One year ago, July 15th 2017, I went live with this website and blog. It was a choice that was so personal for me and had much meaning. As I sit back and think to what exactly this past year has shown me I am beside myself with joy and and hope. I would like to first share my favorite moments.
This blog has shared 9 amazing people's stories whose lives have been affected by FASD. Each of their stories have gained so much awareness and have rallied support from over 6 countries! Each one of these people have given us a very personal gift and it was my absolute honor that they entrusted me to keep their story safe and to hold it to such a positive and hopeful light. These 9 people are WARRIORS! I hope to share many more stories this next year. If you would like to share yours. please message me!
In November, I was gifted the opportunity to travel to Washington DC and attend the NOFAS Gala. I met senators, families, doctors, law makers, and many more incredibly devoted and strong people. I was able to meet one of my dear friends, Rebecca Tillou, fellow advocate and author. We met through FASD support groups on Facebook and it was a dream come true to be able to share the evening with such beautiful people in my life. This event raised a lot of money to go into resources for families affected. I was also able to catch up with my college professor who sparked my passion in advocating from 10 years ago, Claudia Brown. I walked away with even more drive in my belly.
November was also National Adoption Month! This blog shared the unique and marvelous stories of their adoptions. As an adoptee, my hopes are to showcase how beautiful the families are that give the most unselfish gift of love. I cannot wait to share more stories this November! I had dozens of people write in to support and appreciate these fabulous people and how much joy they found from their stories.
In December, my family and I held our first annual Foster Care Drive at my parent's church where my father has assisted as Assistant Reverend. They now attend as parishioners. It was a magnificent success! We filled a 16 foot truck of donations; clothes, socks, underwear, coats, brand new JanSport backpacks, duffel bags filled with coloring books, stuffed bear, crayons, and a blanket each. We were even able to purchase some hygiene items thanks to the bake sale donations. We helped hundreds of youth in Foster Care and still have people come drop things off when their children outgrow them. Next December we will be holding our second Foster Care Drive. I have a rally of more support behind this now and I am so humbled and grateful. I urge all of you who donate to Goodwill, to contact your local agencies and services for families and offer to donate it to them. They also can provide donation slips if that is a concern. :) Your items will make such an impact and go to children and families who TRULY need them!
In February, I published my first book, a children's book about a boy with FASD. It saw it's way into the top 100 on Amazon's Special Education category. Being an author is in my blood and has been a dream since I was 11. I am currently working on more in this series as well as a thriller I have been working on since high school. Being able to finally publish a piece was one of my greatest achievements. I have to mention it would not have been such a success without the FASD community and all the amazing people who saw it's light and helped share the word. Yesterday I saw 20 books sales of the hard copy. I have received so much positive feedback. I love that so many children connected to it and found it to be something they can relate to. My goal as an author is to bring people to share an experience and find enjoyment, emotions or connections from what they read.
In May, I attended a local parent support group here in Oregon. I was invited to share my story and offer advice on what has worked and what hasn't. I met some great and monumental people who are very important in my life today; one of those people being my dear friend Julie. These parents gave me more than I was able to give them. These parents are the hardest working, strong willed, patient and loving people. They are mighty WARRIORS!
In June, I attended and was gifted another unbelievable gift, Diane Malbin's FASCETS workshop which discusses the Neurobehavioral Model. It is a game changing method of accommodations and support for individuals with FASD. At this work shop I learned an insane amount of material regarding this model. This approach is changing the lives of those affected; parents, teachers, children, etc. It is mind blowing and if you have the chance to attend one, DO IT! You will not be disappointed. I was asked to share my story. After I shared my story, blog and book, I had several people approach me who had purchased the book and seen my blog but had no idea I was the one behind it. It was this moment I felt the propellant of my work and the ripples I had no idea I had made in this community. I was overwhelmed with gratitude. I met EVEN MORE WARRIORS and I cannot express enough how fantastic and inspiring they are!
June also marked the reveal of my second clothing line, Red Shoes Rock Collection. The profits go to FAFASD and we have sold over 30 pieces so far with everyone's support! I am constantly in awe of how many people support this blog and it's work.
Here we are a year later and it has been nothing short of an adventure that I never could have believed I would be taking. I spend about two hours a day on this website and posting on my corresponding FB page and support groups in the FASD community. It is a lot of work to research articles, reach out to people and ask if they want to share their story, editing and adding new content, etc. The process, time and energy it takes to go into this blog is worth EVERY SECOND when I see how many people are affected by it and find something good in it to take away.
As we venture forth into the second year of Love Me Enough, I would like to thank all of my readers and supporters. I love each and every one of you. You have helped me to be the person I am today and your support is truly the greatest gift you could give. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. YOU ARE MORE THAN ENOUGH! <3
A Girl Who Still Has Big Dreams