Uniquely You 💫

Uniquely You

Everyone has their own unique story. It’s what makes you you. Trials and triumphs, unexpected journeys and adventures, they all form who you are today. Sharing our stories is how we come to connect with others and learn from each other. That's why we're starting off November with a new series: Uniquely You 💫

This series will include a variety of women that we as a Kortni Jeane team have had the privilege of getting to know. These women inspire us and we want you to know them too! Their stories, experiences, and smiles deserve to be shared with all of you! Every few weeks we will invite one woman to share her story on our Instagram. We do this in hopes that you will all come together and shower each other with love and support. After all, that's what the Kortni Jeane community is best at!

We hope you enjoy learning from each other's journeys along the way! We believe each of you are enough. Embrace it. Love it. 🌻

xoxo,

Kortni Jeane + Team

Start by reading the first story here:

@faithjski uniquely you
 “We are all told that “we can do hard things” but what we aren’t told is that those hard things might break you. And more than that- it’s ok to let them break you. 
I’ve had my fair share of “hard things” in my life and in my journey as a mother. I miscarried my first baby. My second pregnancy resulted in a perfect-but-medically-complex baby that is now developmentally two years old despite being four and relies completely on a feeding tube. And after my third baby, I was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer - soft tissue sarcoma - that robbed me of the entire summer and fall of last year as I underwent radiation, multiple surgeries and recovery. 
All of those things broke me - they really did. But in all of those situations, even when I felt at my lowest, I held onto hope. Hope, and faith, that things were going to get better and I was going to get through it. Those situations broke me - and they changed me. They made me a better person. A more grateful person. A more patient person. A more compassionate person. I don’t like to say they made me stronger because all of those things showed me, really, just how weak I am.  
Knowing that my son may not ever reach the same “life milestones” as my other kids sometimes makes me sad. Being physically weaker after my surgeries and consequent pregnancy sometimes makes me frustrated. Knowing that there’s a high chance of my cancer manifesting again sometimes makes me angry. But in all of those things - there’s a chance for me to live and love more, and fiercer, than I ever did. There’s a chance to hope in the future. 
We can do hard things. We can let them break us. And we can get through them - and be more than we were before.” 

@xoxobrialee

“This is what breaking a generational curse of drug addiction & poverty looks like. If you told me as a little girl that I would be living the life I am now, I wouldn’t have believed it. I wanted so badly to have normal parents & a stable upbringing but I felt like I couldn’t ever get out of the trauma that haunted me. GUESS WHAT?? I did. I got out & I became the stable woman I needed as a child. 
I hope that this reminds anyone who has dealt with physical abuse, addiction, mental health struggles, and poverty that you don’t have to live the life you were born into. You can become the adult you needed growing up. 
I remember carrying trash bags out of my birth home into the case worker’s car. I remember leaving my foster home 4 years later and only having a few duffle bags & boxes and the rest of my items in trash bags. Entering my adopted parents home and feeling like trash - a burden. It’s a real feeling that most kids in the foster system have felt. That you’re just an expendable item to others who were supposed to care for me (excluding my foster parents because they really did all they could). To say I remember the feeling is an understatement - I wear that feeling everyday. If you ever wonder why I preach self love and healing your past trauma, it’s because there was a point in my life when I didn’t know what love was, let alone love for myself. 
There is such a void in the foster care system for good caring social workers, for foster parents, and for essential items. If you are interested in becoming a foster parent or an adoptive parent, do it! Look into it, there are so many kids that look like me that are yearning for safety, love, and a home. 
Thank you for reading this, or if you didn’t maybe sometime I’ll get the chance to tell you and this world how much I needed you to care - how much they need you to care."

@xoxobrialee

Kortni Jeane

“I never really knew loss until my daughter died. I didn’t know what it felt like to have the floor ripped from underneath me. I had never experienced soul shattering pain like I did when the doctor said, “I’m sorry, but we can’t find a heartbeat.” The seconds, minutes, days, weeks, months that followed those words have forever changed me.
In those first few weeks, I remember watching the world continue on around me while mine seemingly stopped spinning. I looked at people smiling, laughing, and living their life carefree... I wondered if they could see how much pain I was in and if I would ever feel like them again. I wondered if I would be able to feel joy without immediate guilt. I wondered if my smile would ever return. 
Slowly but surely, I found pieces of her in the world and it started to come back. A wildflower growing near the ocean, a sun flare appearing in photo after photo, strangers from around the world saying her name, I smiled each time and began to feel the guilt slip away. She may not be here with me physically but she has made an impact on this world, she was being remembered, and what could bring more happiness to a mama? 
I have learned that joy and grief can coexist. I can enjoy life while I mourn the loss of my child and the life she would have lived. I have found strength through brokenness and I have built myself back from the depths of my sorrow. I am the woman and mother that I am today because of my daughter, Theodora Wilde Yax, Teddy. #teddyswildeflowers”
 - @lexyax
Uniquely You

"I could think of several trials God has seen me through but I think what I want most to talk about now is my purpose. I never in a million years thought I'd be leading conversations about race. Though my upbringing was filled with these types of conversations and discussions as I primarily grew up in spaces and places that were predominately white, I still couldn't have called it. More than ever I feel like God has placed a fire under me to not be silent as I see my race of people hurting. Hurting to be seen, to be heard, to be felt. My love for Christ and for people has brought me right here to this place. But my strength is not my own. Though my anger brings me to my knees, it’s what is prayed there that leads me in love. I want nothing more than for my girls to live in a world filled with love for all people. So I’ll fight for this until it looks better in every way. But that fight will never take my joy! What is taught to my children will always be that of immense gratitude and gratefulness for how good God is! They’ll know to always let their light shine and to always answer the call that’s on their heart!"

