Monday, June 29, 2009

A Break

Hannah and Mama - Dawn
My Brood - Turner, nephew Blaine, Trevan, niece Bailee, niece Brynnie
Sweet Kenny chasing Bubbles...

TWINS Hannah and Kenny Turn THREE!

I am so thankful that this time has come. Each summer I have the pleasure of hosting my nieces and nephews. This year Brenton stayed back due to football and summer school - so Trenton went up to see him. The other 3 came down to see family. This week is my week to have them. It could not have come at a better time as my emotional state has been so weakened with dealing with Taylor each waking moment. I am taking a break from all that madness and enjoying my little boys and their bonding with their cousins.

Yesterday although I was exhausted we went to Poway to celebrate my friend, Dawn's twins Birthday. Hannah and Kenny - the most adorable twins I know! My kids and their cousins had a wonderful time and we captured lots of the fun with 3 cameras! Bailee and Blaine helped me take photos and I thoroughly enjoyed my time with the kids. I did not talk much to the adults and am sorry if I was antisocial - I was just so drawn to Kenny and Hannah and enjoying them as they soaked in their day. It was so very sweet and it was pleasure in the most innocent form. It ministered to my soul. It was so refreshing - like nectar to a hummingbird. Thanks Dawn for having us!

We came home and the kids let me nap for one hour. I then took them to the pool and they had a blast experimenting with the underwater camera that was a gift from the FUJI Corporation. I relaxed and watched them frolic in the pool while Stace went to see Taylor at the hospital.

The hospital that Taylor is at is not very nice. He wishes he could be transferred back to UCI as he felt he got more help there with counseling and the doctor was more attentive to his needs. I do not know how to go about that. He is due to be released tomorrow and we will be back to square one with what to do next. I just can't think of all that at this moment - it is overwhelming to me.

I am going to drink some coffee and plan the now - today - with these precious kids that are here soaking up my love. Pray that the situation with Taylor can work its self out and that someone other than me can come up with a solution. Today ... is my now. We will go to the park, play and enjoy the smiles and laughter of the five kids in my presence.

Please pray for us all - and that Taylor will see that he needs to go into residential rehab.

Saturday, June 27, 2009


As of this hour - nearly 8:00pm, Taylor has arrived at College Hospital in Costa Mesa. He called us and said it was pretty grim there. Not a nice place to be at all - he hopes that he can get out soon.

We can visit tomorrow night at 7:30pm to 8:30pm only.

I pray that THIS place will be different and that SOMEONE can find a resource - any resource that can shed some light on getting him the help he needs.

Please pray on our behalf as we are very worn down.

Thank you.


Taylor was transferred out of the ICU to the Med/Surg Floor last night. We were told we were to await the PET TEAM to come and evaluate him for transfer to a Psych Facility. They said that the person would arrive by 9:00pm.

9:00pm came and went and by nearly 11:00pm my body had been without sleep for more than 48 hours. I was nearing medical exhaustion. I was shaky, groggy, weak and highly agitated. I demanded answers and we found that someone accidentally put in the notes that he needed a "PET SCAN" not a PET ASSESSMENT. The hospital had been searching in vein for doctors orders for a PET SCAN that did not exist. I pleaded with them and told them I could not go on much longer - then needed to "fix" things and get the ball rolling. I had spoke to UCI earlier and they had a bed and were willing to have Taylor return. In order for that to take place the PET Team had to assess him and arrange the transfer.

Frustration like I had never felt had welled up inside me and together with the exhaustion was consuming every fiber of my being. I attempted to "keep it together" but tears spilled down my face and my voice raised as I spoke. Seeing that I was going to need to be taken to the Psych Hospital along with Taylor if someone did not do something - they suggested I leave to get rest.

Taylor did not want to be alone - he is like a child. He is scared and does NOT want to go back again. This will be his FIFTH time in less than 8 weeks. I told him that my mom would take me home and that I would send Stace back. They assured me that the PET evaluator would be there by midnight.

I climbed the stairs to my apartment feeling as though I was going to collapse. Stace went to the hospital and I crawled into my bed. I do not even remember laying my head on the pillow...I was deep in slumber. I awoke at 3:30am and did not see Stace home, I called the hospital to find that the PET Team had not come until after 2:00pm. They wanted to transfer him and needed to then get ETS the transport team involved. They had not let Stace know anything at that time.

Back to sleep I went. My body melted into the sheets and I felt as though I were a part of the bed. My physical body craved the rest but my mind was still swirling. I woke again at 6:30am and again called Stace. He said that because it had taken so long to get him assessed - UCI Beds were now all full. As a matter of fact Taylor would have to go to whatever place had a bed. He said they were "working on it".

