This is Nicole.

She grew up in Moscow and started attending Lewis-Clark State College after high school. While attending college, her friends started getting into drugs. Nicole had already lost a family member to drugs and knew she did not want that life for herself, so she joined the Army.

During basic training she suffered an injury that was not properly addressed at the time. However, shortly after finishing her training, she met the man who would eventually become her husband. They were married right before they deployed to Kuwait for a month, and then Baghdad for the rest of their first year of marriage.

Still suffering from her injury in basic training, she eventually came home. While the doctors were working with her to help her heal, she found out she was pregnant with her daughter. Around two months into her pregnancy, the doctors recommended not having her child; they needed to remove part of Nicole’s spine in order to restore her ability to walk. Nicole disregarded the doctors’ advice.

While she was pregnant, her husband met someone else and began a new relationship. When Nicole found out about her husband’s new relationship, she wanted more for herself and for her daughter than a life like that. They divorced and he gave Nicole full custody of their daughter.

In the midst of being medically discharged from the Army and becoming a single mom, Nicole decided she wanted to take her daughter back to Moscow and raise her somewhere safe and familiar.

When Nicole arrived back in Moscow, she ran into an old friend from high school who invited her to a single moms’ group. After the first meeting, Nicole knew the group was for her. She has been a part of the group for a year and a half now.

“I have felt God in my life once or twice before, but this has brought me into this amazing relationship where I know that God has created me to be Amelia’s mom and to be the person that I am.”

Over the course of the group she has not only bonded with the other moms, but the weight she has been carrying around has been lifted from her shoulders as she has forgiven her daughter’s father. Being a part of her group has shown her that God has a bigger plan for her life and has given her the inspiration to become a foster mom.

Before she was alone, depressed, and sad. Now when she feels down she reaches out to someone in her group and they help each other out. They give rides, babysit, call each other on bad days, and go out to dinner together.

Best of all for Nicole, her daughter, Amelia, now has a mom who is not depressed and Amelia loves going to church, even after Real Life stopped serving doughnuts.

“The one amazing thing that the group helped me do is forgive her dad. That anger was affecting me and one day I was driving along and realized it had happened and this giant weight on me was gone. And when I told the group, we all cried together. And it was this amazing moment.”

Today Nicole looks forward to raising her daughter in a healthy, happy home, fostering children, and starting school in the spring to get her degree in social work.