Wow. What an amazing story. I almost hesitate to speak to it, because I simply haven’t lived there, but since you asked for thoughts, here’s one thing that came to mind.
One of my favorite quotes comes from a tale called “The Letter” by Richard Paul Evans. Interestingly enough, the main character’s story centers around finding his mother, who did, in fact, abandon him. This is what he finally says, near the end of the book:
“The answers are not in the past. Healing comes from purpose, and purpose resides in our hope of the future.”
Yours is a real life — the character’s was fictional. That matters. But, I hope those words encourage you the way they did me when I read them.