It is now 11:00am and no facility in Orange County that accepts Medi-Cal has a bed available. Kaiser does not want him there as he is not part of the Kaiser network. They may have to transfer him to another hospital to be watched until there is a bed - any bed available in the County.

Problem is - he will go someplace - they will keep him 3 days. He will eat, sleep and get meds for THREE days - then out he will go. They will do what they have done 4 other times - send him off - wish us well and this madness will all happen again and again until he dies or hurts someone and ends up in jail.

No help for the helpless. No help for the weary. No help for the sick.

I pray that you will NEVER have to experience even a fraction of the heartache that we are feeling with the sheer and utter madness of a system that was put in place to help people but rather it hurts people instead.

I have 2 little guys to make lunch for - and I am seeing double. Every muscle in my body aches - and I just want to sob. I want to make it all better and I know I can't .

Helpless exhauston.


Friday, June 26, 2009

When is the end?

I write to you now from the Intensive Care Unit at Kaiser Irvine. Last night at around 7:00pm Taylor was released from UCI Medical Center's Psych ward. He was to come to our home and stay a week then pursue care in Arizona while living with his Uncle. The Social Worker and the Doctor had worked out a care plan involving us, him and his uncle. Everyone felt good about this plan.

Taylor came home and things were fine. At about 10:30 he started slurring his words, his face ashen and he did not make sense. He then collapsed. We called 911 and in minutes help arrived. We were taken to Kaiser as it was the closest facility.

Taylor has been unconscious since last night - with a few moments of "coming to". He is disoriented when he wakes and makes no sense. His heart rate upon admission was 168 and his blood pressure was sky high. They ran tests to rule out a stroke, heart attack or brain bleed.

Right now he is still unconscious and his heart rate is very low. He needs to be medically stabilized - but Kaiser is wanting to move him since we are not Kaiser members. We are waiting to hear what hospital he will be transferred to. UCI is the Hospital of choice. They want to take him to Orange Coast Hospital. Pray he gets the right treatment.

I have had no sleep and am quite numb.
Please pray us at this time.


Thursday, June 25, 2009


Life is one big puzzle. God knows just where all the pieces will fit together. Some days many pieces fit when others they remain puzzling.

I have been physically and emotionally overwhelmed lately as I wait for the pieces to all fit together. This requires much patience, endurance and strength. My tank is running low on all three!

We met yesterday with the team at UCI to map out a recovery plan for Taylor. We are in the process of making phone calls, checking benefits, looking for financing, and praying for the answers. We have an initial plan in place that would take Taylor out of state to start fresh.

Pray that things fall into place where God wants and that Taylor can begin again with positive steps in his recovery.

It is so hard to do a jigsaw puzzle when you have never seen what it is of! I have no reference point, just endurance to keep on trying.

So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. Hebrews 10:35-36

So pray that we hear the whispers from God and that we are following the steps to completing this puzzling journey.

We need you, friends, loved ones and strangers to lift Taylor and his addictions to the Lord asking that he be freed of them. Ask that he finds the right path of treatment and good people to help him in this tough battle.

Many Blessings...



Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Taylor Update

THIS IS MY TAYLOR before he was ever introduced to DRUGS...
nearly 6 years ago... age 13 with Turner.

Taylor a couple years later - age 15 - after he started using.

Taylor almost 17 with Trevan.

My Boys This Past Christmas...
Taylor age 18.

New updates on Taylor -
Taylor is at UCI Medical Center - we will have a "family meeting" tomorrow to discuss his care plan. The Social Worker there is checking into both Medi-Cal and CASH PAY only programs to get him his high school diploma and rehab both Drug and Mental.

The County Social Worker is putting the wheels in motion to grant him a court ordered Conservator - someone who will be appointed for his well being - besides us. It is not recommended that the parents be a Conservator - but we can be legal Guardians in partnership with the Court Ordered Conservator.

We have not been to see him in UCI as yet - I think it is good to let him have time alone with his thoughts. Diversions are not always a good thing as we know when we need to do some deep soul searching.

Pray for his wisdom and his enlightenment - and pray for ours as well.
I will update you tomorrow!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Silver Linings...

Sometimes it is hard to see the silver lining in the dark clouds. Today I was able to see one! I have a new friend! Rachel saw our article and started reading my blog. She decided to call me when Taylor got bad and offer me her support. She had called the Journey Christian Rehab Center first and also thought that they were a good "fit" for Taylor's rehabilitation. She was excited to call me and offer me that lead.

We spoke on the phone at length and today talked many times. We have so much in common. We decided to meet at McDonald's with the boys so we could talk in person and let the kids play rather than attempt to have a phone conversation interrupted by 3 little boys!

