A little back story required

You may already know this, but I met my dad for the first time five years ago. I don’t talk about it much here because I write exclusively about it on my family’s website (link below).

I spent the summer after my junior year of college in British Colombia, Canada so I could get to know my newfound family better.

It was a wild ride, for sure.

My feelings were all over the map and I didn’t know if I had made the right decision by agreeing to come for the summer or even by agreeing to give my dad a chance.

Latest family photo by our friend Derek Crosby of Greater Image Photography

Latest family photo by our friend Derek Crosby of Greater Image Photography

It was my first time to get a passport, to fly, to leave the country, to meet my stepmom and siblings.

So many firsts…..

And I was already feeling like a social pariah.

It’s not like you can explain away how you are the daughter no one knew about.

“I’m a really nice person—not an axe murderer or a tax evader. Seriously, I was just as surprised as you are when I found out the whole story. None of this is my fault.”

See how much I ramble when I’m nervous?

Well, the summer went okay. There were some bumps along the way, but it was a good start to our adventure towards restoration. It was a summer of wrapping our thinking around this new reality.

I’m sharing all of this to give you the back story of my new logo.

My next post will explain the dream that helped our family cope throughout this crazy time. (And, no, it was not a dream caused by licking the caps of poisonous mushrooms.)

You’ll understand more tomorrow.

Until then, check out my family’s website: http://www.thehollimans.com/

The Biggest Impact: Part II

When I met my dad, it was like finding the missing pieces of a puzzle. I was able to fill in the gaps on so many of the mysteries surrounding my life.

I found out that we are freakishly (and I say this in a loving way) similar; not just in appearance but in personality as well. That was something I had always wondered about because my whole life I acted so differently from the rest of my family.

I gained two grandmothers, Grandma Susana and Nana; four siblings, Sofia, Savanna, Caleb, and Selah; and last but not least a beautiful stepmother, Celina or Mama Ce.

What a blessing!

Also, he and my stepmom are really challenging my thinking in a lot of ways. I’m just going to list them in order to save some time because each area would require its own explanation: Faith, family, ministry, food, hobbies….those are just some general categories.

The cool thing is that I am walking through these things with my parents. In many ways these things are all new to each of us, so it’s a learning curb for us all.

I guess the best way to answer part two of my dad’s question is to refer back to part one (see last post).

I would say that the answer is just as simple: his presence in my life has only made me stronger and more secure.

This post is not about boosting my dad’s ego. 

The Lord designed marriage and family to be a representation of his love for the church.

Fathers are the protectors, providers, and spiritual leaders of the family. If you are a father and are not doing the above things, you are acting outside of the will of God.

My dad will be the first to tell you that he was a coward for leaving me in the first place. In fact, that was the first thing he ever said to me when we started talking via Facebook.

However, he asked my forgiveness and immediately began seeking ways to fulfill his role as my father. That makes him a hero in my book. 

My life has not been the same since that moment, and I would not want it to be because God turned my heart toward my father. Not many girls can say the same. 

The Biggest Impact…

My dad asked me to share about the impact of his absence in my life.

He told me to be brutally honest. To not hold anything back in order to spare his feelings.

Well, here’s the truth, the biggest impact: Simply not knowing him.

This sounds really stupid but it’s the truth.

I have a lot of friends, so I’ve heard all kinds of stories about their dads. Some girls sing praises, others tell horror stories.

Here’s the thing: at least they knew their fathers.

I am not the only person who grew up without a dad but not knowing him made me think.

What’s his favorite color? Movie? Band? Do I look like him? Is he funny? Smart? Is he a Christian? Atheist?

When I was older I learned that he was a missionary and that he had a family. This added a whole new smattering of questions.

Doesn’t he care about my salvation? Does his wife know? How many kids does he have? Is he a good dad to them? He hasn’t been to me…

My dad was a shadowy figure, a ghost, who haunted my dreams. I just wanted to meet him; To sit in a room and ask him a few questions. After all, he was my father, so half of my DNA came from him.

Whatever anyone tells you here’s the truth about abandonment: Kids want to know their parents.

That’s God’s design.


I wanted to know my parents so bad because I needed to understand who I was. And, I wanted to hear the whole story.

Was it true my dad’s parents hated me? Why did my parents split up? Why, dad, wherever you are, did you not want me? What did I do? I was a baby.

My mom was a drug addict, scarred by her past. My dad was a ghost. I carried my questions around with me because they could not be answered by anyone but my parents, so why burden anyone else?

Plus, I didn’t really have any friends who understood either. There were a few but not many. I grew up watching other kids interact with their parents and thinking to myself:

Unloading the dishwasher, putting my clothes away, and cleaning my room would not be that bad if my mom or dad asked me. I would do just about anything if I could spend some time with them.

Don’t get me wrong, my Me-maw is awesome. She did a great job raising me. However, we both understood that her love and care could never replace the desire I had for my parents.

Thankfully, God gave me so much more than I could have ever dreamed of.

God gave me an awesome grandmother; a supportive extended family that made sure I had what I needed and wanted; and, most importantly, God lavished me with love and protected my spirit.

I’m so glad God gave me those things to help me better accept the bitter truths of my childhood.

***I just couldn’t end this blog negatively.***