1

Daddy Post – Don’t Be Discouraged

IMG_8916I remember not to long ago our family was picking up some food at a local Jack In The Box. Our kids noticed a homeless man sitting a block away looking around. Our kids asked if we could buy him some food and give him a cupcake we had picked up at church. We purchased the food and I walked over and handed it to him along with the cupcake. He said thank you and looked in the bag and appeared disappointed but simply smiled. As I drove away I looked in the rear-view mirror and remember watching the man stare at the cupcake and toss it in the bushes, look into the bag of food and simply tossed it aside. I was upset, not simply about the money that was just thrown away but of the mans actions.

One of the reasons why we started our blog was to share our story and hopefully encourage others to look at adoption as an option. Due to special circumstances with our adoption we were not allowed to share personal information or images of Jana until the adoption was officially finalized. We were always hesitant of sharing information, posting pictures etc. I was very cautious as the over-protective daddy that someone would try to take my baby away or the court would change their mind. I was so over protective that people would ask to hold Jana and I would smile, say No and walk away, and this was at church! As time has passed I would like to argue that I have learned to relax about this but I am sure Jen would tell you a different story (shh…. Don’t listen to her). I have always been very cautious about what we post, what images we share, what information we provide about her personal story and our adoption because of my personal paranoia and fear that someone would try to take advantage of that information.

Despite my personal fears we have always prayed that through our story that mothers who are considering an abortion would see that there are alternative options and families that are willing to take in their babies as part of their family and love them unconditionally. We have prayed that families that are unable to have their own children will see that there are plenty of beautiful children simply waiting for someone that is willing to open their home. We have prayed that families would be willing to open their homes to a baby or child born with a disability and experience the love and joy that Jana has brought into our lives.

IMG_8933I share this because this past week we were contacted by one of our followers on Instagram apologizing for not being able make a financial donation to Jana but stating that she would like to donate a few hair-bows. We were very touched by the gesture but also confused because we had not made any requests for donations or money. Although we have faced some health concerns over the last year we have been very blessed to be surrounded by family, friends, amazing church family and Pastor who have been supportive to our family. Nonetheless we were very touched by this offer. As Jen communicated further we realized that although we had not made any request for assistance for Jana, someone else had. Someone else was using our Jana’s images to request financial assistance. We were later notified by others that they had also seen Jana’s pictures and had assumed that she was having more serious health conditions that required financial support. Jen and I were devastated and I was angry. Someone was taking advantage of my baby’s situation for his or her personal gain. Remember that overprotective father who would not allow people to hold her in church, well, he was mad. Jen and I quickly notified our followers in an attempt to clarify any confusion, provide reassurance that Jana was doing well and request additional information about the account or accounts using Jana’s information so that we could have them shut down. To this date we are still waiting further information and clarification so that we can take the proper actions.

As Jen and I discussed this further we came to a realization. Although we have been blessed and have a support system in place to help us, others do not. There are families out there who need the added support, support from extended friends, and use sites like gofundme.com to obtain the necessary support to help pay for treatment and other things. Unfortunately, there are also people out their who are simply looking for another way to make a quick dollar, take advantage of others situations regardless of what emotional pain it may cause.

I started this blog by telling you about our experience providing food to a homeless man for a reason. I am not asking for praise or sympathy. What I learned from that experience is that I am not responsible for the actions of others. I am responsible for my actions. I believe that I have been called to help those in need to the best of my ability and I want to continue to do that as long as I am able. What I am not responsible for is their reaction. If I am able to provide a meal, a few dollars, clothes then I will continue to do so. What that individual chooses to do from there is their choice to make.Image.png

I will continue to share our story with others because I know that just as Jana has touched our lives and affected so many around her she continues to do that through her images and smile (although we are adding a watermark now 🙂).

For those of you who are in a place to help others please do not let a situation like this discourage you. Although there are jerks out their that are willing to take advantage of others. There are also people like Ricky Mena @rickymena www.gofundme.com/spidey4kids or Hannah from @hannahshappybundles http://www.gofundme.com/hannahs-happy-bundles who give of themselves every single day. They use the gifts and talents that God has given them to bring joy to families and children battling for their life and they need our support. Don’t allow something like this to discourage you from sharing and blessing those that are truly in need and need our support. I have been touched and encouraged by many of those families and the stories of those that give of themselves to reach others. I truly believe that they fully understand what scripture means when it tells us that “it is more blessed to give then it is to receive” (Acts 20:35).

