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‘Papa, please back up!’ He doesn’t move. ‘Oh, relax. I can play how I want with her,’ he ruffles her blonde hair.’: Mom stands up to grandfather for inappropriate touching, teaches 3-year-old daughter she is ‘allowed, expected’ to say no

“A grown man looms behind my 3-year-old daughter. He will poke or tickle her, and she responds by shrinking. ‘Mae.’ My tone cuts through the noise. She does not look at me. ‘Mae.’ I start again. ‘You can tell him no.’ As I say the words, my stepfather leans in closer. His grin taunts me as my daughter tries to escape his hot breath. I repeat myself. She finally peeks up at me. ‘Mama…can you say it?’”

‘She was Jane Doe – 53. Whoever dropped her off, left. Didn’t give her name, nothing. She was almost dead.’: Daughter of an addict urges others struggling to ‘seek help,’ ‘don’t let it steal you away from those who love you the most’

“My dad called me. Someone on social media had messaged my sister telling her that our mom had passed away. I broke down. Crying uncontrollably, I couldn’t breathe. My 2-year-old son didn’t understand why his mommy was so upset. All I ever hoped for was now shattered. She was gone, the mom I needed. We waited for the coroner to confirm it. Meth and heroin mixed together. That was the last straw. I never meant to hate her, but sometimes I did.”

‘I need to apologize to my kids. I haven’t been the best mom. I wasn’t supposed to be a mom without him.’: Widow says she was ‘impatient, irritable’ after husband’s death, admits she ‘didn’t know how to do it’ by herself

“Someone along the way decided to label us as ‘adults.’ Now we’re required to work and pay bills. We have to go to parent-teacher conferences and figure out Common Core. And some days, I just don’t want to. Some days, I just want to go back to when the nights were long, and the phone calls were longer. But, most importantly, I want to go back to when my husband was alive.”

‘What do we do?’ I asked, tears in my eyes. My husband knew what I meant. ‘We’re bringing an orphan home.’: Couple adopt ‘fearless’ Vietnamese daughter with limb difference, paints ‘masterpieces’ without arms

“We started the adoption process for Haiti. However, 8,960 miles away, in Ho Chi Minh City, our daughter was being conceived. I saw her yellow sun dress, punk rocker hair sticking out all over her head, and a sassy look on her face that said ‘bring it on’ the world around her. It clicked. ‘Her.’ I didn’t even realize I was holding my breathe.”

‘Mom, we found the note you left. It hurt. Only because I wanted nothing more than the same.’: Daughter’s emotional goodbye to her addict mother, says she ‘never doubted your love for me’

“Growing up, we watched our mom struggle with her drug addiction. We were many times abandoned, left to fend for ourselves. But as a child, I didn’t see that. I saw a mom that made 4 different meals for dinner, a mom that rubbed our back and sang us ‘Delta Dawn’ when we couldn’t fall asleep. A mom that had no money, but dumpster-dived to find us the exact present we wanted for Christmas. She never was perfect, but she was my mom and I loved her.”

‘Promise me, whatever happens, take care of Momma.’ The intercom blared. Mom wailed. He was alive, barely.’: Daughter fulfills promise to her beloved daddy after his death ‘no matter what’

“‘I’m sending you to the ICU right now,’ the doctor told my parents. ‘I want a second opinion,’ my father replied. ‘Frank, you don’t have time for a second opinion…’ It was like any typical Thursday in my world. I found it odd no one was there when I arrived, but hoped Mom had taken Daddy to the doctor for the headaches he’d been having. The phone rang. I could hear my aunt saying, ‘calm down, you’ve got to be strong for him.’ He had an aneurysm at the base of his brain. It could rupture at any time.”

‘We lost our precious Amie. We knew surgery was coming. She was in the best hands. Try as he might, we lost her.’: Mom’s emotional journey to adopting their ‘fierce, spunky’ daughter, only to lose her 2 months ago

“Then that fateful phone call. Oh, how that phone call would change our lives. We were contemplating what empty nesting would look like. And then Amie happened. She had a way of wrapping everyone around her little finger. Quickly, we realized Amie wasn’t like our other babies. She already had two open heart surgeries, and there were more in the future. Amie was feisty, and had a personality as big as the sky.”

‘I was scared of losing my mom. I was 12. I didn’t want anyone to think I was trying to get attention.’: Daughter suffers in silence after mom’s cancer, Alzheimer’s diagnoses, says ‘your struggle doesn’t make you weak’

“I heard her whispering on the phone. It sounded like something was going on, but she was trying to hide it. I was completely caught off guard. She had found a lump in her breast. I immediately asked her if she was going to die. I never told anyone about any of it.”

‘This little girl needed parents who’d love her no, matter what. Our opportunity was staring us in the face.’: Gay dads adopt ‘tiny, 5-pound, perfect’ baby girl after initial doubts of being ‘enough’ for her

“I think most people envision ‘the call’ as an instantaneously joyous occasion, the fulfillment of a dream. For us, it was a little more nuanced. A birthmother due in 2 weeks had chosen us, but there were potential health risks with the baby and the pregnancy. We didn’t expect a call this early. But less than 2 weeks later, we took her home at 24-hours old.”

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