Interviews Part TWO

Throughout this journey I have come a long way. My healing journey didn’t really start till about two years ago.  I had the privilege to interview my aunt, my best friend, and Derrik’s mother Susan. The interviews are real and honest. Nothing has been modified.  I wanted to try something new and different. Interviewing these three lovely ladies has opened my heart to new emotions. I admire each lady for their own reasons. I thank you for believing in me and helping  make this vision come alive. Because of you three Im able to share your truths. I thank these women for being honest,  I know I put them on the spot, I knew that hearing their answers would be one of two things; make me cry because of how much hurt I put them through or worse hear answers I wasn’t ready to hear. I was happy to finally hear about their pain and their sides of my adoption. I love you three for being open and honest. 

My family isn’t a perfect one. We all have made mistakes. My family is the type of family that holds on to the past. Whenever we fight we always bring up what happened five or better yet twenty some years ago. It was a habit I was wanting to break.  I love my family for all the right reasons. I love them for always believing blood is thicker than water. Yet when I got pregnant I knew they wouldn’t understand. My grandma is a mother of five. She raised her kids pretty much on her own. Yes she had the help of her sisters and husbands when she was married. Yet I knew deep in my heart I didn’t want that type of life for my child at the time. I didn’t want to live pay check to pay check, or have my child be with other people 24-7 and not me. I didn’t want to struggle. I didn’t want the life of what my mother and I had. I didn’t want to live off other people. I didn’t even have a home in my own name or better yet an apartment.  I know my mom did the best she could, yet I wanted better for Ava. I had a slug bug baby blue betel that was all in my name. I knew that my family wouldn’t let me be homeless yet I didn’t think Ava deserved a life of being in a home that wasn’t ‘ours’. I knew deep in my heart this was something that would never be let go of. I knew this was something that would always be brought up. I didn’t want to upset my family. I didn’t want to disappoint them and have them see how much of a failure I was at the time.  Didn’t want them to be ashamed of me. I was lost and confused. I was trying to grow up and find my voice. I was trying to be free and be a woman worth knowing. I wanted to make them proud and see how much of a difference I could make in this world. I guess people are right when it comes to saying the world already has something planned for you. I strongly believe I was chosen to live this life. I was chosen to be an advocate for adoption. To help others just like me. I know it’s not the life that many would have hoped for me. Yet I strongly believe God has a plan. I wanted to interview my Aunt because she and I have such a strong and close bond. She is well my go to person. She has helped raise me like my other aunts yet her and I have a special bond that I hold on to. Someone I can confine to. Someone who really gets me.


Your Name.


How are we related?

I’m your aunt by your mother’s side and God Mother.

Where you mad at me that I kept my pregnancy a secret?

I was disappointed, I was still shocked that you were able to hide from us, [knowing how nosy your family is].

Where you ashamed of me?

I’ve never been ashamed of you. We all make mistakes.

What was your fear for me?

Of the choice you made. I feared you really didn’t know what you were doing.

When you held Ava for the first time what were your thoughts?

This precious perfect baby girl is not going to know you as her MOTHER. She will know you as her Birth Mom.

Were you ever mad at me for wanting to choose adoption?

I knew you weren’t ready for a baby, so adoption was the right choice.

Do you believe this hard time with me made us a lot stronger?

I hope and prayed that it would make us stronger.

What is one piece of advice you have for me?

I wish for your happiness and peace.

When you see Ava again what do you wish to tell her?

That no matter where she lives, when time comes she has a whole family waiting for her to meet her.


Not many of my friends even knew I was pregnant. It’s something I really kept from well, everyone. I’m not lying when I say I was depressed, I honestly felt like a failure. I was in denial. I didn’t want to accept the fact that I was going to bring this child into the world and fail. For she deserved everything, she deserved to be happy, to have a normal life. To have the life I never did. She was meant to have better. I only told the few people I had known for years, ones that stuck by me through thick and thin. Ones that accepted me, loved me, and didn’t give up on me. I only told three people. Three friends that I’m still friends with till this day. Three that stay in contact with me and my family. Ones that see how Ava is doing when we talk. Ones that support my whole blog, screen tee, and helping others. Helping my dream become a reality. Ones that help fight and push me through my dark gloomy days. No matter how far away I am they have always been there for me. Julie, Maddie and Shauna. The three that I know will always be family to me. Ones that helped me through break ups, through being pregnant, moving away from California. Reminding me that I am an awesome mother to Elijah. Ones that tell me that no matter how hard times get with Derrik that he is worth fighting for. I was nervous yet excited to interview one of my dear friends. We have been friends for almost nine years now. Oh the adventures we had when we were young and wild. Oh how much those little girls have grown up now.


