Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

I want to wish a happy holiday to all my blog friends. :)

I think I have found some wonderful heart-warming stories from MSN to share. I hope that you enjoy them.

Also, I recall a quote I found off my belief.net on yahoo, something about a thankful heart is the true way to joy, not joy causing thankfulness. Being able to find something to be thankful about in your life can be the causation of joy, when it is all said and done. Something special to think about.:)

Forty-three years ago, Rick was born without the ability to talk, walk and barely move.

"They said, 'Forget Rick,'" remembers his father, Dick. "'Put him in an institution. He's going to be nothing but a vegetable for the rest of his life.' My wife and I cried a little bit but we talked and we said, 'We're going to bring Rick home and bring him up like any other child."

Dick knew deep down that his son was thriving on the inside, and he insisted Rick go to school. He believed with every fiber of his being that his son had something to say—and he was right. At age 12, Dick had a special computer built so that Rick could communicate.

Rick, born with the heart of a true athlete, made a request that would change their lives forever—he asked his father to team up for a five-mile charity race. Dick had never run in his life. "We finished the whole five miles coming in next to last," Dick remembers. "When we came across the finish line, it was the biggest smile you ever saw in your life.

Rick wrote on his computer, 'Dad, when I'm running, it feels like my disability disappears.'"

After many local races, Dick and Rick took their new passion even further. Even though Dick couldn't swim and hadn't been on a bike since he was 6 years old, the two began training to compete in triathlons.

So far Rick and Dick have competed in more than 206 triathlons and 64 marathons!"

Until my dad agreed to run that first race, I had no chance," Rick says through his computer. "My dad is my everything. He has made my dreams come true.

To steal a line from a song, my dad is the 'wind beneath my wings.'"

Patrick was born without eyes and with a birth defect that won't allow him to straighten his arms and legs. At first, his parents say they were devastated.

Then, when Patrick was just 2 years old, they discovered something miraculous about their son. Patrick started playing the piano and was able to take requests. As Patrick grew, so did his musical talent. In addition to his piano skills, Patrick also plays the trumpet.

Today Patrick attends the University of Louisville, but he's not there alone. Every evening his father works the graveyard shift at UPS, finishing at dawn. This leaves him enough time to rest a few hours before heading out to help his son at school.

Patrick asked to play in the University of Louisville pep band. But one of the band directors had a different idea…he asked Patrick to join the marching band. "I thought, 'Can you not see he's blind and in a wheelchair?'" Patrick's dad says.That never stopped Patrick before and it didn't this time either. In the fall of 2006, Patrick and his dad became the only two-person marching band member in college football.

"My dad is a wonderful man having to sacrifice a lot," Patrick says."It's not a sacrifice," Patrick's father says. "There's no sacrifice in spending time with my son. It's an honor, it's a blessing."

When Texas couple Mark and Andy decided to start a family after 13 years together, they knew it wouldn't be easy. They decided to apply to be foster parents. "There were a lot of children out there needing families," Andy says. "We figured, why not us?"

After they submitted their application to an agency, they received shocking news. "The agency director called us and said no state case worker would ever place children in a gay or same sex couple home," Andy says. Devastated but still determined, Mark and Andy found a second agency that accepted their application.

Grateful for the opportunity, they opened their home to the children no one else wanted.

The couple cared for children of all races and needs, including autistic children, sexually abused children and children who had been severely neglected. Now, kids who were desperate for a home have a family to call their own. In their five years as foster parents, Mark and Andy have fostered 21 children and have adopted four—Marcus, Monique, Clyde and Faith. They're now in the process of adopting James and Layla.

After living in two other foster homes, the couple's oldest child, James, came to Mark and Andy when he was 11 years old. "My dads are totally perfect," he says. "They're everything I could ever want and then some."


MYSTI said...

Great stories Tart. It warmed my heart reading them all. I think we all tend to live in our own little world and forget how blessed we really are, and how some people really do not have the blessings we do, yet as you have shown, they truly are.

Hugs, and blessings.

Happy Thanksgiving!


'Tart said...

Hugs and blessings to you, my friend.:)
I hope to talk to you after we get back from Thanksgiving.

Raine said...

lovely stories- Happy Thanksgiving