perseverance

‘I awoke to three strangers standing in our living room, grave concern on their faces. ‘Their mom hasn’t been here.’ I was driven away by police car, anxious and confused.’: Former foster youth urges ‘you aren’t your circumstances’

“We finally arrived at our destination. A modest green house with a chain link fence. Standing at the sidewalk was a petite elderly woman with a white t-shirt, floral skirt, and hair pulled in a high bun. She greeted me with a smile. ‘Hi Jamerika,’ she said, as if she knew me her whole life.”

‘Maybe it’s time to change your major.’ I couldn’t turn to my parents. I’m happy I didn’t listen to that advice.’: Daughter of Mexican immigrants becomes first generation graduate, inspired by brother’s illness

“During our phone conversation I remember him telling me, ‘Mija, I am so proud of you. I knew you would get accepted!’ It’s moments like these when I am happy to share with my parents because I know they are not only my accomplishments, but theirs as well.”

‘We have an emergency placement for a 3-week old baby boy.’ I stared at the baby who had been mine and cried in front of the social workers.’: Foster mom recalls pain of giving child back to his mother

“When little Rylan first showed up, I was so nervous. The moment I saw him, I felt attached to him. I was ready to be a mom. My heart grew for our baby too. I would sob every time I had to drop him off for visitation. The day he left was the hardest day of my life.”

‘I was told I should be grateful for being able to have kids in the first place.’: Mom advocates for others with postpartum depression, ‘Don’t ever feel alone in this.’

“I remember them pushing on my stomach trying to get it out and seeing the fear in my doctors’ faces. ’Kiera, we are going to have to take you right into surgery.’ I couldn’t believe it. Was it something I did? Where is everyone talking about the complications that can go wrong? I try and remember that having two healthy, fed kids is all that matters.”

‘I received the two-minute call that ended our marriage, I collapsed. I felt the pain of absolute bewilderment.’: Single father of three recounts divorce, overcoming pain

“I collapsed. I wept before our 3 children. Rebuilding myself like a child, I called my mother in the evening. I told her I was confused and utterly broken. Aged 24, I needed her comfort again. ‘Your father and I love you no matter what happens,’ she said, and my fitful breath slowed. Being a human male, I’m very good at pretending I have things under control. It took a desperate sense of weakness, therefore, to call her.”

‘I was 32 when my husband suddenly died. I wanted to have children with him. Being without him is terrifying.’: Widow finds the ‘beautiful balance of life after loss’ with 2-year-old son

“A counselor I met with looked at me and asked this simple question. ‘Would Albert want you to grieve with fear, or grieve with hope?’ I immediately knew the answer. As I sat there on the couch, tears streaming down my face, I knew I needed to live. Just because Albert died, doesn’t mean I have to as well. That would be the last thing he would want me to do.”

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