Your name.


How did we meet?

We rode the same bus in high school and you started dating my friend (also a traveler on our bus). I was a little apprehensive of you at first, because you were so bubbly and energetic all the time and I was the epitome of mellow. Opposites must attract though because we’ve been best friends ever since.

Where you mad at me that I kept my pregnancy a secret?

I was more shocked than anything. It’s not really something I could or had the right to be mad at. It was your secret to share and the fact that you came to me when you were ready made me feel like a trusted friend.

Where you ashamed of me?

No. You were not the first person I knew to have an unplanned pregnancy. Things happen and I like to believe that they happen for a reason.

What was your fear for me?

The biggest thing I worried about was your happiness. As your friend I support you through any decision, but whatever it was I hoped that you would be happy at the end.

When you held Ava for the first time what were your thoughts?

It was surreal. She was a piece of you – one of my best friends! It was just this overcoming feeling of love.

We’re you ever mad at me for wanting to choose adoption?

Definitely not. I think adoption is truly a beautiful and selfless act. Again, I worried about your happiness and how you would cope, but you were the only person who could have made that decision or knew what was best for both Ava and you. I also understood why you turned to adoption and how you felt about raising Ava at that point and time in your life, so I supported you.


Do you believe going through this hard time with me made us a lot stronger?

Of course… We had already been through so much together but going through a major life event with someone is going to create or strengthen a bond.

What is one piece of advice you wish for me to know?

Because you are someone who holds on to things, probably just to remember that no one event defines you. Everything you encounter, endure, and experience influences the person you are and affects who you are, but you are not just one thing.

When you see Ava again what do you wish to tell her?

I would probably be speechless because she looks so much like you now and has grown so much since I last saw her. But what I would want her to know is that she is, and always has been, loved.


I never really pictured myself here where I am now. Having a family of my own and having a partner by my side through it all. Through the sleepless nights, the moments of grief, the moments of me losing my mind, to crying myself to sleep, to feeling numb and having someone there. Someone to love me and accept all of me. Even if he doesn’t get it or better yet understand why I feel the way I do.  It took Derrik a long time to accept my depression and anxiety. Yet one thing he never questioned or needed time about was Ava. He instantly embraced me and loved me from that moment. I know lot of it has to do with how he was raised. The one woman who has been in his life from the start. The person who clothed him, loved him, and showed him how to love and feel love. His mom. The relationship I have formed with Susan is a beautiful in its own way. Yes we have had our moments yet I know that she wouldn’t have it any other way. She has been the go to person I can go to, to run to since I’m so far away from my family. One that will hug me and hold me tight. She is someone I can cry with. It’s rare to meet people in your life that will go out of their way to help make you feel at home to help you feel whole again. She has helped do this even with all of our differences. She is able to set them aside and help cheer me on every step of the way, she does this because she loves me.



Your Name:

Susan Wagner

What were your thoughts about adoption before we met?

 I have always viewed adoption as a hard and selfless act on the part of the birth mother.  I have often thought about how hard it must be for a woman to make the decision to give her child to another person, to put that amount of trust in another human being, how much of a sacrifice it must be for her, how strong she must be.

When you heard my story what were your fears?IMG_0030

 Fears?  I am not sure I actually had fears, but I had some concerns as to what the reasons were for the adoption.  After hearing your story I had nothing but admiration and love for you.  I remember thinking “how strong this girl must be”.

Did you ever think my past was too much for your family?

 No, never. I have always tried to view our past as something that teaches us and helps us to become stronger and wiser.

What are thoughts about adoption now that you know me and know about some of my pain and healing?

 I view adoption as a wonderful opportunity for the adopting side, it is also a saving grace for birth mother whose life cannot support (financially or emotionally) the child, and it is a life-saving event for the child.  Since you have come into my life I now also view adoption as even though it can be a very intense and emotional experience, it also has a great potential to be wonderful for everyone involved.

Do you think knowing this has made our bond a lot stronger?

