Cara Brookins and her children have been through more than most in their lifetime. Her kids Roman, Jada, Hope and Drew watched their mother beaten and battered by two ex-husbands and felt the weight of the blows as if they’d landed on them. But Cara finally decided enough was enough, and left him with her children in tow.

When Cara and the kids struck out to find a future, she didn’t know how they’d make it. But one day while driving, they saw a house that had been ripped to the foundations by a storm. Cara saw a home where others saw a lost cause, much like her family in their broken situation. It was then that the Brookins’ started to rebuild their new house as well as their family.
  1. It all started back in 2007. While driving back from a weekend away, Cara spotted the demolished house that had been hit by a tornado with only the foundation left.

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      “It made me think, ‘what if we bought some 2’x4’s and sheetrock and put that together? What would our dream house be? Would we want to build it?’”
  2. Her kids, who were 17, 15, 11, and 2 at the time, were all about the idea.

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      “They had been powerless,” Cara said. “This was the first thing they could do to improve their lives.”
  3. Cara got a bank loan and bought $150,000 in materials for their big project.

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      She and the kids went to work immediatly. They had ZERO experience in construction of any kind, but learned everything they needed to know watching Youtube tutorials.
  4. They learned how to frame a house and pour a foundation.

  5. Every day working on the house brought them closer as a family.

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      “As we were trying to do this, we were also learning how to communicate,” said Cara.
  6. After two years of hard work, Cara and her kids completed Inkwell Manor... and it's stunning.

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      Cara and her family have been living here for the past 8 years.
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      The house has 5 bedrooms and wonderful little additions like these built in bookshelves.
  7. Cara and her kids wouldn't trade the experience for anything.

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      “They’re now fearless,” Cara said. “They dive into anything. There’s nothing you could suggest to them that they could not do. it’s an incredible thing.”
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      When they started this project, Cara and her kids were living on a prayer. They had no plan and little hope… but a few years of hard work and the school of life left them stronger people than they were before. It’s not about your circumstances, but how you circumvent them.
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