Tuesday, December 31, 2019

2020 Writing Again! Launching "Just Another Day with My Tiny Titans"

As 2019 comes to a close, we all reflect on the past year.  This year has caused me to reflect on my journey, my family and my life.  I think the decade milestones hasten the reflections.  It has been 30 years since life changed in an instant when a baby was born and changed everything.  Crisis and survival helped me realize just how strong I can be and the things I would find myself having to do, I never thought myself capable of.  I cannot believe it has been 30 years, but even more I cannot believe that the teeny tiny fragile baby who doctors gave no HOPE and her medical difficulties stacked against her would still be here.  But the Tiny Titan, not only survived but showed us the important things in life.  She taught us to smile through all the pain and to never ever ever give up and that you "Just do it".  To do whatever it takes.

Our Tiny Titan taught us resiliency, patience, that everyday is a precious gift.  When a parent has a child with a poor prognosis, a parent learns in time to cherish each precious moment.  It has been 30 years of living each day on the roller coaster that life with a medically fragile baby, child and now adult.  Life is never dull, but it is full of blessings and challenges.  After 30 years I can see the pieces of the tapestry of our lives with Becca, my children, my friends and special needs families who I have come to know and love.  Our children are tiny teachers who change us for the better.

Becca changed everything.  Our lives were turned upside down.  Instead of tearing apart our family, that tough road made us stronger and we found out what we are truly capable of because we had no choice.  We learned to fight and press on despite the odds stacked against us.  Becca showed us the way.  I made a promise early on that I would make something good happen out of all the pain.  To help others not be alone and have someone who would walk beside them.  Paying it forward the help we received along the way.  Moment to moment, day by day, week by week, year by year time would march on.  Living in the moment is a gift.   I had a hard reminder this year of that fact.  My daughter Shay passed way and I had to say goodbye to my daughter.  I joined the club that no parent wants to be part of.   Her holiday ornament hangs on our tree and I believe my daughter is free from the pain of this world and in a better place. 

In 2006 I wrote our story, Tiny Titan, Journey of Hope.  Part I our story with Becca and part II the story of our adopting 5 siblings who needed a family, residency with eleven children and the crazy journey that God helped us through.  People told me that that book helped them feel not alone and that someone else walked their walk.  I have been mentoring and working with parents for many years in the special needs world and in the foster, adoptive worlds as well.  Our families are unique.  Our children unique in each and their own ways.  Social media is our lifeline to meeting and knowing others who walk our walks.  Supporting and encouraging each other while raising our extraordinary children.

Others have asked me when am I writing a followup to the story.  But life usually gets in the way, but even more, where would I start.? I am not certain I can go back and catch up the years.  A few people have said my days are a reality TV story.  But I would never want cameras in our lives.  I can write, I can share the reality of life of living with this family of mine.

I had written long ago when the internet was just starting to explode on a site that would become Oxygen Network.  How do you handle adversity?  That story would catch the attention of New York and Mom's on line.  I worked with the producers to send in pictures, tape record me reading the story and it sat on the internet "Our Stories" for years.  It caught the attention of Oprah and we were to appear on a story about Extraordinary Families when all of a sudden Becca would put a pencil through her palate and develop a systemic staph infection and she landed in the hospital instead of heading to Chicago.  They followed up for a couple of years, reminding me that I needed to write "that" book.

It took me several years to have the courage to write and the NaNuWriMo November Writers challenge helped me begin.  Every Tuesday morning and every Thursday morning after sending the kids off to school and Becca was still sleeping in, I write.  One day at a time until I hit a writers block.  I second guessed myself.  I was "Just" a Mom, I was not a writer.  I had no idea how to publish a book.

We had been working hard on our family project with Backpacks for Kids and the day I sent out over 1800 backpacks and the news channel had crashed the phone lines at social services, we got a phone call from People Magazine.  They were doing a story about "Kids Who Care."  The writer sat at my kitchen table and was asking questions about the underlying story she stumbled on to and told me I needed to "write" a book.  The writer from People Magazine, the producer from Oprah and so many others.  I knew at that moment I needed to finish my long procrastinated biography.  I pulled out the first two chapters and let her read it.  She encouraged me to finish my story and called to check up on my progress.  I had prayed to God for the people to help me and he actually found "People Magazine"
He would find me the people to help me get that book to press.  Through that prayer found me a friend of the heart and our stories and more stories would be be woven together.  But that Story is for another time.

I have been called to write again.   No more procrastinating.  I just finished another book and I am going to find the time to write again.   I need to be intentional and commit to doing it.  I learned the power of sharing our stories.  From helping others, to advocating for our kids and families.  In our communities, in our state capitals, in Washington DC.   Writing and speaking has the Power to make real Change.  Though slow moving, when I look back the three decades I see so much progress, but we still have so far to go.

Families have a voice and sharing our "Day to Day challenges and HOPE, we offer a glimpse into our lives with our children and families with extraordinary needs.   If we do not share them, how can they understand how to help us to be the village we need them to be.

2020 is upon us and I know it is time for me to write again.  So here it goes. I will use this blog to host my daily blog posts of the Day to Day of Life with my Tiny Titans; Becca and Mackie and our family.   I struggled to title the blog and found many of my ideas taken.  But then it hit me.

 "Just Another Day with my Tiny Titans".

As I close tonight and I share my resolution to begin my next writing journey.  Writing and 2020 here we come! I will be back tomorrow with sharing Just another day.

Welcome 2020 and I pray that you and your family will have a blessed New Year!


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