Yes, I do.  I liked you from the get go, but when I learned your story it made me have a respect and admiration for you that is hard to explain. Sammie, you are a sweet, honest, and very strong person that had some unfortunate things happen in your life  but you use that and build on it and use it to strengthen yourself in all aspects of your life.

If you ever meet Ava what is one thing you would tell her about me?

  Dear little Ava, Sammie is one of the strongest most loving people I have ever met.  She has a love inside her that is very rare.  The love she has for you and your parents’ shines in her face each and every time your name is mentioned or someone ask about your pictures.  NEVER doubt the love, or the pain she endures daily.  

What is your one piece of advice to me?

 Keep being who you are. You’re awesome!

What will be the one thing you want Elijah to know about adoption?

 My hope is that he will always know that adoption is not a bad thing, it is a decision made from love – on the side of the birth mother and on the side of the adopting parents.


Interviews Part One

Throughout this journey I have met some pretty awesome women, women who are strong in their own way. I had the privilege to interview two birth mothers and one adoptive mother. Each story is different. The interviews are real and honest. Nothing has been modified. All pictures shared are approved and sent personally from each interviewee. I wanted to try something new and different. Interviewing these three lovely ladies has opened my heart to new emotions. I admire each lady for their own reasons. I thank you for believing in me and helping  make this vision come alive. Because of you three I able to share your truths and help others. If it’s helping them on wanting to start to heal, the need of reassurance that adoption is the best choice for them, or helping those see that adoption is the right choice for you and your family. I thank these women for being honest.

“The one thing that you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. So write and draw and build and play and dance and live life as you can”

 I have had the pleasure of meeting some pretty strong women. Brina and I are in a Birth mom’s group on Facebook. We have talked a bit and she is also a supporter of  “My Truth Ourunendingjourney” She is back packing around Europe right now. She is on her healing journey to grow mentally and spiritually within herself. She has had the pleasure of seeing her birth son and his beautiful family. They have embraced Brina and welcomed her in their home. I see her updates and the pictures she posts. I see how happy she is right now. That inner bliss has been found. Brina I wish nothing but peace and happiness as you continue your travels and adventures throughout Europe.12248668_10153254873643527_1217514123_n

Your name.
Brina Collins
Describe the day you first found out you were pregnant.
I was overwhelmed. There were so many emotions going through me, and I wasn’t sure what I was going to do. I spent quite a bit of time crying and napping.
What where your thoughts?
I was terrified. I didn’t know how I was going to take care of a child. I was so broke that I had spent my last $10 on a pregnancy test. I couldn’t believe that I was growing a human.
When did you know you placing was the best choice to make?
I knew that I didn’t want my child to grow up in poverty. There were times in my childhood when we were poor, and I never wanted him to have to sacrifice for me. I wanted him to have an idyllic childhood.
What does being a birth mom mean to you?
Being a birth mom means that I made a choice and I will live with the effects of that choice for the rest of my life. It means that I’ve decided that I need to stay safe and healthy, because I am the only birth mom my son will ever have. I want him to always know how loved he is. It means that even though I don’t have parental responsibilities towards my son, I still choose to be responsible for my role in his life.
What where it still are your fears?
I am still afraid that my son will hate me one day. I know that he’ll have his own thoughts and opinions on adoption, and I will respect those 100%, but it is still scary.
Did you choose your birth child’s name?
If so why did you choose that name?
Honestly, it was the only name that I liked with my dad’s middle name. The meaning behind it fits my son so perfectly though.
Is your adoption open or closed?
Very, very, very open.
Do you sometime wish it was open or closed instead?
What is one piece of advice you wish to share with other birth parents?
Let yourself grieve. It is natural and healing. The only way out of grief is through it.
What is your ultimate wish for your birth child?
I hope that he is happy and safe. I would do anything to make sure of that.

