'Hope is something that I never gave up on': A mother's fight to free daughter Amanda Lindhout
For 460 agonizingly long days, Amanda Lindhout lived in captivity.
On August 23, 2008, Lindhout, along with Australian photographer Nigel Brennan, was kidnapped in Somalia where they'd been travelling as freelance journalists.
This month, Lindhout faces one of her accused captors in an Ontario courtroom as he stands trial for his alleged role in her kidnapping.
Ali Omar Ader, a 40-year-old Somali national, was the man on the other end of the phone during the months Amanda's mother Lorinda Stewart negotiated for her daughter's life.
Lindhout took the stand confronting one of her accused kidnappers for the first time since her abduction.
"I actually feel, and this is kind of exciting, like a deep healing has taken place. Something has changed inside of me. I feel that in the deepest parts of my being," Lindhout tells The Current's host Anna Maria Tremonti about the trial.
The court also heard audio of phone calls between Ali Omar Ader and Lorinda Stewart, who was the lead negotiator during the months her daughter was held hostage. The RCMP set up a command centre in a rented house in Sylvan Lake, AB. But eventually this command centre was dismantled, leaving Stewart on her own.
Stewart never gave up in her efforts to bring her daughter home and now she's sharing her side of the story in a new book, One Day Closer: A Mother's Quest to Bring Her Kidnapped Daughter Home.
"Hope is something that I never gave up on. I never for one moment considered that she wouldn't come home and that became my strength and my determination that I wouldn't even think anything other than that," she tells Tremonti.
That hope was tested at times, including during one awful phone call from her Amanda after she'd been tortured, where she's begging for her mother to send the money.
"When I heard her voice pleading like that it was extremely difficult, but I had to stay focused on that day that she would come home because if I broke down and I fell apart I couldn't help her," Stewart tells Tremonti.
Eventually, Stewart and Lindhout's family and friends managed to raise the ransom and secure her release.
But in the days and months spent trying to free her daughter, Stewart says she coped by focusing on being thankful.
"When times were the most difficult ... I would keep bringing myself back to gratitude which may sound odd but it was when I would start to think of all the things I had to be thankful for it would raise my optimism," Stewart tells Tremonti.
Stewart says she had a mantra she repeated to herself, day after agonizing day. She told herself, "Each day is one day closer to bringing Amanda home."
It helped her cope throughout the worst moments.
For her part, Lindhout says thinking about her mother helped her endure hellish conditions.
"My core is my mother and I felt a connection to her every day in captivity. I would have conversations with her in my mind. I named my book, A House in the Sky, because I wrote about this world in my imagination that I build where anything was possible," she explains.
"In my house in the sky, I was with my mom every day. I knew my mom would never stop trying. I knew my mom would never give up."
Listen to the full conversation with Lorinda Stewart and her daughter Amanda Lindhout.
This segment was produced by The Current's Willow Smith.