Children

‘Her father walked into my office, completely lost. His daughter was spiraling. She just needed someone to believe in her, so she could believe in herself.’: Police officer forms beautiful friendship with troubled teen, ‘I refused to give up on her’

“His daughter had started to drink and hang with the wrong crowd. She’d received her first official charge for destruction of property. He had no clue what to do with her. ‘I’ll meet with her.’ As she walked into my office, my whole life changed. She would come to challenge me, as I would challenge her. A bond would be formed that helped both of us become better people. I refused to give up on her. She was in need. She wanted to be better.”

‘Your dad thought he could hit me, but you will NEVER hit me. I’ll kill you first.’ She was a 400-pound woman. I was a 9-year-old child.’: Woman survives child abuse and PTSD, repairs relationship with abusers, ‘I was born a SURVIVOR’

“She had me by my pigtails. She cornered me into our closet using a man’s belt to spank me. A friend saw her, and told her if she ever hit me again, he’d tell his dad. Later my mom tried having me committed to a mental hospital. After a 24-hour sit in at the ER, a doctor came in. ‘There is nothing wrong with you, except the fact you need to get away from your mother.’ I wanted a mom who WANTED to be my mom.”

‘I lost all my pregnancy weight by 8 days postpartum because I was so sad. I don’t feel worthy of them at all.’: Mom’s severe struggle with postpartum depression

“I watched Mackenzie sleep on the monitor for an hour one night just praying she would forgive me for being who I am. I’ve been so confused because I LOVE being a mom. It’s all I’ve ever wanted to be. I have 2 beautiful children… so beautiful and so perfect, that I don’t feel worthy of them at all.”

‘Are you her nanny?’ ‘Did you kidnap her?’ I had a mom call me her Au Pair at gymnastics. We get stared down.’: Single black mom adopts 2 white siblings, is constantly judged by strangers but urges, ‘Love goes beyond skin color’

“When I tell them I’m her mom, they reply with, ‘Ohhhh. She must look like her dad then.’ In line at stores, I get stared down. I say out loud to Elizabeth, ‘Mommy loves you!’ And she replies, ‘I love you mommy.’ That makes the people so confused. You can see their brain cells burning with confusion. Whenever she misbehaves in public, people stare so hard to see how the ‘nanny’ is going to handle it. Sometimes I say, ‘You can stop looking. I’m her mother.’ Then, I was notified she had a brother. I thought my family was complete, but I was wrong.”

‘They were born like this. There is nothing we can do.’ They were tied to beds, drugged, covered in bruises. I couldn’t accept that answer.’: Woman helps dozens of abused, disabled children find loving homes, preaches ‘every child has value’

“I entered the orphanage. Hundreds of children were living there, but the halls were silent, expect the occasional wail or moan. I saw skeletal bodies, empty eyes, smelly diapers. I heard doctors calling them ‘disasters.’ One child had a sack of fluid coming from the back of her skull. It was her brain, and it was leaking fluid. Children were covered in cigarette burns. I couldn’t believe my eyes. And I couldn’t look away. I knew I had to help.”

‘Life gets loud. Pay attention to the nudges in marriage. The cues. Don’t ignore them, don’t fight them.’: Woman urges ‘you can’t put your spouse on the backburner’

“‘Okay. Bye.’ That’s what our marriage needing work sounded like. It’s wasn’t an, ‘I love you.’ It was a big ol’ red flashing sign. After 3 children and 20 years together, careers, and attempting to maintain a home, marriage became an afterthought. We function better when we are in front stage. Centre stage. Every time.”

‘We walked towards the line. John made a beeline for the door. ‘I’m here to help. Follow me!’ Tears filled my eyes.’: Mom ‘in tears’ after touching act of kindness for autistic son

“John is autistic and has a great love for animals. We thought it’d be a fun family outing to go to the Aquarium. It was a mad house. There were long lines, people everywhere. Overwhelmed, John made a beeline for the door. My heart broke. The stares stung. A man asked if I needed help. I explained we wouldn’t be staying due to the circumstances. He reached out to shake my hand. ‘My name is Chris and I’m here to help!’ He told me he had a ‘back way.’ My eyes filled with tears. In all our years, this was a first.”

‘I screamed, ‘I love you! Please don’t leave me!’ She had changed her tampon regularly. She started seizing and stopped breathing right in front of me.’: Mom loses daughter to Toxic Shock Syndrome, ‘My beautiful girl was a fighter’

“It was my daughter’s 19th birthday. She wasn’t feeling well, but still wanted to go out to dinner. When we got home, my baby was sick to her stomach. She was completely out of it. Something wasn’t right. I hug her saying, ‘It’s okay, the ambulance is coming.’ Then, all of the sudden, she looks at me, takes a deep breathe, and closes her eyes. I held her as she took her last breath. I didn’t want to let go. I prayed God would take me instead.”

‘My youngest was called the n-word in kindergarten. He’s been told his skin is the color of poop. Someone yelled a racial epithet at us from a truck.’: Adoptive mom addresses the ‘wide mouthed, gaping stares’ her mixed-race family gets from strangers

“Raising a child of a different race was overwhelming. I hate to even admit how I once accidentally shaved his toddler head bald before desperately seeking out a Black barber. But slowly, we learned what products worked on his skin and hair. We stepped out of our comfort zone. When I share how I have two 20-year-old’s and a 10-year-old, people ask if the 20-year-old’s are twins, or they comment on the age gap. I know my older two keep things from me. I worry about the safety of all three of them.”

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