I had been on the phone most of the morning with helplines, church members, hospitals, social workers, rehab centers, doctors, Rachel and Aimee. I had sent and received a ton of emails after I awoke at 5 am with a call from the hospital with a report on Taylor. I had Tony writing letters for me and Aimee and Rachel were making phone calls. Thanks guys for all the leg work and help! Oh, and thanks ERIC - you always have a "fun idea" even in the gloomy times! You rock!

Being that Taylor is 18 - and with the HIPAA Laws I found it hard to find out information on where he was going. I finally learned that he was transferred from Mission Hospital to UCI Medical Center today. We are not sure of the "plan" as of yet. He sounds as if he has hit rock bottom, Stace reported when he spoke to him tonight.
I was emotionally spent and needed a break.

We met Rachel, Lexi and Mason at McDonald's at a little after 2pm. We let the kids play and play and play - as we talked and talked and talked. They are so excited to collect the Ice Age 3 movie toys! Antonio the manager told us he actually had all of the toys and offered to fetch the ones the kids wanted most! Oh - the simple pleasures - they were thrilled!!

We let the boys play and lost track of time - before we knew it we had set a world record play date at McD's! We realized it was past 7pm and the boys were still having a blast playing!

Not only did we eat lunch there we had dinner too! Good thing I get full on fruit and yogurt parfaits! I am a cheap date! We met Don, Rachel's hubby as he joined in on the fun.

We played and talked until 10:30 pm!!! We had been at McDonald's for 8 and a half hours!! Unbelievable that the boys had SO much fun - no fights - no melt downs! So much better and a heck of a lot cheaper than a day at Disneyland!

So, had the storm clouds not have come - I may not have met Rachel and Don.
Our families are so similar in situation, kids and likenesses - we were meant to be friends! The fact our kids were fast friends is just the biggest blessing of all. Not only do these mommies have so much in common - the kids are all in the same age range! Their Mason is 4, My Trevan is 4 and Turner is 5! Their Anthony is 17, My Taylor 18!
Their Lexi is 15 and My Trenton is 13!

Watching our kids have SO much fun - for next to nothing brought us joy! We enjoyed fellowship and a cheap meal, coffee and ice cream! My life was falling apart yesterday, last night and this morning - with the dark clouds looming overhead like a dense fog.

Today I found the silver lining in Rachel, Don, Lexi and Mason! I look forward to meeting Anthony and know that we will be life long friends! Oh, did I mention that Don and Stace are in the same line of work? They even look a bit alike! They both have spiky hair - said Trevan!!

Thanks guys for taking my mind off of all the "crap" and enjoying a fun day and evening with us!

Can't wait till the movie Ice Age 3 comes out - it's a date for sure! (remember I have coupons!)

Blessings -

Here we go agian...

Life Is Crap Store...

What can I say - other than - "Here We Go Again!"?

A kind person who read our LA Times Article called around and found a list of REHAB Centers for us to try to get Taylor into. One in particular stood out to her and she called and spoke to Shiree. She then called me and asked that I check this place out because it seemed like they would help us. I called - she was very nice.

She then took my cell number and called me several times a day while Taylor was in the mental hospital. She told me their program was $6900. I told her we could not afford that and she told me they would give us a discount of $2000. She then told me that when he was ready to be released to let her know as they may not have a bed. She said that they usually house 6-10 people at each home and have 2 homes. I felt the pressure to help my son - and told me that she would hold a bed $2500. I borrowed the money and she then told me it had to be cash or money order. I scrambled and got that in order.

The mental hospital called and said that he needed to have an "exit plan". He had just had a hearing that was to hold him for 12 days. It had only been 2 days and they were telling me to arrange rehab. In a matter of hours I had to pick him up and take him to the Journey Facility. They told me he was released to HER care - to HER facility and that SHE was legally responsible for him. I took him there at 4:00 pm on Friday.

She brought him to Saddleback Church for Celebrate Recovery Friday night. Saturday morning she called and told me that he was not happy there and that he was giving them trouble. She demanded $1000 by Monday. She said his meds were "way off" and he needed a psychiatric evaluation - which she would arrange Monday.

By that afternoon she called to tell me that he had walked out of the facility. I asked if she called the police and she said - "not yet" and that she felt he would "be back". We heard nothing from him.

Sunday evening Stace called to ask if we got a refund as he did not even stay 24 hours. She told us NO. She knows our situation and told Stace that the money came from "donations anyway". This is a CHRISTIAN program. We are floored. We have no signed contract. I received almost $500 of the $2500 in DONATIONS and that should have nothing to do with the fact he stayed less than 24 hours and they let him walk away - given that he is in a fragile mental state - without his meds - and not alert the authorities.

Last night we got a call from the OC Sheriff's dept to say that Taylor had cut himself and that he was back in the hospital on a 5150 hold now for the FOURTH TIME in 2 months - I do not know when we will get help!!!