To read Brina’s blog click here:



A couple of months ago one of my dear friends had tagged me on a post from Instagram. I fell in love right away, with Ashley. I know this woman as the owner of Big Tough Girl. I looked at her site four a couple hours and one thing that sucked me was her definition of a Big Tough Girl
“A Big Tough Girl™ is any WOMAN that can and will maintain the ability to endure, to carry on, to push through without weakening or perishing. SHE is able to go on in the face of pain, loss, discouragement or suffering without being defeated. SHE will continue to move forward without regret, in healing and happiness. SHE has the ability to stand firm in her life, move past her greatest fears, and live an inspired life that shines a positive light for the world to see.”
-Ashley Mitchell, Owner BTG
This here is what I needed, it’s helped me in a lot of ways, especially on pushing myself with my screen tees and blog. I know I’m not famous, I know I don’t make any money off what I doing. I’m lucky to get a sell here and there throughout the week, it’s not that. It’s knowing when someone takes interest in what I’m doing. It’s nice to know I get that little support. If you have time, please check out Ashley’s Site and Blog it’s amazing! It’s honestly the type of girl power, healing, moving forward raw deep read we women need. She has formed a community worth being a part of. A woman I admire for all the right reasons. I’ve never met this woman face to face, yet I know if I do I would embrace her with love and hug the living day lights out of her. I would scream and jump for joy. As I did more digging it turned out that she and I are a part of the same birth mom community on Facebook. How I missed this before kills me to know I could have learned from this woman a year ago. I was intimated to send her a friend request yet I had the courage to do so. When she accepted it really made my week. Her posts are loving, and helps me with my healing. I have never see someone be so open about adoption. So honest. I was scared to reach out to Ashley and interview her, yet something inside me told me should make the time and help support me on my journey to help others.



Your name.
Ashley Mitchell, Owner Big Tough Girl™

Describe the day you first found out you were pregnant. What where your thoughts?
I think knew that I was pregnant long before I took my test but I was terrified. I couldn’t bring myself to take the test. I prayed day and night that somehow it would just “go away”, that I was going to be able to wake up from this nightmare and I wouldn’t have to face the reality of what was happening. I had to take a test, I had to know for sure, I had to confirm what I knew all along. I was alone, I was so scared and when the test was positive I sat on the bathroom floor in the basement of my parent’s house and wept!

When did you know you placing was the best choice to make?
For me it wasn’t about making the decision to place with 100% confidence. I never had that kind of clarity. For me it was about making the decision and then choosing to live with it every day for the rest of my life. I had a very powerful, terrifying and life changing event that took place at an abortion clinic. When God stepped in and showed his hand then I knew that Adoption was the ONLY option for my son.

What does being a birth mom mean to you?
Motherhood found me differently. When I became a Mother for the first time it was under unplanned circumstances. I always wanted to have a baby…but not like this! I had been dreaming of this moment for so long…but because of choices in my life, at the age of 26 I placed my newborn baby boy in the arms of another woman, one that would be known as mother and that would be with him as his parent. At the age of 26 I became a Birth Mother and my life changed forever!

What were or still are your fears?
My goal in life is to never be fearless. I am grateful for my fear. It protects me of many things. But I pray that I can always move forward in my life and tackle things that I truly have a passion for regardless of what my fear is telling me. I fear many things in this adoption journey. So many things are unknown to me. I don’t have a crystal ball. I fear talking seriously with my children that I parent about my past and who their mother once was, I fear the day that my son that I placed and I get to sit down and deeply and intimately get to talk about choices that I made years ago. I fear that he will never truly know the love in my heart for him, that he has never left me, that I long for him daily. I fear my role in his life…that he may want more than I can ever give. This journey is terrifying.

Did you choose your birth child’s name? If so why did you choose that name?
From the moment I picked the family that would later adopt my son I had to make a shift in my thoughts and emotions. I had to “detach” as much as possible from what was happening. I wanted this to be their baby as much as possible. I asked that they choose a name for him. I never had a name for him picked out, I never needed that for myself. From the moment he was born he was who they wanted him to be. His original birth certificate lists his name with their last name and me as his mother. I think it represents us both beautifully.

Is your adoption open or closed?
We have an open adoption.

Do you sometime wish it was open or closed instead?
There is no off switch to this role of motherhood. I spent years away from them, from him. It was never officially closed but I didn’t hesitate in taking the time I needed to grieve, freak out, be destructive, get burned to the group and to rebuild my life. I am grateful that they forgave so much and allowed me to come back, to build a relationship and that they have loved me through it all. This relationship has changed so much over the years….just like any other relationship in my life it evolves, changes, adjusts, goes through highs and lows and ebbs and flows.

