Thursday, February 12, 2015

Yes, We are Blooming with HOPE...

Last year, after the JA Conference, I visited the botanical gardens, and I saw this quote that spoke deeply to me…

“A flower does not compare to the flowers around it; it simply blossoms and blooms where it is planted. “

It is very hard not to compare…As parents, we see our children alongside their peers and friends.  We watch them grow together.  As a parent of children who both have juvenile arthritis, we can see differences in our kids' development when "comparing" them with children their same age.  We have seen them grow at different rates both physically and cognitively and in some ways through their social-emotional well being.  It is really difficult to observe the struggles that our children have to endure, but I do believe that it gives them a very unique perspective on live and has caused them to be in full bloom.

This life with JA is where our family was planted…this is where our family will bloom.  And with each new blossom we celebrate our Yeses…
Yes…After 2.5 years of hospital homebound, Parker is back in school.
Yes…Logan’s JA is under control and so are his migraines
Yes…Parker is walking more and using his wheelchair less
Yes…Logan is getting ready for college
Yes…Parker’s vision is restoring
Yes…Logan won the pinewood derby at the St. Louis JA Conference
Yes…Parker has friends who love him for him
Yes…Logan is an amazing guitar player
Yes…Parker is a great photographer
Yes…Michael and I are proud parents whose family has bloomed and grown to include many families impacted by JA.
Our JA family is one big beautiful bouquet.

I am getting so excited about this year’s Juvenile Arthritis Conference...There are many dedicated volunteers and AF staff working hard to make this annual event full of networking, education, and fun.  But as we worked hard this past week planning the schedule, I was reminded that there is nothing like the relationships that are built through these connections.   These people are giving, passionate, loving, and dedicated to working together to support families. 

And I adore the theme "HOPE Grows Here"...As we teamed together, it felt a little like we were tossing the weeds, planting the seeds, and nourishing our souls; so that we could watch our great big JA Family blossom and grow even more together. 

JA has a way of showing us what really matters.  It has taken a long time to truly feel like I have some deep roots, outstretching branches, and a good strong footing.  You see, JA is like that big storm that bashes at one’s heart. The STORM reminds us of our reality…but with each new family I meet and with every story shared, we not only share tears of sadness, but tears full of laughter and joy.  

That balance gives us that strong footing to grow stronger, love deeper, laugh harder.  YES…it is possible to find the joy in life and to choose to celebrate our victories great and small. For it is HOPE that makes it feel like YES is possible …for with each small victory we share we grow a little taller and stronger.

First we have to have HOPE, then we can champion our yeses.


  1. Glad to hear you guys are doing well. Always in the my thoughts and prayers.

    -Air Mina

    1. Hey there...I heard the guys ran into you again! How cool is that!!!