strength

‘You’re running out of time.’ I was 16, infertile and robbed of my childhood.’: After 17 years of endometriosis, infertility, couple adopts two children from China, ‘at that moment, I became a mom’

“‘She called, ‘He’s here!’ I hung up the phone and went to the bathroom. I looked down to see nothing but blood. My nephew entered the world as our IVF failed. I’d never carry a child. I’d never experience pregnancy or give birth. How could this happen at this moment? The pain was immeasurable.”

‘I am the Too Much woman. The one who takes up too much space. I’m too loud, too vibrant, too sensitive, too honest. And still, I rise.’: Woman urges ‘your too much-ness is a gift’

“There she is, taking up too much space with her laughter, her curves, her honesty, her sexuality. Oh, that too much woman, with her belly laughs and fiery passion. The one who loves too hard, feels too deeply, asks too often, desires too much. Her presence is as tall as a tree, as wide as a mountain. Her energy occupies every crevice of the room.”

‘The doctor said, ‘I don’t want you to think everything is okay. It’s not. Your baby’s hands are fused together,’ then left the room.’: Mom to son with Apert Syndrome urges for kindness, ‘It’s the best gift you can give’

“‘I’m sorry, but he will definitely have mental issues and live in a home.’ The doctor told me to go home. The second I made it to the car, I lost it. I was crying uncontrollably. I called my husband, but I couldn’t get anything out. ‘Ashley, I need you to PULL OVER. I’m coming to get you.’ I couldn’t, I was so distraught. I just wanted to get home where no one could see me.”

‘Wait! Take this!’ Little feet came running. ‘She wants you to take her favorite card so she’s sure you’ll come back.’: Young woman adopted at 26 becomes advocate for other foster children

“At age 4, her vocabulary includes words that would break your heart. Her home is a revolving door of state workers, strangers, appointments. She looked up with piercing blue eyes, her hand outstretched towards me. ‘You know she wants you to take her favorite card so she’s sure you’ll come back, right?’ With tears in my eyes, I placed it safely in the front pocket of my purse. ‘I promise I’ll come back for you.'”

‘What’s it like being a little person?’ I was touched without my consent and forced to apologize. I was so naive.’: Woman with Achondroplasia urges ‘I’m not a little person, I’m not a dwarf, I’m just Chandler’

“For so long, I thought the compliments were genuine. People would brag about how smart my brother was and be in awe over my sister’s art, while I got a pat on the head for just being…me. When I’d move my head out of the way and say, ‘Don’t pat my head,’ I got, ‘Your daughter shouldn’t talk to me like that. You should teach her manners.’ If I said ‘no’ when being asked if they could shake my hand, because they ‘always wanted to shake a little person’s hand,’ I was ‘rude.’ I felt trapped.”

‘I’ll hold you tight, but I’ll hold your mother tighter. My love for you grows the more I understand the measure of a mother’s love.’: Dad pens appreciation letter to wife for birthing son, ‘I will never be able to repay you’

“Before I sacrificed time for you, your mother gladly sacrificed her body. Before I consoled you when you were upset, your mother consoled you with just the beat of her heart. Your mother is the reason I hold you today. I will never be able to repay her.”

‘A group of ‘friends’ chased me and threw a water bottle at me, while snorting and calling me ‘Mrs. Piggy.’ I ran and carried the shame that weighed more.’: Woman shares journey to self-love, changes she made for her daughter

“After delivering my first child at 15, I was left with a body I didn’t recognize – heavier, softer, and covered in stretch marks. I wallowed here. I was molested here. I hid underneath men’s clothes, 2 sizes too big. Anything to deflect sexual attention. I am more than my body, but this vessel is not less important because its existence has been perverted and misused since the beginning of time.”

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