What is one piece of advice you wish to share with other birth parents?
There is life after placement! You have an opportunity to make this experience whatever you want to make it. It will make or break you…and sometimes it does a little bit of both. Feel everything you need to feel, allow yourself to grieve and don’t be afraid to go after what you want. There is no manual. Do what you feel is best for YOU. No journey is the same. Don’t allow yourself to get caught up in the comparisons. Please know that you are NOT alone. This is hard, it usually gets worse before it gets better but the outcome is UP TO YOU!

What is your ultimate wish for your birth child?
He is a magical kid. I am so humbled and honored to be the one that gave him life. He has an amazing family that is helping him life it. I pray daily for him. That he will continue to grow in love and support. That his heart will remain open to all the information and adjustments that he will experience in his life. That he will always want to know me and spend time with me…but if not that he always knows of my love for him. That he is patient with me in his desires for a relationship and that he continues to walk in his amazing heart for forgiveness.11900032_677653422370036_4959656932628610311_n (1)


Erika was on my last post. She wrote a kind, heart felt loving letter to her birth mom who placed her daughter. The letter was short and sweet. These words have stayed with me since I read her letter.
“I wish I could tell you how grateful I am for Jayde. You gave her to us. You kept her healthy, and I could never thank you enough for that. I promise that John and I will be the best parents we can be to her and I promise to always remind her that you loved her. I promise to help make her proud of who she is, and her story.”
Erika’s story is a beautiful and sad one at the same time. She has opened up my eyes. That yes one set of parents may be dealing with a loss, yet another is gifted with a blessing. She has been so open about her adoption process. She has showed me the losses she had to go through with her husband. Yet one thing I admire is how humble they are. The loving hearts they have. She has never met me face to face only through Facebook and the Military support group we are a part of.  Yet the love she have given me is one thing I didn’t think I would get from another adoptive parent. I have been so stuck on how painful it is for birthparent’s. I lost sight of how hard it must be for those who end up adopting. We see them as our saving grace, our angles. Ones that we put our trust into to raise, to love, to protect, to teach, to adventure with our birth children. I noticed we sometimes [ I ] forget that adoptive parents have gone through losses as well. Having miscarriages, to still born babies. I forget the pain and sadness that’s in their eyes as well. The friendship Erika and I are forming is a slow and beautiful one. I noticed that we are opening each other’s eyes on so many things. We live three hours away and how I long to meet her and hug her when the day and time is right for the both of us. The connection I have with her is special and beautiful all on its own.

Your name.
How long did you try to have a family and realized adoption was the best path for you and your husband?
4 years. We lost 2 babies, did tons of testing and it just never happened. We decided to become foster parents (hoping we’d be lucky enough to adopt). Our first placement was Jayde! It was fate. She was meant to meet us and we were meant to be her parents. Adoption honestly intimidated me because I was nervous to be shot down or not chosen. I was also nervous that I wouldn’t be able to connect with a child that wasn’t mine, but I knew that whatever was meant to happen would! Adoption was our way to start a family, I wouldn’t let fear keep us from that.

Do you feel like you failed sometimes?
I feel like I failed all the times, even now. My body failed. It’s meant to carry children and it can’t do that. I think I’ll always have a little feeling of failure when it comes to that. But I’m extremely happy with where this journey took us.
Is your family supportive of you and your husband choosing adoption?
Our families are SO supportive thank goodness. I was worried that they wouldn’t be able to bond with them, but my family and my husband’s family are in love with Jayde. I don’t think they could love her more than they do. I’m so grateful to have their support with this because they knew how badly we wanted to be parents.
Did you ever feel pressured to keep trying?
I 100% always felt pressured to keep trying. Mainly by myself. My husband told me time and time again that he’d be fine with no kids if it meant keeping our sanity. Infertility does that to you, it drives you mad! I wanted to experience pregnancy and I still do. But in the end all I really wanted was to be a mommy! So I’m thankful I get to be one.
Did you ever want to back out once you got in the process of adopting?
Not even once! Especially when we found out about Jayde and then met her. I just knew instantly she was mine. I have never been so overwhelmed with love like that. I never knew it could come too easily and so naturally with a child that wasn’t biologically yours.
Is your adoption closed or opened?
We actually have no idea who her birth parents are! Which is good and bad in our case. Bad because we have no idea any of her health history, and we wish we could’ve had a bond with the birthmother. Good because it has made adopting from foster care an easier process.
Did you choose your adoptive child’s name? If so why that name?
We did choose her name! Our daughter came into foster care with no name, so she had to go by Jane Doe. Which we absolutely hate! Her name is Evalina Jayde! Evalina means Life! (She goes by Jayde) I couldn’t think of anything more perfect than that in our situation.
What is your one wish to your birth parent?
I wish I could thank them, and tell them how happy our little girl is. I also wish that they this decision put their life in a better direction if that’s what they wanted.
What is your piece of advice to those who can’t have children yet fear the thought of adoption?
Adoption is incredible. I never thought it would be a part of our journey but I’m so grateful it came into our path. You CAN and WILL love that child as your own, sometimes you may even have to remind yourself they didn’t come from you biologically! I have never been so happy in my life and everything we’ve gone through truly did lead us to Jayde. She couldn’t be more perfect for us if we had made her ourselves.


