"Jill - I've enjoyed your platform immensely - I loved the statement you made that great stories are about dreams, not the letters behind your name. Speaking of stories - Cj Hollinshead's story really touched me. I grew up in foster care and never felt like I ever belonged or was even wanted. I was lucky enough to find a mentor in high school who was in the process of becoming a surgical tech. She became 'my hero' and coincidentally, her passion became mine.
There are so many children out there that are 'tossed aside', and my hope is that CJ's story proves to them that life is not defined by where you start, but by where your dreams take you.
I struggled a long time with the idea that I had a mother who never wanted to raise me, but with age has come much wisdom. Growing up the way I did taught me invaluable virtues like independence, taking responsibility and ownership of my actions, and most importantly, the power of dreams. I reached my dream of becoming a surgical tech. I recently became married and now hope to pursue the dream of having a child and being the parent that I never had - it may be trite, but it's my ultimate dream in life - to nurture, guide, comfort, and celebrate a child I can call my own.
Keep telling stories and don't hide the parts that don't fit in fairy tales, because we all have struggles that are worth sharing. Those struggles make up the fiber of who we've become. I am very proud of who I have become and I don't have "MD" behind my name like many of the amazing women on your site, but I take as much pride in what I contribute as anybody else - that's why I read the stories - they give me perspective about this amazing world that we ALL can experience TOGETHER."