"When I was five years old, I was separated from my siblings and mother and began getting tossed around from foster home to foster home."

Kadriana's biggest obstacles to overcome started when she was 5 years old...

When I was five years old, I was separated from my siblings and mother and began getting tossed around from foster home to foster home.

My life prior to that hadn't been much better, having to deal with my mother's substance abuse and frequent absences. Much of my early life can be characterized by neglect, abuse, and constant upheaval.

The strangest thing about the whole scenario is that I had no clue that what I had gone through was not normal, having believed it was just life as usual, until I was much older.

Despite the negative circumstances of my youth, I constantly reminded myself that I needed to be brave, even as a little girl; that what I was going through would eventually come to pass.

Although the challenges I dealt with were significant, I made it through by learning to love myself. I may have not understood that the situation I was in was not normal, but I knew I wanted and that I deserved better than what I was getting.

I surrounded myself with positive people and things and chose to not allow negativity in my life. Taking my situation and using it to help other people was the biggest help. By helping others, I learned to help myself.

Kadriana's biggest accomplishment was when she was 24 years old...

When I was a teenager, I suffered from depression, I was isolated, and I was unhappy.

At this point in my life, my mother had passed away, I had never met my father, and I had been passed around numerous times from foster home to foster home.

Rather than continuing to feel sorry for myself, however, I took a hard look at my life and where it was going.

I wasn't sure how I was going to do it, but I knew I needed to find a way to change my situation.

Despite some hiccups along the way, I finally found inner happiness - not based on any one person or thing - but within myself. My biggest accomplishment is becoming the woman I've always wanted to be: self-reliant, motivated, and happy.

Kadriana's is inspired by...

I am inspired by those who, when faced with adversity, are able to overcome their challenges, land on their feet, and succeed despite the odds.

Written by Kadriana Fernanda.

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