This place is a CHRISTIAN REHAB Facility and there was no one there other than Taylor - she made it sound as if she was FULL. They then had him do yard work and wash all of their cars - when he asked if it was "part of the therapy" they told him - "No it is because you are living here now and you do what we say".

I can not believe they can keep our $2500 - this puts us in a VERY bad position...

Please email me your thoughts on this - as I am very exhausted - and need help.

Taylor is at Mission Hospital awaiting a bed in yet another of the 3 Mental Hospitals. They will keep him 72 hours on a 5150 hold. I will need to see if we can get a court order to get him help. I can't go on like this...

Please pray for me - please.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day

He didn't tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.

Happy Father's Day to my Dad, Terry Fox. I did not gown up knowing him as "my daddy" although I am sure I was in his heart and mind each day as I was growing from a child into a teen and then a woman. My parents divorced when I was just a baby. My mom tried to be strong as my dad went to Viet Nam to serve our country. Things happened, lives changed. I never blamed my mom and never will. Life is filled with circumstances and we go on.

I grew up with a Step Dad - who is now, no longer living. My step dad, Ron had his struggle with alcohol addiction. As a child I did not understand his disease and grew to be very fearful of him and his unpredictability. I fantasized about my "real dad" and wondered where he was and what he was doing. I wondered if he loved me. My step dad tried to love us - he just was not good at showing it, or saying it. I know now dealing with an addict that who he really was - was not known because it was masked with a disease - called alcoholism.

I knew my "real dad's" family. I grew up knowing my Grandma and Grandpa Fox, my Aunts and Uncles. I would stare at my dad's photo on their wall and look at photos of him as a baby. I made him the daddy that loved me and was the best daddy in the world in my mind. I knew one day I would find him, and have him for my own.

As life would have it - when I was 24 my dad wanted to meet me. With my oldest Taylor then 18months in tow - I met him. I remember it like it was yesterday. We met at The Black Eyed Pea in Independence Missouri. My Grandma was by his side. We ate a lovely meal, he met his first grandson, Taylor.

My step dad had not been in my life since I was 14 or 15 after he and my mom divorced. I was happy to finally know my dad and have him in my life.

Just a few years later when Trenton was born, my mom was visiting me from California. My dad came to the front door and he and my mom had a chance meeting - planned I know by God. They had not spoken in 27 years. Their eyes met and I am sure their hearts skipped a beat. He came in and they talked all afternoon and late into the evening.

On October 18, 1996 - my mom and dad were remarried. Their original wedding date was October 18, 1963. I was the proud maid of honor and my Uncle John, who was my dad's best man 33 years earlier stood next to him again. I am proud to say that they will be celebrating their 13
th year of marriage this year.

is lucky - the second time around!!

So I got my wish - I got my "Daddy" after all. Although we lost so many years, I know he always did and always will love me. We are not close - but live close to each other. My dad is quiet and like me feels deeply and passionately about things. He is patriotic. He loves nature and animals. He has deep appreciation for God's work and is a God fearing man. We share many of the same qualities, quirks and favorites. It just goes to show that not all things come from "nurture" but by "nature". Some things are truly in the genes! I know when I need him he is there. I know he would give his life for me. I love you - dad!

Happy Father's Day to all the Dads, Daddies and Fathers out there!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Going on...Going for Glory

Yesterday was a whirlwind of phone calls, driving here then there. I borrowed money to put a $2500 deposit at the Journey Rehab Center for Taylor to enter. I picked him up at the hospital and we headed to Journey. With all 4 kids in tow - Taylor had come up with his "own plan" and tried to talk his way out of going - which I hear is typical. We arrived at a comfortable single family residence complete with cats, dogs and a tortoise. He was a bit uneasy as anyone would be. We all prayed together and then the 4 of us left Taylor with high fives from his brothers and a kiss and hug from me. Their plan was to take Taylor to Celebrate Recovery at Saddleback Church last night. I am anxious to speak to Shiree today to see how it went.

I went to my mom and dad's last night to do laundry and stayed the night. Today Trenton will go to Salinas with Aunt Nancy and Uncle Mike to stay with my brother Brent and my nephew Brenton as the other 3 of his kids come here for a visit. I am looking forward to seeing all of them and they will spend the week after next with me. My boys love their cousins and we have a great bond.

