God

‘You get the first puff.’ 3 men stood there, staring at me. I smoked something I hadn’t paid for, and now payment was due.’: Woman overcomes ‘nightmare’ crack cocaine addiction, ‘We can overcome the most tragic lives’

“Within weeks, my antique jewelry was gone. The horror was so awful, the things that went on. I remember begging her not to make me go into the room with them. She said, ‘It’s about to get real,’ and then she was gone. I found a single, unused stamp. I used an old envelope from an overdue bill and a scrap of paper to write the only family who would still listen. They lived 3,000 miles away. I wrote 5 words: ‘GET ME OUT OF HERE.’ That was 13 years ago.”

‘Mrs. Cynthia, I want to have dark skin like you. Why is your skin so dark?’ My heart stopped.’: Mom urges talking to your children about differences after tender moment with Waffle House employee

“I should’ve known she was thinking about something by the way she stared with her eyebrows furrowed. But she didn’t say a word until Mrs. Cynthia came back to sit with us. I am usually able to stop my kids from asking these things out loud. I see their wheels turning, and I shush them before the words even escape their mouths. But my daughter was too fast, and I was left there, panicking.”

‘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, ‘I want my children to be inclusive, kind’

“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.”

‘No Jessica, YOU are his mom. I only carried him.’ I became a mom in a courtroom.’: Woman ‘forever grateful’ for bio mom who made her a mother, ‘My son didn’t to my heartbeat from inside my womb, but he’s laid on my chest every day since 3 days old’

“Walking in the courtroom, there were 12 other families waiting with the same excitement. Some with matching shirts, letterboards, signs, all to commemorate their special day. The judge, dressed as Woody from Toy Story, walks in to officially kick off the festivities. ‘You understand this is a permanent proceeding. He would be yours as if he were born to you?,’ he asked. I couldn’t hold back the tears any longer.”

‘He’s selfish. My husband is feet up, on the couch, quietly sipping his favorite beer, that I bought for him.’: Wife says despite her husband’s faults, she definitely ‘married up’

“When my husband and I sat down with our pastor for our first session of pre-marital counseling, my mind was a flurry of white noise, punctuated by red-hot panic. The one thing I do remember our pastor saying was, ‘The best marriages happen when both people think they married up.’ Damn, was he right.”

‘I showed him my positive pregnancy test. ‘Here we go!’ He loved being a dad. Days later, he died in a car accident.’: 2 brothers pass away, wives become best friends bonding through ‘love and loss’

“I woke up to a sign on my door that said, ‘Will you be my girlfriend?’ How could I say no?! I’ll never forget watching Jeremy cry as he held our daughters for the very first time. They are the best parts of him. Jeremy loved being a dad. Just shy of 5 months later, Jeremy was called home to be with God. Two incredible men gone way too soon.”

‘I was still in I-might-die-at-any-moment panic mode. Nothing could change that. ‘Do you guys know Jesus loves you?’ Except that.’: Woman pursuing international adoption sits next to very religious man on flight

“‘Do you guys know that Jesus loves you?’ Now normally, the idea of being stuck on a 14+ hour flight with someone who uses that line as an ice breaker would send me reaching for the airsick bag faster than you can say, ‘bad peanuts.’ But on this day, when I’d been praying like a mad woman for some little sliver of comfort – it was exactly what I needed to hear.”

‘Do you have something to tell us?’ I was 15, pregnant. I wasn’t allowed to hold her.’: Birth mom has unexpected reunion with daughter’s adoptive family in Disney World, ‘I couldn’t even blink my eyes. I was shocked.’

“Adoption was the choice that was made for me. There would be no other discussion. Everything was out of my control. I felt so hopeless. 12 years later I was browsing social media and saw a post from my daughter’s adoptive mom. They were going on a family vacation to ORLANDO, you know, the same place I was going. I just sat there, looking at my screen, couldn’t even blink my eyes. I was shocked. My heart was beating out of my chest. I hadn’t seen these faces since I was 16, leaving the hospital.”

‘I’m sorry I was so difficult.’ I grabbed his hand. ‘It wasn’t your fault.’ He hung his head. ‘Yes ma’am.’: Adopted son apologies for his trauma-fueled behavior, ‘He doesn’t see how brave he is’

“He found his old journal. ‘I threw it away. It made me sad to see who I was when I came to you.’ Both our eyes filled with tears. ‘It wasn’t your fault. You didn’t know how to trust me.’ He slayed my heart, thanking me for dinner on a random Tuesday night. ‘I’m just so thankful I will have a meal each night,’ he said. I couldn’t even lift my head to look him in the eyes. He became worried he’d said something wrong.”

‘Is it OK to call you?’ What if he’s a creep? I don’t even know him! Mom said, ‘Why don’t I meet him first?’: Woman meets future husband through accidental text while living in another state

“’Oh no!’ I apologized for having the wrong number. He said, ‘No worries. How is your day going?’ The more we talked, the more I liked him. But deep down it all seemed so weird. What if he was a creep? I don’t even know him! It was just an online friendship. Or so I thought. My mom met him first. ‘You’re going to marry this guy!’ What!?!??”

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