Faith, Love and Respect for ALL

Archive for the ‘Faith’ Category

Prayers and Love Nationwide

The past week was filled with immense tragedy for the Autistic community. Three children, Mikaela Lynch (age 9) in California, Owen Black (age 7) in Florida, and Drew Howell (age 2) in Ohio, died due to wandering and subsequent drowning. As their devastated families try to come to terms with their tremendous loss, there have been many ignorant people who dare to cast blame on them, and it is sickening. My heart is heavy with sadness for the loss of three young lives; and it is filled with outrage for those who carelessly judge what they cannot know and do not understand. Today I am joining hundreds of other bloggers to support these families by showering them with prayers and love via cyberspace.

 

Rest In Peace Sweet Angels * Mikaela Lynch * Owen Black *  Drew Howell

As a parent of an Autistic child, who is a wanderer, I know the terror you feel when you realize your child has slipped away. We have had several close calls with Beth in the past 2 years. I have learned the hard way that I cannot control people, places, or things; therefore, I do the best I can and pray that it is enough to keep her and Anne safe. Although, I have stopped blaming myself for past events, I relive each one of our close calls every time I hear of other families who were not as fortunate. I grieve for all the wonderful parents who have seen their worst nightmare come to life. In the blink of an eye, any of us could lose our child due to wandering/elopement and the dangers they face while out of our care.

For the Lynch, Black, and Howell families that is exactly what happened, in less than 30 seconds, their lives were forever changed in the most tragic of ways. They are NOT bad parents; they are NOT inattentive parents! They are humans, who did all that was in their power to keep their children safe. They LOVE their children, and probably blame themselves for the horrible accident that took them from this world, even though they are NOT to blame in anyway. They lost their Autistic Angels under the worst of circumstances, and are grieving their loss in ways that most us will never know or fully understand.

 

 

Please keep this in mind when you share and comment on posts regarding them and their Angels. Please attempt to put yourself in their place, and imagine how you would feel, then decide what you want to share. A general rule of thumb I use is the acronym THINK (T – Is it Thoughtful? H – Is it Honest? I – Is it Intelligent? N – Is it Necessary? K – Is it Kind?). If I can answer Yes to all those questions, then I hit submit/share; if the answer to just one is No, then I must step away and pray for guidance before I put my thoughts out in cyberspace. I am pleading with you to stop the spreading of cruel misinformation and judgment, instead help spread love and support for families in crisis. Please keep the Lynch, Black, and Howell families in your prayers today and in the future months. May Angels surround them in love and light as they grieve; and bring them hope that tomorrow it will hurt a little less.

 

 

If you would like to read some of the other wonderful posts that are part of An Outpouring of Love for the Mikaela Lynch Family, please visit the ever growing list of  amazing, informative  and touching blog posts.

If you would like more information about wandering/elopement and how to help keep the Autistic children in your community a little safer, please visit theNational Autism Association and the AWAARE Collaboration.

 

 

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Autism Proud – Journey With Us – by Jest Tu Positive by Dorothy Stronglove is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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Water Danger for Autistics

Water Danger for Autistics;  **The background image is property of Lindsey Schultz, who graciously granted permission for use to Jest_Tu_Positive.**

Another sobering statistic from National Autism Association: “Roughly half, or 48%, of children with an ASD attempt to elope from a safe environment, a rate nearly four times higher than their unaffected siblings.”

Autistic individuals are drawn to water. Parents of Autistic children do all they can to keep their children safe. Unfortunately, our kids have the ability to figure a way around almost every safeguard, and it only takes a few seconds for a child to disappear. Once they are on their own they follow whatever catches their interest, which usually leads them to water and danger. Please do not judge or attack the broken-hearted parents who just lost their beloved child.

Praying for the Lynch, Black and Howell families as they mourn Mikaela, Owen, and Drew; may they find solace in their loved ones, and know that the Autistic community is sending them love and support during this tragic time.

 

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Autism Proud – Journey With Us – by Jest Tu Positive by Dorothy Stronglove is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Graduation 2013

On May 17, 2013 my husband will graduate college with an Associates of Applied Science degree and an Associates of Art degree, both in Criminal Justice. He started his College journey a month before his 18th birthday, and he will be 31years old when he graduates. It has been a long road for him, laden with countless obstacles and many scenic routes. He has been discouraged, felt like a failure, and assumed he could not do it; however, he yearned to finish college and obtain a degree. Eventually he found his courage, began to feel successful, and determined that he could do it; and now he is graduating with not one, but two degrees.

The last few semesters have not been easy; honestly, they were more difficult than we ever imagined. Being a father of 2 young children (one with Special Needs), working 40+ hours a week to support our family, and going to school proved to be quite the challenge. However if there is one thing I know about my husband, it is that he ALWAYS rises to a challenge and finds a way to CONQUER it.

