for a hope-filled life—one that’s now brought her full circle!
For more stories of Hope, check out our Stories page.
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