Jessica  Carik

Jessica Carik

As perfect as my life is now, it wasn’t always this way. I was living out of state with a man I barely knew when I was twenty years old and found out I was pregnant with my daughter. We got married. Shortly after my daughter was born, we moved back to Pittsburgh. Life was good for a while. We were living the American Dream. Just before my daughter’s second birthday, he asked for a divorce and later I found out there was another woman. In less than a year he called to tell me his girlfriend was pregnant. The support payments and visitations came to a halt. Although I needed the money, Jules needed her father more. Regardless of what anyone suggested or advised me to do, I refused to go after him for the money. What I really wanted was for him to spend time with her. It wasn't going to happen I was tired, exhausted and broke. I had to choose between paying the heating bill or buying food. Then I lost our home to foreclosure and had to move into a small leaky apartment. Depressed, gaining weight, drinking too much and drowning in debt that I hadn’t created but was being held responsible for. I didn’t qualify for any assistance from the government because according to them I had to count child support as income even if I didn’t get it. At my lowest, I was mad and angry at anyone and everyone including God. I felt stuck. Finally I threw my hands up and gave everything to God. After that point, things started looking up. I met and married my best friend. He has adopted my daughter (my ex signed his rights over in lieu of paying the $10,000 owed in back child support) and we have gone on to have two more beautiful children. God still throws challenges our way. We walk through every challenge hand in hand, together as a united front. Its hard being a single parent and the pain of divorce is unbelievable. But, I would do it all again if it meant that I could be where I am in my life now.