On Friday evening I will watch him graduate; while taking lots of pictures to show our girls what an AMAZING man their daddy is. I am so very PROUD of him and all that he has accomplished. He is showing our girls that when you have a dream, you should pursue it until you have achieved your goal. He is teaching our girls that it doesn’t matter how long it takes you to fulfill your dreams; what matters is that you do it with integrity, and in a manner of which you can be proud. He is proving to our girls that ANYTHING is POSSIBLE, with determination and hard-work; which is truly one the GREATEST gifts a parent can give a child.

CONGRATULATIONS to my Husband, who overcame his doubts and fears, and is obtaining his degrees in 2013.  This is a GREAT year for you, and a major building block in the foundation of our life. You are an AMAZING inspiration, and a source of tremendous PRIDE to many! Our girls are truly BLESSED to have such a wonderful, hard-working father who embraces dreams and turns them into reality. Our family will achieve many EXTRAORDINARY things in life, because you will always be there to help us make our dreams come true. Thank You for all that you are, and all that you do! I LOVE YOU!

Graduation 2013

 

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Autism Proud – Journey With Us – by Jest Tu Positive by Dorothy Stronglove is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Mother’s Day 2013

As Mother’s day has approached, I have seen people speak out about things that others have said which hurt them, on what should be a joyous day of celebration. Mother’s Day tends to pigeon hole the definition of a Mother and what people consider a traditional family.

In this day and age, the term Mother applies to so many, who touch a child’s life. There are a variety of Mothers in the world, and some children are fortunate to have several Mother figures in their life. Traditionally Mother’s Day is only thought of in terms of celebrating birth Moms, but there are so many more Moms out there who deserve recognition for the unconditional love, support and direction they provide in a child’s life. So I decided to make a list of all the people I see as “Mothers.”

Birth Moms

Adoptive Moms

Step-Moms

Foster Moms

Grandmas

Aunts

Cousins

Older Sisters

God-Mothers

Caregivers

Teachers

Doctors

Nurses

Therapists

Another part of our beautifully diverse world is that the family unit can be made up of so many different dynamics. So here is my list of lovely families I see celebrating Mother’s Day:

 Moms who live with Dads, and their children

 Moms who are single, and are therefore both Mom and Dad to their children

 Moms who live with Moms, and their children

 Dads who are single, and are therefore both Mom and Dad to their children

 Dads who live with Dads, and their children

 Grandparents raising their grandchildren

 Aunts raising their relative’s children

 Cousins raising their relative’s children

 Older Siblings raising their younger siblings

 Godparents raising their Godchildren

 Caregivers at Orphanages and Group Homes raising children

 Foster families who provide a safe place for children until they find their forever home

 Families who rescue children through adoption

 Teachers and Therapists who form special bonds with children and love them as their own

 Doctors and Nurses who care for and bond with children who need them

However your family unit looks, and whatever type of Mother you are, I wish you a very HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY! Take pride in the fact that you make a child’s world brighter and better just by being you. In the words of Rudyard Kipling: “God could not be everywhere, and therefore he made mothers.”

May your day be filled with many blessings, much love, and endless laughter as you celebrate being a Mother to the future generation.

Happy Mother's Day Rainbow Heart

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Autism Proud – Journey With Us – by Jest Tu Positive by Dorothy Stronglove is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

3 More for the Dobrovits Family

On April 11th, I shared the next path in the amazing journey of the Dobrovits family. If you did not see the post, you can read it here.

As you can imagine, the cost of bringing the 3 new members of the family home, will be quite high. A wonderful friend of the family has created an auction page on FaceBook to help fundraising efforts for the Dobrovits’ adoption of Susan, Edmond and Lucy.

Carla's Children

Please help the Dobrovits family raise the funds they need to adopt their newest children, as quickly as possible. Once they bring them home, they can make sure their children receive the medical care necessary for them to thrive in life. Please help  Susan, Edmund and Lucy come home to the family who loves them, and cannot wait to hold them.

Please LIKE the page:  Auction-3 More for the Dobrovits Family and SHARE it with your friends. The Auction, which already has 60+ items, and is still growing,  will run from Sunday April 28th to Sunday May 5th.

A quote from one of Carla’s posts: “International Special Needs Adoption is not just “cute” or “sweet”… It is RESCUE and REDEMPTION!!! Thank you to everyone who is helping and praying for us!!!”

 

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Autism Proud – Journey With Us – by Jest Tu Positive by Dorothy Stronglove is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Happy First Birthday Jest_Tu_Positive

Happy FIRST Birthday to Dorothy Stronglove and Jest_Tu_Positive. Today is one year since I started sharing Our Journey with the world through this Blog and its corresponding FaceBook page. It is hard to believe it has been a year already. I cannot believe that the blog has had over 7,200 views, across 73 countries, in that time. I also cannot believe that there are currently 419 people and 139 pages following us on FaceBook, in 27 different languages.  I am humbled and filled with pride all at the same time. I never dreamed that this adventure would become something so pivotal in Our Life, and reach so many people around the world.

