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I still remember when I prayed for the things I have now

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I still remember when I prayed for the things I have now.

I remember sitting on the edge of my bed in what was then my second foster home while the thoughts flooded my mind wondering if I'd ever be lucky enough to have a family. The sheets were little mermaid and to be honest, that's about all that was on that bed and about all that is worth to remember.

I still remember when I had to say goodbye to one of my closest biological sisters the first time we were separated and wondering if I'd ever see her again. That is a pain like nothing I can even describe.

I still remember visiting homes to see if I would be "a good fit," and how my social worker would pick me up and take me to get my favorite snack (ritz cheese bites) in hopes of making things easier.

I remember sitting at the edge of a mountain looking over the ocean picking a new name because the goal was to get rid of the name "Lacy" which would also get rid of the bad memories that came with that name. And it wasn't hard for me to choose the name "Emily" because someone somewhere impacted my life in my five short years and I wanted to live with the same heart they had.

I'll never forget at three years old telling my crying older sister "everything is going to be okay," when we had just been through hell and back and I honestly had no idea if it was actually going to be okay.

We had been abused, neglected, abandoned and scarred but for some reason I had hope. My 5 year old abandoned heart still had hope when really after all this heart had been through, it should have left me to never trust again and make it hard to ever love fully again.

But it's made my heart bigger. It's made me more hopeful in times I should be feeling hopeless. It's made me compassionate because I know I don't fight these battles alone. It's made me love deeper because I now have everything I once thought I'd never have.

And it's made me thankful, not just for the family and things I have now. It's made me thankful that this all happened to me because it's made me who I am today.

This is a message of hope, and a reminder that there is hope after heartbreak.

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