I was driving home this morning at 6:30 am and it was beautiful. Fog and dew covering the mountains and trees. I saw hawks flying overhead and was listening to the "FISH" 95.9 FM.
"Glory Defined" came on and these words touched me today -

There's always a better way
there's always a bridge that needs crossings
there's always the straight and the narrow
the wide and the shallow
But I know that you're guiding me
and the best is yet to come
You've given me hope for tomorrow
and I know some day

I'll wake up to find
Your glory defined
and I will finally bow at your feet
I will lift up your name in honor and praise
when I cross over Jordan
I know that I'll be running home to you

It's always the simple things
it's always the obvious that crashes over me
It's always in front of me
it helps me to remember
this is what I live for
and I can't wait

I'll wake up to find
Your glory defined
and I will finally bow at your feet
I will lift up your name in honor and praise
when I cross over Jordan
I know that I'll be running home to you

there's never a question in your message
never a moment without your presence
there's never a doubt in my mind
that I'll
wake up to find

Your glory defined
and I will finally bow at your feet
I will lift up your name in honor and praise
when I cross over Jordan
I know that I'll be running home to you

So this is how I will begin my day . Exhausted - but with no doubt in my mind that the Lord will reveal his Glory in all of this. I will continue to do all I can to raise money for my son's REHAB - after all - can we really put a price on one's soul? I think not. As I said before I will not go down without a fight to save him from himself. We made flyers yesterday and I will go door to door if need be. Please pray for success in this plight - this mission - another stepping stone in my journey.

Many Blessings.

Friday, June 19, 2009

URGENT help is needed.

Please pray that today's mail will bring in much needed donations. The hospital called and said Taylor is ready to complete an "Exit Plan" and go to a REHAB facility. Journey Christian Center agreed to let him in with $3000 - now is where my faith has to come in and I have to let my stress level not take over. Pray for me - and our mission. I need $2500 by the end of today.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Endings and New Beginnings...

Today Chloe is Graduating! What once was a little girl whom I enjoyed very much has now become a young woman with a new journey ahead. She has loved my little guys since they were born and has been such a savior to us along with Megan the past years. She and Megan are their "Boy Sitters" and love them, spoil them and give me much needed love and support.

I had prayed for them a long time ago. When Taylor was just 3 years old I met
LaTisha. She at the time was 12 years old. She came to my home and worked in my in-home day care. She had such love, caring, kindness and a way with kids. When Trenton was born she was my "one and only". She was the only one who was their official care giver and I trusted her and loved her with all my heart. We even took her on our first family vacation out of state and we all had a blast. She is married now and is Mrs. LaTisha Ortiz. She is due to give birth any day now to her first blessing whom she is naming Audri.

I was so sad when we moved and the boys missed her terribly. The Lord has been good and has blessed us with Chloe and Megan. I have known Megan since the day she was born. She to me is my niece. We are not related by blood - but by love. I knew her mom when she was just a tiny girl and sadly her mom has struggled with addiction like Taylor. Megan has had the blessing of being raised by her Auntie Vicki, who is the sister to my high school boyfriend, Gene. After Gene and I broke up - our families remained closely knit. We have all been one big "family" since I was just 15.

Today Megan is finishing her Junior Year and is Officially becoming a SENIOR! Congratulations to my "Girls" for all their hard work in school and for all the
accomplishments they have made the past years as I have watched them turn from "girls" to women.

This is an exciting and emotional time. Turner finished his first year of Kindergarten. Next year his little brother will
embark upon the journey he just completed. They have a "love hate" relationship and are as opposite as oil and water. They make my life exhausting, but filled with challenges, priceless moments and love. I pray we make wonderful memories and use the summer to learn lots about the world around us.

Since I am on the subject of the kids in my life I should give kudos to my challenging, but very much loved teenager Trenton. He seems to get lost in the shuffle although I do my best to meet his needs. He is loving and kind when he chooses to be. His younger brothers are more of an irritant to him than sandpaper on soft skin. He banters with them, argues, and tries to parent them - which only causes battles and opposition. He has suffered a lot this past year and his grades for 7
th grade were just horrific. I pray that as he goes to a new school next year and makes new friends he will find a new way - a new beginning. My heart breaks for him as we enjoyed being involved with his love of football the past 2 years. This year due to our circumstances we did not have the money to sign him up again. He is sad and I think deep down a bit resentful that he can not join his friends in the sport he loves so. I am sorry - honey.

Now - as for an update on Taylor. I saw him last night and he is feeling physically terrible as I am sure the with drawls from the daily drug abuse that his body has grown so accustom to is wrecking him. He is mentally distressed, confused and longs for assurance, reassurance and answers. He
vacillates from rational talking to anger and nonsense. I am sure this is part of the process. I try to remain a constant to him. I listen. I cry. His angry comments and laying blame where it is clearly not due hurts me - but I try to remember you can not reason with the unreasonable. He hates himself and I know he is lashing out at the ones he loves most. He does not feel worthy of love. He does not believe in him - but I do. Keep him in your prayers as I continue my mission to get him the help he very much deserves. His heart is golden and I know he is a child of God. I know God has a grip on him weather he likes it or not. I will not give up on him - now or ever.This photo was taken before his accident - his face now - thin, eyes empty. His body tall and lean - much too thin. I want the boy in the photo back. My Taylor - my first born - my first love. I will fight every step of the way - to save him from himself.

