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First of all I spent nine and a half years in Vermont's foster care system. During those years my case stayed in the Newport, Vermont Department of Children and Families (DCF) district office. I also moved throughout the state while I was in care.

After my 18th birthday, I moved back to the area that I was born. This is also the area that my case was held in. I moved back to be closer to my biological family. My mom, grandmother and several siblings were consistently in my life while I was in care.

Fast forward to over a year later. I was 19, working two jobs, had my own apartment, a vehicle, and some college experience. However, it was also at this time I found out, I was expecting. My pregnancy was amazing and I couldn't wait to welcome my baby girl into the world.

Around my 7th month I received a phone call from DCF. The people who stood as my guardians for the last half of my life were opening a new case on me. I was extremely upset and distraught by this information. I hadn't even been given a chance at life without them, or at being a mom... they were back at my door. After succumbing to their demands and proving myself they closed their case.

This entire process took 3-4 months from start to finish. What they discovered was I am capable of being a good parent and more importantly, I am a good mom. I am single parent also. I am the sole provider for my daughter and I will gladly boast about how she has never gone without anything a day in her life.

All in all I have learned that even if you feel like you can't overcome your past or if you feel like it always comes back to haunt you, you can overcome it. The past doesn't define the present or predict the future. Today I am still a single mother and my daughter is almost four. I, myself am living proof that even if the odds are stacked against you, you can rise above and do anything you want.

You define you and even if you're going through a rough patch that you feel is never ending, everything is temporary. Always remember that. The bad times never last and so many more good ones are on their way.

Jul 1, 2016 By KaylaCarmen