And I hope that my words, actions, and life can inspire others in certain ways.
I hope that by seeing my beautiful, amazing, totally rocking family, that others will be aware of the millions of children in the U.S. and around the world that do not have families, and will be inspired to consider adoption as a way to add to their family. Adoption has blessed Josh and I nine times, and each time it was just as much a miracle as it was the times I gave birth. (November is National Adoption Month!)
I hope that by sharing my love for our sweet Noah, the fun and special spirit that he brings to our family, and the amazing progress he continues to make every day, that I can inspire others to consider adopting a special needs child, or at least change the way they look at and think about people with disabilities. Noah was a baby that the world had given up on, but he is so very much more than a bunch of labels (cerebral palsy, epilepsy, cortical vision impairment, feeding disorder, developmental delays, blah blah) and the challenges he faces. He is pure joy and it is a privilege to be his mom. He is truly a miracle, a blessing, and an inspiration.
I hope that by sharing basic, factual information and living the way that we do that others will learn that HIV is a chronic but manageable disease, that people with HIV can live long, healthy lives and that HIV can not be transmitted in any casual/household contact. It has been proven that HIV and AIDS can only be spread through sexual contact, birth, breastfeeding and blood to blood contact (such as sharing needles). (Two of our children are HIV+ and I am an adoption coordinator for HIV+ kids and kids with other special needs. Fighting the stigma that surrounds HIV is something I am passionate about).
I hope that by the choices I make, the priorities I have set, the way that I treat people, and the life that I live, that my faith in Jesus Christ and my Heavenly Father is evident. I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and my faith is an extremely important part of who I am, how I live, and all that I do. I hope that the true happiness I have in my life may inspire others to seek out that happiness.
This week I have two fun opportunities to inspire others to get active and get running. Tomorrow, the elementary school that three of my kids go to is having a Turkey Trot. Each grade is having their own race and prizes. I will have Solomon in the Kindergarten race and Marcus and Belane in the second grade race. I have not pushed my kids into running at all. With 12 kids, they ALL are very unique and have their own talents, interests, and passions. I want all of my kids to be active and healthy, but we encourage them to pursue their own "thing" whether it be sports, art, music, etc.
It has been SUPER fun though to see these three kids be so excited about the race. They want to "run like Mom" and "race like Mom". I love it! And I can't wait to go cheer them on.
And then I decided to throw together a very informal Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning. It will be a simple 5K course fun run. There will not be any timing or prizes, it is just about getting family, neighbors, and friends out and active on a holiday morning. The response has been really great though and I am excited to share my love of running with my community, even in a very small and simple way. (I am hoping to build on this next year into a more official event). It should be a lot of fun and a great way to start Thanksgiving Day.
This week of Thanksgiving (and always) I am thankful for much, but tonight I am especially grateful for all of the people in my life who have inspired me with their words, actions, and lives. I am blessed to be surrounded by wonderful people who inspire me in endless ways.
"Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony."
- Mohandas Gandhi