Amabile Choirs of London, Canada

Being alone has always been my biggest fear. Ever since day one, everyone in my life has abandoned me - whether it was my birth mother leaving my sister and me at a daycare and never coming back, or case workers who constantly moved us, their entrusted children, to homes that were not up to regulation. We were moved frequently to a new home at a moment’s notice and unable to take any of our possessions. I soon learned not to treasure anything or anyone because I could never keep them. The core belief instilled within me (and I fear so many others) was that I am not valued or wanted.

I was lucky enough to be adopted into a caring and loving home at the age of 12 and with that, I know that I was already better off than many of the children “in the system” yet something was still wrong. No matter how many times my new family has told me that they love me unconditionally, I have trouble believing that it is real. All I’ve ever known is that nothing lasts forever and they too will eventually leave me or send me away. Of course, I love them beyond belief, but a feeling of unrequited and desperate love stays with me.

And that constant anxiety (often terror) stayed with me – until I found Amabile, or maybe Amabile found me. In this choir, I am surrounded by a sense of family, by people who share my passion for music, who didn’t know anything about me but only cared that I was there - that I was one of them, one of the family.

Not only was I welcomed by the most caring artistic staff and managers, but the sense of brotherhood in the boys and men’s choirs that began with Amabile has changed my life. It is a constant safe haven where I can be me – on my good days and on those days when the old fears resurface again; where there is always a kind word, or a meal, or a ride somewhere; where their open-access policy allows me to participate even though I can’t afford to do so. They look out for me, and I know they’ve done this at their own expense for countless others over the years.

Having never experienced any strong sense of positive influence left me lacking in courage and self-worth; but being ‘adopted’ for the second time by this amazing organization has helped me realize that I can be so much more than what ‘The System’ had destined me to be. Amabile sees value in the little boy – not so little – that nobody wanted. And because of this, that scared child living in solitude and detached, has been welcomed into the warmth of a family only related through their sense of purpose in unconditional giving through music.

I now have a sense of purpose and determination to succeed; I have much to offer this world. ...I am no longer alone.

- Christopher

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