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‘I cannot follow you anymore. You seem hellbent on being negative, on grieving a man you divorced.’ I was at the gym when I got the message from a woman I barely know.’: Woman insists by living her truth she’s ‘hellbent on being honest’

“‘Dear Natalie, I have followed you for years. I adore your boys. I love seeing your beautiful face when it is joyful. But I owe it to you to let you know, I cannot follow you anymore. You seem to be hellbent on being negative when you so clearly have so much to be happy about. I cannot have all of your constant negativity in my feed anymore.’ I was at the gym when I listened to the full 3-minute message left in my Instagram Direct Messages, from a woman I only knew through her comments.”

‘Are you her nanny?’ ‘Did you kidnap her?’ I had a mom call me her Au Pair at gymnastics.’: Single black mom adopts 2 white siblings, ‘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.”

‘I was abandoned on a doorstep at 1 years old, burned. ‘Wen, we’d like to adopt you.’ I was given a second chance to live.’: Burn survivor adopted from foster care, ‘I’m so lucky to be alive!’

“My biological parents had bills to pay. They gave me up, knowing they may never see me again. I didn’t know what was happening. Soon, I was taken away. I was halfway across the world on a plane ride that changed my life forever. I was given a second chance at life.”

‘You are GOOD FOR NOTHING!’ I sat in the bathroom, crying, asking, ‘Please, send me a new dad. Please!’: Young man creates his own adopted ‘family’ after surviving traumatic childhood, ‘We may not have the same bloodline, but they gave me life’

“My dad was the disciplinarian at home. DO NOT MAKE DAD ANGRY. I don’t remember hearing ‘I love you.’ From my dad. Ever. He was brought up in the traditional ‘macho’ way. He’d constantly tell me, ‘I had it MUCH worse than you growing up!’ But then something really weird began to happen at school – it made me feel warm and fuzzy. I was validated and encouraged by teachers. Wait, what? A hurricane of hormones was wreaking havoc on me. I was an angry teen who needed to fill the hole in my heart.”

‘Are you willing to take my baby girl?’ We booked a one-way ticket. They hadn’t seen each other in 20 months.’: Adoptive parents take in son’s older sister during tough time for biological mom, ‘We would do anything for her’

“My husband and I booked a one-way ticket for her. On her first flight. She finally arrived at our front door at 2 a.m.. With open arms, we welcomed our youngest son’s biological sister into our home. The moment they saw each other they exchanged the sweetest embrace. They just knew. Knew their love for each other. And the connection they shared. We do not know how long she will be with us. But she is family.”

‘The surgeon ran a plumbing snake through my insides. We were left haggard, anxious. It was our first wedding anniversary.’: Woman learns of infertility after infection, chooses adoption instead of IVF, ‘Like magic, it all became clear’

“At 24, I’d been married to Peter less than a year. ‘Are you alright?’ I must’ve looked flush. My knees gave out. As I stepped toward the waiting room, time slowed to a crawl. Heaving sobs came next. ‘Oh honey,’ she whispered. ‘I am so sorry.’”

‘I see you peeking!’ He slowly opened his eyes, blinking up at us. His tiny hand closed around my husband’s finger. Our hearts were forever changed.’: Couple adopts after surprise pregnancy, ‘I welcome every ounce of chaos and noise’

“‘Let’s not get our hopes up,’ I told my husband after the shock of the positive pregnancy settled in. He nodded in agreement. But then I received a very unexpected phone call. ‘Jeanette, do you want to be a mother?’ I realized what was about to happen and halted the conversation. ‘Wait!’ I shouted. ‘Can I three-way Zach onto this call?’ I quickly dialed him. Zach was in shock. I had not prepped him. The same week we miscarried our first child, our future son was conceived.”

‘Is he a drug baby?’ I heard the whispers. ‘You’re making a huge mistake.’: Southern woman adopts African American child in ‘little town known for racial divides,’ aims to break stigmas

“On a holiday weekend, we received a call. ‘A baby boy is in the hospital and needs a home.’ I was scared to say yes. Just 3 hours later, a car pulled in our driveway with a 6-pound, 3-day old, baby boy. Time stood still. She handed him to me with two Walmart bags of random items, some paperwork and wished us well. We had no idea what the future would hold. Everything about this decision looked crazy to most people – even us.”

‘He’ll never be a dead-beat dad who got remarried and started a new life. And I refuse to be the evil stepmom.’: Bonus mom successfully co-parents with husband’s ex, ‘We all make the effort. We all show up. We are all present’

“When I first met my husband, he told me he was a single father to 2 handsome boys. Their mother got remarried and moved with them 4 hours away to another state. But, they made coparenting work. And together, us 4 parents became friends. We adopted two babies only 4 months apart last year. But every other Friday I leave from work to meet their mom 100 miles away. ‘Do you want to come stay with the boys while we go out of town, so they don’t miss school?’ Of course we said yes.”

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