Although Nick Soria has faced many obstacles in his young life, through it all he was always certain that God had a plan for him and his family.
This Father’s Day, he’s seeing the wheels start to turn on the next step on God’s plan for him.
In his late teens and early 20s, he struggled with depression, homelessness, addiction, a failed marriage and having his children placed in CPS custody.
But through determination, faith and a community of supportive family members, friends and neighbors, Soria — a single dad — is celebrating Father’s Day with his four children and his dad, Tony, while preparing to launch a new woodworking businesses.
Soria, 28, grew up in New Waverly then moved to Huntsville after high school living there until 2016.
After that he lost himself.
He ended up losing his children and for a few months slept in his truck.
But this time also brought great clarity into his life.
“What I learned in counseling, is you’re a product of your surroundings,” he said. “Looking back when I was homeless I was at an idle point in my life. I was able to sit back and look at things. I was that way because I was surrounding myself with loneliness and convenience. I knew this is my chance to put myself in a place, to push myself to being successful to have my kids.”
He found a rent house in Montgomery where the landlord would work with him as long as he was looking for a job.
Having lost his license at that point, he was walking to the store and he passed a house that was being demolished after Harvey. He walked over and inquired about a job.
He hired on as general labor in about nine months, worked his way up to project manager for all of his employers projects.
From this experience he learned the construction industry and how to work in business.
Once he established himself, he also gained full custody of his four kids — two boys, two girls ages 9, 7, 5 and 4.
“I knew that God would bring them back when the time was right. I just carried on every day, knowing that it would come when it was supposed to — it did,” he said. “Now I look at every bad situation and I can’t wait to get to
the end of it, because I know what good will come. I went a year without them and I couldn’t imagine going another day without them at home. I realized it’s up to me to be able to make this work.”
He had to find employment that also allowed him to be a single dad so it’s difficult for him to work a regular 9-to-5 job.
For example he said, if one person in his house gets sick, that might put him out of commission for an entire week as the illness goes through the whole house.
Then there’s juggling dishes, laundry and all the other regular household duties on top of single parenting and working.
He’s also discovered, they are resources for single moms, but not so much for single dads.
“A lot of people say, ‘Oh you’re a single dad, well good for you for doing your job,’” he said. “But at the same time, one person can only stretch so far.”
He credits his dad Tony and his sister and his neighbors and the children’s daycare with making their family situation work. He said he couldn’t ask for better people in his life. This past week, he received a new lawnmower and weed eater from the community group Families Supporting Families which he’s a part of.
Soria was able to secure a job as a personal trainer in Willis.
He enjoyed the aspect of helping people.
He said he was overweight most of his early life and wishes there would have been someone to help him. He’s gone from 305 pounds to 132 pounds.
“It means something to be to be able to help people,” he said. “I see the difference I’m making in their lives.”
He was building up his client list when the pandemic struck and suddenly he was stuck at home.
So he turned to his hobby of woodworking during all of his home time.
He’s always wanted to make fine furniture, even going back to when he was a kid.
He started posting some of his projects for sale.
He sold 50 or 60 of his projects within the first three or four days.
Now he’s launching his own woodworking business – Slim Ginger Customs.
He’s most proud that his kids have been there from the get go, to see him start with nothing and turn it into a business.
Soria said it’s rewarding for him to see the seeds that he’d planted in his children grow over time.
“It’s cool to see them all getting their own personalities,” he said. “I’m seeing what I’m putting in and what’s coming out is really rewarding. It makes all the struggles worth it.”