I would be lying if I didn't say that this year has been incredibly taxing on our family physically, emotionally, financially, spiritually, etc. But I'm a firm believer that we receive the trials in our lives
A) Because God knows us and knows what sort of adversity we need in order to progress and grow as individuals
B) To be mindful of our blessings and to be more appreciative of what we do have in life
This year has been full of growth and introspection. Among the other things that I've pondered over the year has been how incredibly blessed we HAVE been as a family. Throughout it all, KC and I have had the strength of our friends, family, loved ones, church and faith, an incredibly supportive work environment, and even those who are strangers come to our rescue and lift us up when we were in need of help. I have been humbled the the generosity, love and grace of others.
It now appears (knock on wood) that we are finally through the worst of it. Jacob has had his heart surgery and has been given a clean bill of health in virtually every aspect of his life. Now all we have to worry about is making sure he has that little extra time needed to progress physically to his milestones. KC is over the worst of his surgery and is now concentrating on physical therapy and working towards the ever-elusive 100% recovery mark. Nathan looks well on his way to recovery and appears to actually ENJOY having his cast as an excuse to get out of doing the list of to-do's I create each day.
Now that the storms have calmed, I've been wondering what I can do to give back and perpetuate all of the love and kindness our family has received - and to help those who may find themselves in a predicament similar to ours - but without the tremendous support system our family has had. And I've come up with two things I thought I'd share.
First off, we're moving forward with Down Right Living. It's going to be a non-profit organization designed to help those families touched by those with Down sydrome. You can check out the website my daughter created at http://www.downrightliving.com
Secondly, I've found another non-profit that tries to find families for Children with disabilities in other countries. What I love about it is that there's a grant system. Finding families with the love and capacity to welcome a special needs child into their home is often difficult. As soon as a family (regardless of singles, couples, old or young, large family, or no other children - it doesn't matter) commits to adopting a child, Reese's Rainbow starts raising funds to help pay the fees associated with adoption.
UPDATE: We've created a GoFundMe Link to help pay for the fees associated with starting up our non-profit. Please please PLEASE! Donate if you can.