Children

‘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.”

‘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.”

‘A sleeveless shirt would ‘bring too much attention.’ Everything I did was a ‘sin.’ There was no escaping it.’: Woman overcomes ‘unique’ childhood, trauma to find self-love

“I was in his bed, having unprotected sex. I lost my virginity. I was supposed to wait till marriage. Within 3 months of meeting him, I got pregnant. I came home and caught him talking to another woman. I felt betrayed, heartbroken, and utterly lost. I convinced myself to do whatever I had to do to create a life with this man. Boy, was I wrong. That’s when a girlfriend set me up on a blind date with a man named Larry.”

‘How did you know?’ My little baby went completely silent, no words, no babble, nothing. There were warning signs, we just didn’t know.’: Mom’s journey with autistic son

“Does this make me feel guilty? Of course, it does. As a mom you are meant to know these things, you are meant to protect your child. Parents have pulled their kids away from him. They leave him out of play dates. People ignore him, because he cannot talk. This is heartbreaking, but they simply don’t understand.”

‘My heart skipped a beat. A single outfit stopped me in my tracks. It was a familiar print, from my son’s final outfit.’: Mom caught off guard by emotional memory when she least expected it, ‘I fought back tears’

“Tiny little elephants danced across the pink fleece in front of me. It was a familiar print. I’d entered that very store years ago, searching for a final outfit for my gravely ill son. Shoppers were oblivious to me. As I got my daughter dressed, she smiled back at me. I teared up.”

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