The birth of Dorothy Stronglove and Jest_Tu_Positive was a way for me to combat all the negativity I was seeing and experiencing a year ago. It had only been 5 months since our eldest daughter’s diagnosis of Autistic Disorder, and we were struggling to find the right path for Our family.  Between the people in our life who were attacking me about Our choices, and the angry blogs/pages I was finding online, I was feeling overwhelmed, confused, angry and lonely. A former friend helped me see why I was feeling like I did not belong in most of the Autism groups. Her words that made the light bulb go on were: “You are obviously not ready for all that recovery entails…”  When I read those words, everything became clear. The pages/blogs I was following did not share my beliefs, and it left me feeling like an outsider. We do not believe our daughter needs to be recovered, cured, or fixed; we think she is exactly the person God intended her to be. I realized that I needed to find people/blogs/pages to surround myself with, who felt the same way. Although my former friend and I had to part ways, she was one of the people responsible for pointing me in the direction of Our current path, and for that I will always be grateful.

I figured the best way to find like-minded people was to put out there how I truly felt about everything. Thus Autism Proud began; while I was eager to share, I still wanted to protect my family’s privacy, which is why I write under a pen-name and use different names for the major stars in our life. Thankfully I had Marie supporting me, and proofreading my early posts; without her help Jest_Tu_Positive would never have come this far. Even with her edits and assistance, I look back at my early posts and they read as though I am defending Our views. Marie helped me take a lot of the negativity and anger out of my posts, by gently reminding me that for a person who was asking people not to judge others, I was doing just that. With her as my editor-in-chief, and all that I am learning in Al-Anon, my writing has evolved into something more positive and less argumentative/judgmental. Since starting Autism Proud I have found so many wonderful people/blogs/pages who feel the same way we do, and that has helped keep me on the positive side of the road as well. I will not say we agree on everything, because each person and their journey are unique, but I can say that I am learning to be a better me because of them, and I am extremely thankful to have found all these Au-Some people to share our journey.

Our journey is not always easy or simple; sometimes it is hard and more complicated than I ever imagined it could be. We walk in the bright sun some days, and others we are stumbling through the dark rain looking for shelter. Fortunately, most days are a happy medium between the two extremes, which makes for a colorful, Au-Some journey. We try not to take things for granted, and we strive to live in the moment, simply enjoying all the blessings we have in life. This past year Autism Proud has helped me grow as a person, wife and mother; you have all helped me become a better me, and I appreciate that more than words could ever express. I look to the next year with a child-like anticipation for all the wonderful possibilities.

In the coming year Jest_Tu_Positive will focus on Faith, Love, and Respect for ALL. I will attempt to promote unconditional acceptance of EVERYONE, regardless of ability. Most importantly I will be listening to Autistic Adults, to learn the best way to assist Beth in her journey. Autism Proud will cover all facets of our life, because although Autism and Al-Anon are big parts, there is much more to us than those two aspects.  I will never pretend to know what is best for someone else, or tell another family what they should or shouldn’t do. I can only share Our family’s beliefs and journey, in the hopes that it touches another person and helps them feel a little less overwhelmed, confused, angry, or lonely. I pray that we all enjoy the coming year and make new friends, while walking on the rainbow path of life.

Life Is Like A Rainbow ~ Bubble Heart

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Autism Proud – Journey With Us – by Jest Tu Positive by Dorothy Stronglove is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Extraordinary Children of God

In November my friend lost her 2 year old son, when he was called home to Heaven. If you were not following us at that time, the post Sadness was published on November 28th, the day of Henry’s passing. In the almost six months that have passed since that day of immense loss, I have prayed for the Dobrovits family, and held a special place in my heart for them. I have witnessed the tremendous effect that Henry’s life continues to have on the world. I have sat in awe at the amazing grace and faith in which Carla and her family do everything in life.

Yesterday, my friend made a wonderful, joyous announcement. Their family has been called to adopt 3 siblings and provide them a Forever Home. These 3 children, will no longer reside in a orphanage; once the adoption is finalized, they will come home to live in a home filled with infinite, unconditional love. They will no longer be alone, because now they have a mother, father and seven siblings (6 here on earth and 1 angel in Heaven) to help them as they find their path in this world. 

Carla's Children

Please help bring Susan (10 years old), Edmond (3 years old), and Lucy (11months old with special needs) home to the Dobrovits family.

Carla and her family are an inspiration like none I have ever witnessed. In November, you all prayed for them as they mourned sweet Henry’s departure from the earth, when he joined our Father in Heaven. Now I ask that you please join me in praying for them, as they begin a new journey, to bring their newest 3 family members home. 

There are Angels among us, and Carla’s family is living proof of that, because the Dobrovits family are all extraordinary children of God.  Please share their story, so we can surround them in prayer and help them reach their fundraising goal, to bring their children home as soon as possible. You can follow their journey at Carla’s blog page: http://www.bringinghenryhome.blogspot.com/2013/04/the-next-chapter.html

 

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Autism Proud – Journey With Us – by Jest Tu Positive by Dorothy Stronglove is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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