Join Me In My Fight - PLEASE!


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

By labor we can find food and water, but all of our labor will not find for us another hour.

Time. Where do you go? Wait! Don't go so fast. These are my moments just slipping past.

If I were asked if I could have more money or time - it would have to be time. I am being robbed of my moments. I do not have enough time. I have too much to do. I have too much that I want and need to accomplish - just not enough TIME.

The hearing yesterday was rough. They told us to come at 8:30am - then sent us away - postponed it until 9:45am. We had to keep Trenton home from school to accompany us so he could watch the little ones. At 9:45 we returned and they told us that there was yet another delay and to wait in the lobby until called. Frustration and emotions running high. Stace waited outdoors with the 3 kids and I stayed in the locked facility that needed a person to lock and unlock the doors to the building each time you come and go.

I sat. I prayed. I gave Taylor and the hearing over to God. I asked for healing for my son in His name. I begged and pleaded with God - like a small child begging for ice cream or candy. After a very long hour spent in a cold, sterile lobby - never seeing a person come or go I was summoned. I called Stace and we were escorted onto the floor where Taylor is.

He looked agitated. He was angry. He said he wanted out of "this place" and that he wants to go to rehab - NOW. He wants what he wants on HIS terms. After all HE is 18. I explained that coming home with us was not an option. I needed more TIME. Time to raise money for his rehab. Things got heated - voices elevated. Frustrations flying through the air like fireworks.

We got through it. He is staying for 12 more days. The countdown begins. I have 12 more days. I was given TIME. Thank you Lord!

I am tired. I have 3 other boys to care for. I have end of school activities, 3 boys to register in their new schools - I have more forms to fill out for all 4 boys than what is required to purchase a home! I am getting writers cramp! There is money to be raised to fund Taylor's rehab, a house to clean, mountains of laundry to do, food has miraculously disappeared from my cupboards and toilet paper seems to have just walked away! I need time. More time.

I do not want the important moments to be stolen away from me. Moments that I can never get back. Time shared with my boys, memories to be made. How - how can I get the time? My body begs for rest. My eyes burn from lack of sleep. My body aches. My patience are hanging on by a thread. I feel exhausted. Pray for me. Pray for my endurance and strength. Pray that I can make the MOST of the little TIME that I have.

"The one who can drive themselves further once the effort gets painful is the one who will win."

On I go to accomplish, push on and conquer the day.
Blessings to you all.

PS - anyone who would like to write inspirational messages to Taylor can email them to me at: or mail them to our mailing address at:

Taylor Lindner
28715 Los Alisos Blvd
Ste 7-348
Mission Viejo, CA 92692

They feel that messages of encouragement will be beneficial in his treatment.

Monday, June 15, 2009


As an inexpensive wall decoration I hung 2 candle holders with glass jars on the wall. Each lil guy picked a beta fish. We are able to enjoy this beautiful wall display that cost under $20. My boys sit watching these beautiful fish floating in their glass habitats.

I wish I were floating. I desire to be floating along. I am tired of the roller coaster ride. I want to ride a train and head down a straight, predictable path. Obviously this is not God's plan.

Like a child having to do their chores - I am obediently following the coaster car up one scary hill and down another. I know the ride has to come to an end at some point. This is what I cling to.

I will be able to float along - someday - I pray soon. For now I am climbing up, up, up the rickety rackety and bumpy track on this roller coaster of my life. I wish that the downward spiral was fun - but it does not tickle "my fancy" instead it makes my tummy sick.

I have been blessed with my children and it is my job to climb the hills and mountains with them and lead them through the dark valleys. I am just so thankful that I have my heavenly father guiding me - every baby step of the way.

Thank you for your love and support. Please pray for my strength, wisdom and endurance during this ride.


Sunday, June 14, 2009

On a Mission to save my son's life

"Come to me, all of you who are weary and loaded down with burdens, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28

I have decided after years of frustration and having my son fall through the cracks with county programs that I am going to go down fighting for my son's life. I refuse to be handed his death sentence by the way of an "I am so sorry but all the County Rehab beds are full and there is a very long waiting list...I wish you the best."

I know that my son's addiction can not be overcome by his own will. He started using marijuana at age 13. We exhausted county programs, spent money we did not have on treatment camp and drug rehab schooling. He never received the help that he needed due to our lack of finances.

The County does have programs but all are overwhelmed and understaffed. Drug addiction among our youth is at an all time high. Can we just sit back and watch the children that we love so - kill themselves as they are bound by addictions that they do not know how to stop; because we do not have money to get them help?