Again, to our extended family I say thank you. To those out their giving of themselves daily to bless others I say God Bless you and our prayers are with you.

0

God Doesn’t Make Mistakes

Day 5 of 21 Day Post…

I’m feeling slightly under the weather today.  Here is an article I found that I felt was absolutely perfect!!

What God Says About Me
Jenny the Jewel

Jenny_si_0

I was born with Down syndrome over 30 years ago. This makes some things very difficult for me. When I was younger, I spent a lot of time asking God, Why did you make me with Down Syndrome? Why can’t I be normal like other people?

I told Him all the time that I didn’t like having Down syndrome. I kept thinking that if only I didn’t have Down syndrome I would be happy. I thought that somehow God made a mistake when He made me. My Mom and Dad always told me they loved me so deeply, and that they could not love me any more, but somehow down deep in my heart I always wondered if they would love me more if I didn’t have Down Syndrome. 

When I was in high school, the kids on the school bus were very mean to me. They laughed at me, and mocked me and they called me all kinds of bad names, and told me that even my parents couldn’t love me. That hurt me so deeply!   

When I got off the school bus in the afternoon, I would be crying. My Mom met me at the door, and we would talk and pray every day. She told me that people used to say bad things about Jesus and call Him names too, so He understood exactly how I felt. 

She told me that real truth is only found in God’s Word, and not in what other people say about you. She told me that if I could find anywhere in the Bible where God calls me bad names, or said I was a mistake; she would pay me $5,000. I spent a lot of time reading in the Bible to find out what God said about me. All the Scriptures I found said just the opposite, so I never did get the $5,000!  

Some of my favorite Scriptures are: Psalm 139:14 where God says,“I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” God tells me in Psalm 17, “I am the apple of His eye.” In Deuteronomy 7:6, God tells me that I am “His treasured possession.” In Philippians 4:8, God tells me to think about whatever is “true, noble, right, pure, and lovely.” I like to think about the truth that God tells me and spend my time thinking about what God says is true. The last Scripture I want to share is Psalm 119:114, “You are my refuge and my shield. I have put my hope in your Word.” My confidence and hope is in God. I know now that instead of being a mistake, I am the Lord’s treasured possession.

I like to memorize Scripture and fill my mind with the truth of who God says I am. This understanding has made all the difference in my life. Now I recognize that God has a plan for my life, and He created me just the way I am for His special purpose. I may still have Down syndrome, but now instead of saying “if only” I didn’t have Down syndrome, I say, “So what, I will glorify God just the way He made me.” I know He loves me and cares for me with His whole heart. 

The Lord showed me that I am not a mistake, but I am a precious gift…His treasured possession. We have a choice to believe and fill our minds with God’s truth, which will change our hearts, or listen to what other people say and be sad. It is a choice we must each make. In Exodus 4:10, Moses tells God that he can’t do what God told him to do because he was slow of speech and tongue. In verse 11, the Lord said to him, “Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go. I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.” He made me just the way He made me for just the special purpose I was created for. There is special work He has for me to do that can only be done by me, just the way He created me.

If I spend my time wishing I was different, I will never get around to doing those things God wants me to do. Sometimes Satan tries to put thoughts into my head and tell me that I am no good and stuff like that. That’s when I remember the Scripture in John 10:10 that says, “The thief comes only to steal, and kill and destroy. I have come that they may have life and have it to the fullest.”

When Satan tries to put lies into my head, I beat him over the head with the truth of God. I do it over and over again as long as I have to. I know God  has given me special gifts and talents, and my desire is to use them for His glory. I say it often and I mean it…I love my life!   

God does not make any mistakes, and that’s the truth… no matter what we sometime may think. As Proverbs 3:5 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding.” Jesus is my best friend, and I love Him with all my heart, and I am fully His.There is nothing more important in my life than pleasing Him, spending time loving Him and reading His Word, talking to Him, and sharing His love with other people. His joy fills my heart!

If your heart is sad because you wish God had made you different, read in His Word the truth of what He says about you, believe it, and let Him change your heart. Nothing is impossible with God. He certainly did change my heart.

Lord, I pray for each person, that you will fill their heart with Your truth of who they really are and how much you love them. AMEN!