Sunday, March 21, 2010

Thanks for the award!

Diana also launched last year the Unseen Child Foundation, a non-profit organization that funnels money to shelters, safe houses and other programs in Denver that help abused children. “There are 1,500 kids between 9 and 15 years old who are homeless in Denver. That is out of control! I’m seeing awesome programs closing because of lack of funds,' Diana said. She donates $5 from the sale of each book to the foundation and is trying to garner more attention for it by teaming up with celebrities like Susie McEntire (sister to Reba McEntire), and many country music singers and songwriters.

The foundation may soon get its biggest boost when a documentary based on Diana’s work with teens comes out in the fall and when a motion picture, now in the hands of Hollywood screenwriters, is released.
It’s hard to imagine that someone with Diana’s tragic history could turn her life around so inspiringly. It is not just that she was able to become a normal person despite her terrible background, it’s that she is a better person at heart and by her actions than many of us with normal backgrounds ever become. There is something very special about Diana. Her pastor friend knew it, which is why, when Diana finally agreed to be adopted by him, he chose the most fitting surname he could think of for her: “Joy."

To learn more about Diana Joy and the Unseen Child Foundation visit

Saturday, March 13, 2010

"Adoption is not about finding children for families, it's about finding families for children”

“We are willing to spend the least amount of money to keep a kid at home, more to put him in a foster home and the most to institutionalize him.”
~Marian Wright Edelman~
My oldest adopted daughter gave birth to five children. Two of the kids flew in today and are now spending the next few weeks with grandma and grandpa :) I went to pick up my grandson Gabe. When he came off the airplane I could hardly recognize 11years old he is almost as tall as me!
Because he is missing gene #13 he struggles with speech, eyesight and obsessive, compulsive disorder (known as OCD). When he was born the doctors told us he would not get older than two years old…when he was five the doctors told us he would not progress much further than 6. When he was 7 the doctors said he wouldn’t be able to read or write…and that he would never become emotionally or intellectually older than 5 or 6 years-old. At eleven Gabe can read, write and participate in class with other children his age.
After having Gabe in my house for every holiday and a few entire summer breaks (since his birth), I have learned that Gabe is an amazing child. He may not look or act like children his age. But, God has given him gifts that I wish I possessed. Gabe has gifts of kindness, forgiveness, unconditional love, freedom to express himself, and the bravery of a giant. He is so kind and knows when another child is hurting…no matter the age, Gabe doesn’t hesitate to give them a big hug to comfort them. He is not embarrassed to dance and sing when he hears a song that he likes. He has a smile that can cause even strangers to stop and smile back. If another child doesn’t understand him (because of his speech impediment) he will say, “That’s ok…I will say it again…this time slowly”. Gabe lives innocently in the moment, enjoying every day. His eyes show no judgment. With every obstacle he faces he handles it with such bravery. Nothing is impossible for Gabe. Whatever the doctors tell him he can’t do…it’s as if he knows and is silently telling them… “Oh silly doctors, I can and will do what you say I can’t”. And every year he exceeds everyone’s expectations!
Gabe’s mom was my first adopted child. She had Gabe at a young age and loved him the best she could. When you read my book you will see her as “My Child without a Birth certificate” Gabe is who he is because his mom believes in him. She is determined to change the cycle of abuse and encourage him to grow beyond what other expects of him.
My oldest daughter (Gabe’s mom) was on the streets and in institutions before I got her. What if I didn’t care…what if my husband and I saw her as a difficult child who had no hope in her future? I hate to think of all the happy memories we would have lost. The enjoyment of having Gabe’s eyes shine with every new step he takes in life. What if we hadn’t adopted at all…..? What a sad time that would be for us all. I truly believe children come in to our lives for a reason. God gives us children through birth and some through adoption….I myself see no difference. My husband and I have cried and rejoiced with every stage of every child God has brought into our life. These children and grandchildren are our many blessings and my husband and I thank God that we have had a small part in sharing life with them.

If we don't help these children we are not only depriving them of happy memories...we are depriving ourselves.
It just takes one person to look into the eyes of an unseen child and through that child many lives can be changed! If we didn't help our oldest daughter...we wouldn't have our grandson Gabe! And what a loss that would be.....

Our Grandson Gabe =)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

"It is what we do with what we are given that makes us who we are today"

“I can see, and that is why I can be happy, in what you call the dark, but which to me is golden. I can see a God-made world, not a manmade world.”
~Helen Keller~
“Life is not filled with disabilities at all, but rather more abilities.” ~Patrick Hughes~
Isn't it amazing how the true hero’s we as society search for in times of trouble are not found being chased by the paparazzi. I truly believe with this economy the hero's are not those with money, beauty, fame or mansions.
The true heroes are those men and women who have overcome the worst of situations and come out smiling that bring joy to us all and give us hope in life. It is those men and women who use their stories to remind us that no matter how many curve balls life throws at us, we will survive!
It is a woman like Helen Keller (who was became blind, deaf and mute at 18 months) and a man like Patrick Hughes (who was not only blind, but also crippled from birth) who gives me the inspiration to overcome anything and to see the blessings God gives me through the most painful times! Helen Keller and Patrick Hughes put life in to perspective and see life as a blessing, not a handicap.
Patrick not only survived, but came out rejoicing for what God has given him. If a man who is blind and cannot walk can smile and see the joy in what he was given. Then I who can see and walk will rejoice and be thankful for every obstacle that comes across my path in life!
I pray that you too will learn from Patrick Hughes and Helen Keller the most valuable lesson in life, “It is what we do with what we are given that makes us who we are today.” Choose to see the good in everything God has brought across your path. Just like my heroes’ Patrick Hughes and Helen Keller have done!!!

"Instead of comparing our lot with that of those who are more fortunate than we are, we should compare it with the lot of the great majority of our fellow men. It then appears that we are among the privileged."
~Helen Keller~