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Ashley's Testimony

The state of Kansas removed me from my biological mother when I was two years-old, because my mother was neglecting me. I was put into foster care. I was adopted when I was four. That same year, I was sexually abused by two foster brothers. They were sent away shortly after the incidences occurred. My mom to this day said that nothing had happened, even though she was the one who walked in on it. I have forgiven her for not realizing how much damage that caused in my life growing up. My adoptive parents divorced when I was five or six. I was always thinking that all these things were my fault, and that I could not do anything right.

I had lots of behavioral issues when I was young. I was diagnosed with ADHD when I was in 2nd grade and was put on medication . By fourth grade they had me on the highest levels of Ritalin that I could be on. I still acted out and was very hyper. They tried a lot of techniques with me to try to help me. My adoptive parents both remarried when I was very young. I have two dads and two moms not to mention my biological mother and father. I was very hurt and confused.

Kids at school made fun of me my whole life. When I was 14, I was angry and upset all the time. When I would get really mad, I would hurt myself. I went to a group home because I did not want to go back to school. I still got in trouble there and felt like I couldn't do anything right. I continued my destructive path and was kicked out and sent back home because I would not stop harming myself.

On my 16th birthday, I was locked up at a level six treatment facility. I was very angry. I still continued to cut on myself with objects that I would find and was always getting restrained and put in timeout. I was there for nine months. I was in and out of psychiatric hospitals for the next few years. I graduated in 2005 from high school.

I moved to Lawrence and went to school for massage therapy. I got into a very abusive relationship with a guy from work, and I ended up getting pregnant and having a baby girl. I was not mentally or emotionally capable of taking care of her. I gave guardianship of her to my grandparents. I got very depressed and tried to commit suicide. Back to the psychiatric hospital I went.

I tried to work out the relationship with my daughter's father, but it did not work out. He filed for and was granted temporary custody of our daughter. It was around this time that Shiloh opened and I was the first Shiloh girl. I was at Shiloh for about three months when my father's daughter was granted permanent custody of our daughter. I was so upset. I acted violently at Shiloh and had to leave. I was placed in the mental health group home here in Emporia. I was dismissed from there because of too many angry outbursts and I had gotten in a fight with one of the staff. I ended up in jail, but was released. I bounced around from friend to friend not really having a place to live. After, I was out of Shiloh six months, God showed me and the staff of Shiloh that I should return to Shiloh. During the next six months, I started to get some healing from God and I started to grow-up both spiritually and mentally.

After six months, my daughter's father contacted me and said he wanted to try to work things out. I was desperate to be with my daughter, so I decided to try. Against the advice of the staff of Shiloh, I left and moved in with him. He was very abusive to me. It lasted a week.

I moved back to Emporia and stayed at a domestic violence shelter. I made very poor decisions. I got raped and I ended up in very bad relationships. Lee (Shiloh house parent) saw me one day and asked Carol (Lee's wife) if I could come back. They prayed about it, met with me, and suggested that I come back for the third time. This time I made a lot of progress. My psychiatrist weaned me off of all my psychiatric medications, because I don't need them anymore. I was doing really well. But I left before I should have, and moved in with a friend.

I ended up choosing a guy over God. We moved in together. I knew that was wrong, so we got married a few months later. He got involved in drugs and was put in jail on January 11, 2012. I had just found out that I was expecting and had made a sonogram appointment to see how far along I was. My husband was supposed to go with me, but he was put in jail two days before the appointment. I didn't know what to do.

With Carol's approval, I started hanging out more at Shiloh participating in their activities. Then two girls that had been living there moved out. I asked if I could come live at Shiloh again. They prayed about it. God said "yes" again. He is so good to me. Since coming back this fourth time I have changed dramatically. I am fully capable of doing everything with God's help.

I thought my life was over, but I found out God has other plans. I am very thankful that He does.

My second daughter was born August 29, 2012. She is beautiful. She is doing very well and I am taking care of her by myself (with advice and encouragement from the staff of Shiloh).

I now have joint custody of my older daughter. She lives with her father most of the time, but I get her every other weekend. When she is with me, I take care of her and my baby by myself, and it is going well. I drive to Lawrence to get her and bring her back on my own, because her father doesn't have a driver's license (he is not a legal citizen).

If it wasn't for God and Shiloh, my baby daughter would probably be in foster care, just like I was. I have no idea what would have happened to me, but it wouldn't be good. God saved my life.

Please pray for me. My husband will be released from prison in April. I pray that he will draw close to God and make good choices, so we can be a family.

Thank you to everyone that supports and prays for Shiloh.