Hi, my name is Miracle and I have a one-year-old daughter named Madison. Together, we make up the Adkins Family.
My life has been rough from the start. I come from a home where my mom did drugs and my dad was an alcoholic. We moved around every few months. My mom died when I was eight years old and my dad soon after when I was nine. From that point, I moved around as an orphan from family member to family member until I graduated high school and went off to college—which was a huge step in my family. Neither of my parents graduated high school and I was one of the first to go off to college. While in college, I worked a full and part time job to help support myself. Often times, I survived with little to no sleep to maintain my classes and jobs.
It all became too much, and I bummed out the first year, losing HOPE. After that, I refocused and remained on the dean’s list for the reminder of my time. After obtaining my bachelor’s degree, it was difficult to find a good paying job, so I went on to get a master’s degree with the hope that I would be more marketable. All while doing this, my student loan debt was adding up. I graduated with my master’s degree and a couple months later, I got a job with the State of Georgia as a Rehabilitation Counselor. However, this left me with a mountain of student loan debt.
Soon after I started working for the state, I moved out on my own. I was staying with a relative at the time. I quickly learned that I could not support myself on my salary alone. I worked side jobs to try to bring in extra income. I decided to go back to school and start on my PhD in mental health facilitation. I got all the way up to my dissertation when I had my daughter. I did one quarter after I had her and decided to put that part of my life on hold, that it was too much. Her father didn’t want to be in her life and I did not have any family support. However, I still had overwhelming student loan debt.
I have been through some unimaginable circumstances in my life. From the death of my parents, to sexual abuse, to numerous health problems, and now the struggles of being a single mom and in debt. School was a place I excelled. Education and experience is what is needed in order to get ahead. I thought by going to school I would better myself and it would allow me financial security and comfort, however I found that although I have strong qualifications, I did not find a job that would provide for my family and address the great burden of the student loan debt that I acquired in order to get my education. I can no longer qualify for much assistance because of the student loan. Now in repayment, I have to determine if I want to pay on my loan/interest or pay the light bill. Both are a necessity and a priority. It is incredibly disappointing that although I followed the path of the American dream- get an education, get a job, be successful, the end result of my education was an average job with a mountain of student loan debt. The debt is a great burden to my success.
Having such a tumultuous and unstable upbringing made me dream of having a place of my own to call home. That dream intensified when I became a single mom with a daughter, I knew I had to figure out a way to ensure my daughter had the best stable upbringing possible. A friend of mine told me about Habitat and a friend of hers that was helped, so I decided to apply. I started the process online and turned in my paper application in person. At first, I was denied and my heart was broken. Determined, I did the things I needed to do to qualify and soon after, I was approved. This included selling a twenty-year-old trailer I had purchased and a second vehicle I had.
My greatest fear is that if I do not find suitable and affordable housing, that I will have to keep moving to be able to afford a place for my daughter and I to live. I overcame so many obstacles, I just want to have a stable place for Madison. Having a Habitat home would mean stability for the both of us. It would allow her to grow up in one stable and safe environment. It would allow me to be able to afford a place for us to live. We could then be able to do more things. I want to be able to give her the life and normal childhood I never had. A home means we would have a foundation upon which to build our future. All of our dreams hinge upon having a secure place to come home to.
I started volunteering to fulfil my 260-hour Sweat Equity requirements by working in ReStore and taking the financial education course online. I know the journey ahead is difficult, but I am prepared to do what is necessary to make my dream of a stable home for my daughter a reality.
And now the journey for the Adkins continues….