My son has been hospitalized now three times. He has been held for 72 hours, let out and it has been left to me to "find help" for him. All the programs that can "help" him cost thousands and thousands of dollars. The free programs are not intensive enough to really help get to the bottom of his addiction. Meeting with a social worker once a week - is not going to help my now heroin addict. California is cutting funding to those who need it most - people like me - who are among the "lower financial class" - just trying to stay afloat in this economic hell.

I never in a million years thought that MY son, the one raised in church, baptized at age 8, the one who wanted to become a minister,a loving big brother to 3 younger brothers, the one who has a heart for elderly and handicapped people would EVER become a DRUG ADDICT.

I choke as I am forced to write those words. I have been forced to watched helplessly as he has begun to slowly kill himself. At age 13 in a middle school bathroom he and his friends devised a scheme to steal food from the lunch line and sell it so they could purchase marijuana from one of the other boys high school brother. Marijuana led to every other street drug you can imagine as well as ones you probably do not know exist.

Now - HEROIN. I am confident that my son will be dead if I do not raise awareness - and help others to save their sons and daughters. I can not let the lack of money stand in the way of saving the lives of our next generation. I have done research over the past 5 years and know that successful programs cost $15,000 to upwards of $80,000. I have found one in orange county that is a Christian sober living rehabilitation home. The cost of this program is $6,900. This is my last hope. I will do all I can, sell everything I have left to sell to get my son help.

I have set up this Benevolence Fund - Love the Lost Foundation in an effort to raise funds needed to help my son and others in my situation.

If people would just donate a small amount - together we can help our youth. It is my goal to raise as much money as I can to help as many of our children and save them from themselves. If left to follow their peers, their invincible attitudes and desires to experiment they can and will be left scarred for life, brain damaged or dead.

Would you join me in helping to save the lives of our sons, daughters, nieces, nephews, brothers, sisters, cousins and friends? What these kids do not realize is that their actions impact so many other lives than just their own.

I appreciate you helping to spread the word. Together we can impact our future and those who are our next generation.

This is my cry for help.
I need you to help me save my son and others like him.



Janean Lindner
28715 Los Alisos Blvd. Ste 7-348
Mission Viejo, CA 92692


Saturday, June 13, 2009

Storms . . . again

Storms in life...
Just when I had hoped for sunny skies another storm has set in. Taylor disappeared a week ago after yet another stint of drinking hard alcohol, becoming violent and being asked to leave the home where he was staying. He made no contact with us until he was to have gone to an intake appointment for rehab. He called an hour too late - and his appointment was missed. He then made no more contact with us until Thursday night.

He called telling me he was really "bad off". He needed me to pick him up. He was sick. I went to my child in an effort to "rescue" him. I knew I could provide a shower, a meal and a bed. I laid down the ground rules and told him that if he was high or drunk he was not welcome in our home. I got there to pick him up and he looked terrible. He had not showered in nearly 2 weeks, clothes soiled and he smelled terrible. He had been sleeping on the streets, in parks or pool bathrooms. He was pale, had dark circles under his eyes and would hardly speak.

I took him home, made him shower and got him clean clothes. I fed him. Then he started getting violently ill. He threw up. He laid down. He threw up. He laid down. This continued all night long. Yesterday morning he was writhing in pain and was not very coherent. I called a doctor and they told me to take him to the ER.

As I helped him to the car I lifted his sleeves and saw needle marks and bruises. I asked him if he was shooting up heroin and he admitted that he had been.

My head went dizzy - my heart felt as if it had been ripped from my body. I can't tell you the pain I felt in my inner soul. I never thought in a million years that MY BABY - my first born would EVER shoot up heroin. I went into auto pilot. I put him in the car and he went limp.
I thought he was sleeping. I tried to rouse him. Nothing. I checked his pulse and it was weak.

I got him to the ER and he was pale and his lips were turning blue. I was terrified that the bleeding in his stomach was killing him. I got him into the hospital and he was taken into a room with a security guard posted outside once again. The same guard that had been posted there two other times.

As he came around with oxygen and an IV - he started asking me why I had brought him there. He became very angry and abusive toward me. He then started to rip his monitors and IV out of his arm. Security came in and they had to restrain him. He underwent many tests and became angry and agitated. Begging me to get him out of the hospital one minute then angry at me the next. After many hours of this his girlfriend arrived. I had to go get Trenton from school and look in on my little guys at my moms.

I drove away in a daze. Carefully keeping my car between the while lines that were blurring past. I knew I was driving but I did not feel engaged. I was feeling numbness set in. Guarding my heart, going numb. I have learned to do this a lot. When my feelings are too much to bear, I have developed a technique to just - sedate my heart and numb it. I put my mind and heart on auto pilot and just move robot like through my tasks.

I pray and asked God to "hurry up" and present an answer. "Have we not suffered enough Lord?" "Please make this stop. I can't go on with this task yet again" I prayed.

Stace was working in Palm Springs and I had 4 boys all needing me in different ways. I feel like Gumby a lot of the time. Pulled this direction then that.