 - @mrshazleyathome

Uniquely You Campaign

"If you, a complete stranger, were to sit down with me and learn my story you would leave saying that I was “troubled.” You would say these trials of life should bring me down, “Oh you're so strong.” “How did you do it?” I think by now I’ve heard it all.

I was raised by a single, strong-willed mother, much stronger than I will ever be. She was dedicated and worked hard to provide for our little family of 4. She was selfless and never once complained about the hardships that we faced, even though they were evident.

We lived in our car for a period, but all I remember from that time is the love and closeness of my family. We lived without electricity and water for some time but all I can remember are the snuggles and laughter that filled that double sized mattress. She would cover up tired eyes with genuine grins and hold us close when she felt alone. She never let our hard times bring her down, and it made every trial that I have ever faced in life that much easier to go through.

As a 13 year old, I was the victim of sexual assault. I had to stand in front of a jury and tell my story over and over again, reliving that trauma. I was taken away from friends that I had known my entire life and the family that we lived near. I started at a new school and felt like I’d never live down the guilt of taking my brother’s father away from him. I wanted it to be over, I tried to end it all myself, but through it all I remember thinking about my mother, my strong, independent, loving mom. Something always got her through, every. single. time. And that’s when I began to pray and truly uncover who I am, who God calls me to be. I found my purpose.

I look back now at that broken girl and wish I could tell her the plans that God has: tell her about her absolutely incredible husband who loves and supports her more than she could ever imagine. I wish I could tell her that she will find her passion in being a mother and wife. I wish I could show her the two beautiful miracles that came of her womb after the loss of 3 angels. I wish I could tell her that she would grow up and be just like her superhero, that she would always love her children and would be strong like her MOM."

 - @justgotmurphyd

My AncestryDNA results connected the dots to finding my entire birth family!

Growing up adopted I often thought about where I came from. I remember looking in the mirror and thinking how strange it was not knowing who I looked like. I was told basic demographic information about my birth parents, but the rest had always been a mystery.

I was 18 when I first filed a motion to have my records opened. Unfortunately, it was denied because I had a “closed adoption”, and the records were sealed. I felt sad and discouraged but little did I know, God had the perfect plan for me to connect with my long-lost family.

In August 2017 I purchased and sent in my AncestryDNA kit. I got the results back and was pretty much in shock by them! LONG story short, my top match was my half-sister (31) on my birth-mom’s side. She too was adopted, meaning neither of us knew who our mom was. After a few weeks of digging, I was able to solve the mystery and find her. She has two other children she raised in Nevada, my younger sister (19) and younger brother (17). In December 2017 I met her & my younger siblings and I thanked her for the selfless decision she made to provide me with a better life.

My next top matches were on my birth-dad’s side, my older half-sister (only 5 months older) & younger half-brother. They too were adopted. CRAZY I know!! Luckily, my brother knew our father’s name and I was able to connect the dots on his side. From my birth-dad I am blessed with 1 older sister (27) 2 younger brothers (23&23) and 3 younger sisters (22, 7, 4). I have yet to meet my younger sisters & my dad, but I know I will one day soon!

Having grown up with 1 older sister, to finding out I have 9 other siblings is mind blowing to say the least! I feel like I need to write a book about it because there is just so much to tell! 

I feel SOO blessed & grateful that a simple DNA test brought all these special people into my life.

Never in a million years did I think spitting into a little tube would lead me to this many blessings!!

@girlyoushine

Who is afraid of a piece of fabric? And a small one at that?

Bathing suits had never been my favorite.  But, a few years after having my daughter……I realized I avoided them at all costs (and we live in California, the land of sun and beach days).  The year Lydia turned three, I knew I had to make a change.  Did I want to pass this on to her? Did I want her looking at her body the way I looked at mine? I knew I didn’t.

 So, one step at a time, I began the work of learning to appreciate my body even when I didn’t LOVE it.  I bought suits I loved (hey Kortni Jeane), I found colors that made me smile, I took a lot of deep breaths…..and one beach day at a time….I reframed how I felt.  And the inspiring part? I wasn’t alone.  I founded a community, #justwearthesuit.  And along with me, thousands of women learned to love themselves, appreciate their bodies, and to……enjoy the carefree days of summer and the therapeutic sound of the waves on the sand.

 My hope? That as the weather warms up, you let the sun hit you, your thighs kiss the waves, and feel joy from the top of your head to the tips of your toes.  I promise, peace awaits on the other side of that pushing through.  And we’re all here to support you.

- @lipglossandcrayons

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