Hello my name is Tonika and I'm a 34 year old mother of five beautiful children ages 1 to 14 and a wife

of 7 years to my husband. I'm a graduate student studying for my certification in early childhood 

education. My husband and I have been foster parents for the last 10 years we are currently working on 

our new certification for foster care/adoption we are strongly considering adoption. Because very child 

deserves a home even though I'm struggling right now and I don’t have a huge glamorous home I'm not 

living the glamorous life I still have a heart to want to give back. I want to offer a child a stable loving 

place that they feel comfortable enough to call home. My husband and I also are involved in our 

community through sports and mentorship for at risk youth. We enjoy helping others and giving back we 

also enjoy going to church and having family outings. About 2 almost 3 years ago things started to 

change for the worst for us. In February of 2013 we closed on our house by March I lost my job and that 

seemed to be the beginning of our turn of events. My husband was working as an assistant manager at 

that time, around July that same year I got a job working over night as a residential counselor.  After a 

while my body could not adjust to working overnight I would be up throughout the day with my kids 

tried to sleep around 8pm get up by 10pm so that I can be at work around 12am. After a few car 

accident scares meaning I started following asleep behind the wheel onetime I almost went head on in 

front of a big Fed Ex truck if I did not open my eyes when I did that was God all the way. I decided to 

work that part time instead while I looked for another job they never called me to come in as a part-

time on call was the title. Needless to say I found a substitute teaching position after three months of 

having no work. Meanwhile the bills are still coming no matter what’s going on, in January the following 

year I found out by surprise that I was expecting my 5th child I had a lot of mixed feelings of joy and 

sadness because I felt that the timing was bad. But I recognized my blessing children are blessings from 

god I just wanted more confidence that I can take care of her. By March my husband decided to pursue 

his dreams as an insurance agent, again I had a lot of mixed feeling because I was very happy for him 

that he was taking that step to do something that I knew he would love doing helping people. At the 

same time I nervous because it is commission base. I finished working as a sub teacher part-time when I 

was able to take on assignments for the remainder of that school year. We did not have any one to 

watch our 2 year old son and we could not afford full time day care. By June everything went south I'm 

out of a job again looking for a job in my third trimester was not easy no one wants to hire me because 

of my condition, my husband was still struggling to find his way with his new company no income was 

coming in the home we had more bills than income, they stared getting behind.  August I got a job at 8 

months pregnant and that was a blessing we was already behind with the bills the mortgage, car note,  

credit cards, house bills, in September I gave birth to our daughter I did not have everything I needed for 

her I got what I could for her we did our best. By this time my husband's car broke down and the repair 

bill was not worth putting into the car now we are down to one car with a large family. I was on 

maternity leave until the first week of November I was only able to take 6 weeks off because it was a 

new job but I hated leaving my new baby behind so young. Because of all the setbacks we were and still 

are facing financial hardship he stayed home with our new baby.  Those 6 weeks were very hard I did 

not have any income and he was not bringing in any income. Everything was stressful and overwhelming 

my oldest son won 2 tickets for an amusement park for having good behavior at the church camp it was 

free and I did not have the money to take him because I couldn't afford to buy the other tickets for my 

other kids. That was very hurtful to me because he was rewarded for having good behavior and he did 

not get to enjoy his reward, or when the new school year comes and you don't have the money to buy 

your children new clothes, shoes, or book bags and I'm  not materialistic at all but they needed it. I'll go 

without all the time but I want to make sure they do not; they got teased about it that hurt me as their 

mother, because I felt helpless to them. There were times when I would go to the gas station and use 

my card at the pump and it would decline and I would try again decline I would even go inside the store 

to pay and it would come back nonsufficient 

  Funds. I had no money for gas to go to work I called my husband crying I did not know what else to do I 

started questioning everything, my faith, my life, my marriage, I felt so lost. The first half of this year 

2015 was spent playing catch up with all the bills and the sad part is that I never caught up in March we 

bought a used van by June it needed a transmission it also needs tires, brakes, rotors, front brakes, now 

the total repair on that is 5,000 when it rains it pours. In June I also suffered a terrible back injury that 

had me out of work again for several weeks. I'm trying to hold myself together I signed up for a fund me 

account because I need some support financially to get my life back in order I feel like I will two steps 

forward and take four steps backwards. I'm doing this for my family I know there are a lot of people that 

would judge me for doing this but I cannot let that bother me everyone has an opinion no one is perfect. 

Hopefully I can reach out to someone who can relate to what I'm going through and is willing to help 

out. I would greatly appreciate any support I can receive it will be a true blessing to me. If not I hope 

that anyone reading my story will be encourages to never give up. I have five reasons why I have to stay 

in this fight until the end God bless.

By: Tonika

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