When Andrea returned to Spain from her perspective-changing time in Austria, she was frantic to find a way out of the family with whom she no longer felt comfortable. Through a miraculous incident, a solution was found. The jubilant journal entry Andrea wrote expressing her relief and gratitude for such synchronistic events:
You are not going to believe this! Pen and paper cannot express the outpouring of joy I feel! Last night after I had gone to bed I prayed to God to let me have the strength and courage to find a solution, I prayed to God to help me. I asked him for his guidance and his help in my problem and today he has answered! When my mom told me that she had a friend whose niece lived in Spain and that maybe I could talk to her and have someone supportive here, I thought that maybe next month if she remembered I might get a phone call. But…today right now at 8:20 Jeannie called! I briefly told her my story and WHAM we’re making a solution out of clay.
I tell you if you want to get something done get help from someone 20-27 [years old] or so. Jeannie already reminds me of Jocelyn [her sister]. At that age I guess they rule the world and if they see a problem or injustice, pity the person who stands in the way of a solution! Already she’s calling Intercultura to see how they work and get information on how to get me switched and she’s offered for me to come stay with her if all else fails (which of course I wouldn’t but it’s quite nice).
I am ecstatic. Nothing is promised and we might still have lots of troubles but you don’t know how nice it is to have someone on my side helping me. At 15 [years old] people don’t pay a whole lot of attention to you even if you say the exact same thing as someone 8 or 10 years older than you! I prayed and I’ve been answered. It’s nice to know that somewhere up there God’s on my side also. Thank You Lord! Sometimes we really are given proof beyond doubt that something is watching out for us!
A young newlywed, Jeannie valiantly rescued Andrea and ultimately provided a place for her to stay for weeks while a new family was located. When Andrea returned to her first home to pick up her belongings, her host mother slapped her hard across the face. The only way to get out of that placement had been to reveal the drug use.
Although relieved to have finally escaped her untenable situation, Andrea continued to feel tremendous guilt, shame and regret for how she had extricated herself years afterward. She had truly loved her host sister and felt she had betrayed her first friend in Spain.
I know Andrea forgave this first host family soon after leaving them. My prayer is that before she died she had been able to forgive herself as well.
From the book, Andrea's Voice, Silenced by Bulimia (Gürze Books, 2006)