Having kids when you're still a teen isn't exactly easy. You still have to finish school, you don't have any money, you don't have a place of your own, and the people in your community are unlikely to help you.
That was the situation that Madeleine's parents found themselves 17 years ago. Madeleine's mom was 16 and her dad was 17 years old when she was born. Both of them lived with their respective parents. Not many people thought they'd stick together, and the odds weren't on their side.
Still, Madeleine's parents were determined to do everything right for their daughter, and even though they didn't live together, they worked together to raise their daughter.
When Madeleine graduated from high school, she posted this message on the Love News Matters Facebook page:
"We made it TOGETHER. My mom was 15 while pregnant with me, she had me at 16. My dad was 17. The original picture is from June, 2000.
My parents were judged a lot during this time but stayed strong together.
They both lived with their parents but were raising me together. They were determined to make it and provide me with a future. My dad worked full time in construction and my mom was still playing soccer.
Today, they have a strong, loving marriage. They purchased a beautiful home. My mom is a stay-at-home mom and my dad has a great career as a longshoreman.
I have two little sisters that are following in my footsteps. The original photo has always been an inspiration to me.
I wanted to recreate this photo since the beginning of my senior year but especially after I accepted my offer to college.
I also wanted it to be a reflection to show them how far we've come together as a family.
My parents have always been my motivation to be successful in high school and now strive to do well in college. I couldn't ask for a more loving, supportive family than the one God gave me. Yeah that's right, we made it TOGETHER."
Although many people doubted the family would stay together, Madeleine's parents did everything to give their daughter the tools needed to succeed.
Now, she's going to start college in the fall, and she has a bright future ahead of her. Without her amazing parents, she never would've stood a chance. They were an inspiration for Madeleine, and now they're working hard to inspire her two little sisters.
The second picture, taken at Madeleine's graduation, is proof that they've really managed, despite all the obstacles and naysayers, to suceed.
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