by Take Root Member Rebekah

I was sitting in my room, at my dad’s house. I had just returned from studying for half a year in London, England and I was crying. For the first time since I had been found and brought home at the age of 12, after having been abducted by my mother for 8 years, I wanted to let go of the anger and feeling of doom. I was twenty three years old and ready to emotionally move on with my life. But I had no idea where to start or how to go about it. I felt hopeless yet empowered and knew if I did not do something now then the resentment and anger could take over.

I went to my computer and typed parental abduction into the search engine and that is when I found Take Root and my life changed. Take Root is the first and currently the only organization dedicated to adult survivors of childhood parental abduction. Just seeing the web site made me feel a little more complete; for so long I thought I was different, or a freak, because no one I knew had experienced the identity crisis I had. Little did I know there are hundreds of thousands of parental abduction cases. As I studied the web site, I noticed I could write a short summary about my experiences and email it to the director, Liss Hart-Haviv, and it would be posted on the web site for people to read; so I did just that. I poured my story out and sent it to Liss and became the first member of Take Root to join the new program after the original founding members started it in March, 2002. I joined in April.

That was three years ago and since then Take Root has grown and gained many new members. I have been flown out to Los Angeles for a members meeting, and learned how to tell my story effectively and how to deal with interviews. I have been on the Today Show and CNN talking about the ramifications of parental abduction and how seriously it needs to be taken. I went to a conference in Nashville, Tennessee and spoke in front of three hundred people spanning from local law enforcement to members of congress. I have been volunteering for Take Root since the day I became a member, and I have met and become friends with a number of members of the organization, and can honestly say it has enriched, engulfed, shaken up, and made my identity complete.

Through Take Root, its members, and newfound self confidence I finally have a sense of who Rebekah Jean Ford is, even though just like every other human being that identity is always growing and building on itself. At twenty-seven years old I am finally feeling a sense of self and am becoming comfortable in my own skin and in my own life story. I am grateful for the existence of Take Root and its courageous members, and this is my culture: an eclectic array of people and stories that span from my backyard to across the world. No matter who or where they are, I feel a connection with those people that have had to experience similar events I have. Take Root has become a huge part of my life and being a member has helped me through some of my darkest moments and given me some of my brightest.

Leave a Reply