inspiring

‘Which way did he go?’ This was our great escape. My dad was a monster. I was sworn to secrecy.’: Woman credits foster parents for ‘saving’ her through ‘dark times,’ battling suicidal thoughts, sexual abuse, Bipolar disorder

“My friend asked if I wanted to stay the night. I couldn’t, but asked if she wanted to stay at my house. Before I could even finish, she told me ‘no.’ I shrugged it off, no big deal. A week later, she saw my whole family. That’s when I recognized the fear in her eyes. She had not seen my stepdad since then.”

‘You can bring your newborn to class,’ my Dean emails me. I was relieved, but afraid. Will he cry all the time?’: Mom takes newborn to law school classes, does ‘everything in my power’ to give children ‘opportunity to be successful’

“On the last trimester of my pregnancy, I talked with the Dean. ‘I don’t have any support system near me, my husband works full time and takes night courses. I’m supposed to graduate next year. I don’t want to fall behind.’ She looked me in the eyes and said, ‘Tell me who your professors are next semester. I will talk with them personally.’”

‘Alright, I’m cutting open! Get ready to grab.’ Then doctor yelled, ‘He’s out!’ I never heard my son cry.’: Mom rejoices NICU warrior for ‘beating the odds,’ says ‘He’s the strongest person I know’

“All of a sudden, I felt liquid explode out of me… I looked at my nurse. ‘Umm, something just came out of me!’ My nurse lifted up my gown. ‘Her water broke!!!’ Nurses came running in, but the only person who spoke to me was the anesthesiologist. ‘I’m going to stand by your side the whole time. I’ll make sure you’re ok,’ he told me.”

‘This is just my daycare. My mom is coming back for me.’ She never came.’: 22-year-old finally adopted by ‘forever family’ after years of trauma, abuse in foster homes

“The last time a police officer came to my house, he asked, ‘Do you want to go get a cookie?’ I was only 5, so that was a big deal. I didn’t understand why my biological mom was crying as we drove away. We picked up my sister at school, then waited at DHS to drive us to a foster home. All we had were the clothes on our backs, and even those were dirty. ‘I need a place to stay until I figure out where to go,’ I said.”

‘Everyone knows I’m waiting until 7 a.m. to get ‘the alcohol.’ 6 minutes left. Enter Shirley, my cashier.’: Woman’s unexpected run-in with 2 Walmart employees leaves her ‘humbled, choked up’

“Everything was running smoothly until she came upon my bottle of wine. Apparently, they don’t sell alcohol until 7:00 a.m. She said I could wait. After all, it was only 23 minutes. ‘Mmmhmmm, she’s waitin’ on the alcohol.’ I started waving and threw in some ‘hey’s!’ But then Shirley started telling me about her life. I began crying in line.”

‘Freeze Miss Piggy, spread your legs. Put your hands up.’ That’s what my brother said before the gun went off.’: Woman overcomes childhood trauma to mentor kids, instill ‘wisdom, knowledge’ that ‘no one did for me’

“We were playing cops and robbers and didn’t know the gun was real. It was my mother’s gun. I hear a man’s voice asking, ‘Where the money?’ as I was hiding under the covers. I remember running down the road to the police station in our pajamas. I was 5 years old. ‘I know it’s going to get better, please protect my mommy.’ I never thought it would end. But yet, I held onto a small piece of faith.”

‘We went from 3 to 6 kids in two months. Then all hell broke loose. Our house became a warzone.’: Adoptive mom once on verge of ‘mental breakdown’ vows to do everything in her power to help families in ‘craziest, worst of situations’

“‘I’m dating to find a wife, so if you realize you can’t marry me, let me know. Also, whomever I marry has to be open to adoption.’ That’s how my husband opened our first date. What he didn’t know, was I was an adult adoptee.”

‘I’m too scared to go back,’ I told my mom. His voice paralyzed me. I lived in fear he’d kill my mother.’: 23-year-old adopted by stepfather who ‘never ceased to fight’ for her during childhood trauma with biological dad

“I lived in 2 different worlds. Five days a week I was in a picture-perfect home with a beautiful stay-at-home mom. But the remaining 2 days, I was in survival mode. I remember watching the clock tick by, counting down the time I had left in my safe haven before I’d have to get in the car and enter my second world. My biological dad had trained me well, so I kept his secrets. I’d stare at the window in my bedroom, hands on the frame, trying to build enough courage to slip out of it and run.”

‘She may never walk again,’ my doctor said. ‘Like hell,’ I thought. I was 17. I’d been in a car accident.’: Single mom overcomes crippling car accident, alcoholism, daughter’s autism diagnosis, says ‘don’t count yourself out’

“I was about to move out, but I found out I was pregnant. I was running on fumes. I felt like I’d made a huge mistake becoming a mom. I wasn’t good at this. I drank to cope. My marriage ended explosively. I finally decided enough was enough when my daughter started copying everything I do. She reached for my beer, and I remember deciding, it was time to be done. For good. That was 8 months ago.”

‘Here we go again!’ My son’s principal called me. He’d been written up.’: Adoptive mom ‘cried and cried’ after learning her ‘trauma-ravaged’ son was rewarded for being ‘courageous’

“‘Ms. Pollard, we’re having another bad day. Can you come?’ My boy is silent. Something seems different. I pull him in close, ask what’s going on. It’s mid-September and he’s asking if he can have a race car for Christmas. But it’s not about the gift to him. It’s about his need to feel safe. If I can reassure him he’ll get that race car for Christmas, he knows he’s safe until then. No one will come pick him up. At least for 3 more months.”

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