hope

‘They were born like this. There is nothing we can do.’ They were tied to beds, drugged, covered in bruises. I couldn’t accept that answer.’: Woman helps dozens of abused, disabled children find loving homes, preaches ‘every child has value’

“I entered the orphanage. Hundreds of children were living there, but the halls were silent, expect the occasional wail or moan. I saw skeletal bodies, empty eyes, smelly diapers. I heard doctors calling them ‘disasters.’ One child had a sack of fluid coming from the back of her skull. It was her brain, and it was leaking fluid. Children were covered in cigarette burns. I couldn’t believe my eyes. And I couldn’t look away. I knew I had to help.”

‘I’m 30 years old, I’ve never had a child, and the first thing they say is, ‘We need to remove something from your body.’ It was completely crazy.’: Woman diagnosed with PCOS, endometriosis determined to conceive through IVF, ‘He gave us back the hope we had lost’

“We started noticing I was in a lot of pain during intercourse. One night, I was in so much pain I couldn’t bear it. I was taken to the ER. They told me I had an ovarian cyst rupture. I had no idea what that meant. They gave me some pain pills and told me to ‘rest.’ I went on like nothing was wrong. My periods were not coming on time. I’d miss an entire month or two. I was dealing with all these emotions while trying to maintain hope. Time was flying by, and I still didn’t have a baby.”

‘She looked directly into my eyes and placed her hand up as if to touch my son. This beautiful creature had me in tears.’: Mom shares ‘breathtaking’ moment zoo orangutan ‘supports, protects’ her while breastfeeding son

“Today I got breastfeeding support in the most unlikely of places. While on vacation at the zoo, we stopped to see the orangutans. My son made it clear he was hungry. While breastfeeding, the orangutan kept looking at me, then my son, then back again. For half an hour, she kept stroking the glass. She then got up, carried a piece of cloth to the window, and sat down with me. My heart melted. I’ll never let my little boy forget her.”

‘One more thing,’ she said. ‘What?’ the pastor replied. ‘I want to be buried with a fork in my hand.’ His eyes welled with tears.’: Woman shares life advice, reminds us ‘the best is yet to come’

“In all my years of attending socials and dinners, I always remember that when the main course was being cleared, someone would inevitably lean over and say, ‘Keep your fork.’ It was my favorite part because I knew something better was coming, like velvety chocolate cake or deep-dish apple pie. The next time you reach down for your fork let it remind you, the best is yet to come.”

‘If only the kids would listen and I had time for my marriage.’ I could see what I wanted in the future.’: Woman learns true hope is not found in future endeavors, but is actually ‘derived from what I already have’

”If only my life could keep up with my constantly changing standards and expectations.’ That last one hit me hard. This year, the sweet light of the Christmas tree hasn’t felt so magical. In fact, I’ve been feeling a little hopeless. And it has taken so many empty mornings for me to realize my hope has been misplaced all along.”

‘I feel off. It could be minor. I don’t know. I just know something is off.’ My friend diagnosed me with perimenopause. ‘That’s not what I’m dealing with.’: Woman anxiously awaits results over holidays to see if cancer has returned, ‘We don’t want to worry our kids’

“Christmas feels different this year. I’m having a really hard time getting into the holiday spirit. Hours after getting my pelvic ultrasound done, my phone rang.You never want to hear words like complex, stat, and concern from your doctor. I decided to not tell a soul. I thought I was being brave. I thought I was saving others from getting all worked up. I thought I was being selfless. Ryan and I have been talking about when to tell our kids, or if we even should.”

‘We were 2 hopeless drug addicts society had written off. We were felons, dealers, thieves. Then, we found each other.’: Couple find hope, sobriety after years of addiction, ‘we are finally free!’

“I came from a good home. I didn’t suffer physical or sexual abuse. I didn’t feel ‘less than.’ I was a 3-sport athlete, excellent student. But I found a new love: drinking and getting high. My friend’s parents let us get wasted in their houses. I’d wake up, teeth chattering from withdrawals. I remember thinking, ‘I’m a college graduate! How did this happen?!’ Addiction had me whipped, and bad.”

‘My mom wants you to hug me for her.’ I held him like my own son, for a long time.’: Stranger’s act of kindness for homeless addict pulls on heartstrings, ‘Tonight you hugged all of our struggling sons’

“‘How long has it been since you talked to your mom?’ He replied, ‘Oh, it’s been a long time.’ ‘Do me a favor. Call your mom to let her know you’re alive – will you do that for me?’ His face lit up. ‘Sure, I’ll call her right now if I can borrow your phone.’ I’ll admit, there was a nano second of hesitation that he might take off with it. She answered right away. My own son was that young man not long ago, on the street, begging for money, unsure if he was dead.”

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