To read about Erika’s journey as being an adoptive parent you can read her blog here:

Stay tuned for Part Two. As I get the strength and courage to put together the interviews of loved ones that went through my pregnancy and adoption process with me. 

A letter from an adoptive mom.

Throughout the past month and half I have met an adoptive mom online from a support group that I am apart of. To be exact this is a group of women who all have a significant other that has been or is in the service. We talk about home life, to what to wear to the ball, to what its like being a mom. Life in general. 

I came across this woman who shared her story about being in the process of adoption with her husband. Her story shed light to mine. It made me see that I and other birth parents were not the only ones that have pain, have trouble healing, trouble moving on, or better yet have that piece of mind that our birth children are loved and treated well daily. The feeling or regrets and doubt we may tend to have even if we want to admit it or not.

This letter Erika wrote, is short, heart warming, and brought tears to my eyes. The connection I have with her is different then many can imagine. We are slowly forming a friendship that is odd that some would say. We are helping one another cope, heal, understand, and move forward. Talking to her the few times that I have has made such a difference in my life in so many ways.11390087_10153395727022640_6449644350039714716_n

Her letter:

Dear Birthmom,
I honestly don’t even know how to start this off besides saying thank you a million times. What you did was so courageous and shows me that you must’ve been a strong woman. I hope Jayde inherits that trait from you. Everyone who knows Jayde’s story is sad for what you did, but I tell them “It is not by any means a sad thing. Her Birthmom loved her enough to give her a better life.” I don’t know what your circumstances were that caused you to choose this path, but I commend you for making this tough choice. I wish I could tell you how grateful I am for Jayde. You gave her to us. You kept her healthy, and I could never thank you enough for that. I promise that John and I will be the best parents we can be to her and I promise to always remind her that you loved her. I promise to help make her proud of who she is, and her story. I promise to love her as my own. I promise to never let a day go by without telling her I love her. Although we may not know who you are, I will forever have a connection with you. The greatest gift in our life was given to us by you. There is no way “Thank you” will ever be enough. So just know that Jayde will be given the best life possible, and she will be loved forever. You will always be in my heart, and I hope you think of us too. 
One very happy mommy. 
For more of Erika’s story you can read her blog here:

Hello November; National Adoption Month

Today we say goodbye to October and its festivities, and say hello to November.IMG_4858

November is the month that starts to cheer  Christmas is around the corner and that Thanksgiving is just a few weeks away. Yet this month tends to hit home for a lot of men and women that are in the same boat as me. National Adoption Month.

In the past I have dreaded November, I actually wanted to get it over with. I wasn’t ready to share my story. I wasn’t ready for people to embrace me with extra love and make me feel like they felt sorry for me. Yet this year I have turned a new leaf and I’m wanting to embrace it. I’m now ready to feel the embrace-meant of others. I am ready to feel loved and know its not because they pity me. They actually really care about me.

I ask that you pray for me, and not just me yet people that are like me. People that are still healing. Birth fathers and Birth mothers. This Month I am lighting a candle not just for me yet for everyone who needs that little bit of extra light to get through this month. IMG_4808

This month will be a little different when it comes to blog posts. I will be sharing other people’s pain, love, healing, moving forwards. I will also have a story from an adoptive mother’s side. Her struggles and pain and how adoption changed her and her husband’s lives.

I’m mentally preparing myself for that I will be digging deeper into the rawness this month. My story is far from being over;