"The will of God will never take you to where the grace of God will not protect you"

Our evening droned on with one call after the other from Taylor begging, yelling, screaming and pleading for us to come get him out. He knows the drill all to well. He will be evaluated by a psych team and transported to an assessment center. They will then transport him to a mental facility - one that is for people who have no private insurance. There places are not nice. They smell bad, the staff is burned out. The people there have severe mental disabilities. It is scary.

I do not know what to do. I can not have him in my home detoxing off of heroin. I can not offer him the mental help he needs. I can tell him I love him - and he shouts back "BULLSHIT! IF YOU LOVED ME YOU WOULD SAVE ME!"

I have never been called such bad names by anyone - especially someone I wanted so much, and have spent so many years loving. I know it is not him - it is the drugs, the mental illness and addiction that are talking. I still love him in spite of the circumstances. He is mine. My son.

As of now - they are transferring him today to either a facility in Santa Ana or Mission Viejo. What will happen from there - no one knows. Usually they keep him 3 days - let him out and he continues on - down a path that is leading him to nowhere.

I pray that we will see him to his 19th birthday and not have to plan his funeral instead. I have no more faith in the system and their ability to help the "Taylors" of this world. So far we have not found anyone who offers answers. Just waiting lists.

I appreciate you prayers. This will be a long weekend.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Wise one...

Always expect the Unexpected!

Recently I have noticed how the weather has a effect on my mood. The impending June gloom has made me a bit blue. Yesterday I caught the sunlight dancing on the pretty flowers that I have planted on my front porch. Some are lemon yellow, some are lavender, others are bright fuchsia. I felt so warm inside watching the flowers sway in the wind with the twinkling sun bouncing off of their blooms. I took myself outside to bask in the sun. I sat down, stuck my face upwards and just drank in the warm rays. I immediately felt so relaxed I wanted to fall asleep!

Then reality struck.

The high pitched ear piercing shrill sound that my 4 year old emitted nearly knocked me out of my chair like a bolt of lightening from the heavens above! "That is MIIIIIIIIINNNNNNNEEEEEEE!" he shrieked. "NO IT ISN'T!!" shouted Turner in a low but loud, growling tone. Before I could even lift my body off the chair only 8 feet away they had gone to blows.

Fists flying, karate chops making contact, feet thrust into the air in attempted ninja kicks. It's all about marking ones territory. Items, things, chairs, cups, the place at the dinner table, blankets, toys, you name it and they fight over it.

As I tried to pull one off of the other and attempted to explain for the 348,987,000,000th time that we do not solve problems by hitting, kicking, punching and yelling, someone was already wailing.

Tears. They can flow like rain. Flooding down the cheeks spilling onto a clean cotton tee. Then comes the double nostril snot flow. As quick as the tears come and snot flows I see my 4 year old grabbing his clean tee shirt to quickly remedy the torrential flow of facial fluids. "NOOOOO not on your SHIRT!" I moan.

It had taken me quite a time to get both of them out of bed, fed and dressed for the day. Just finding CLEAN clothes was a task. Now - he has managed to soil his only clean shirt. Oh well. Boys will be boys I shrug.

I try to redirect them, separate them and take the toy that caused all the ruckus away. Do I dare return to the porch to bask in the sun's glow? I ponder the tempting thought momentarily. The boys seem settled for the moment. One playing legos, one coloring at the kitchen table. I can see both of them if I leave the front door open. I decide to return to my place of refuge to soak up a few more rays of sun before tackling the rest of the tasks for the day.

I warn them both - that there is to be NO FIGHTING or they lose a marble. They each have chores and earn one marble for each chore. If they are naughty they get one taken away. They have to collect 15 marbles to earn a treat.

"HA! That did it..." I thought. I returned to the porch and sat once again. It was not quite the same this time. I took a few deep breaths and closed my eyes. I thought of the upcoming summer weather (the warm stuff) and planned days frolicking at the beach. Feeling myself relax once again, it felt so . . . nice.

As I was deep in thought, it came. Out of nowhere. I felt something hit my face with force. Before I could realize what had happened I thought it was a leaf. We have a huge tall tree that overshadows our apartment. The leaves fall all day and night. I reached up in a flash to bat the "leaf" off of my face opening my eyes. As my eyes crossed trying to focus on this "leaf" I noted quickly that it had eyes and legs! I let out a scream that could curdle ones blood. Both boys came running. As they saw me jumping about trying to ascertain what in the world landed on my face, Trevan spotted it. He then started jumping up and down screaming and shaking. He is terribly afraid of bugs.

All the yelling, screeching and jumping about got the attention of the lawn maintenance workers down below. One of the men ran up my stairs to see what the commotion was all about. As we crouched and inspected this unwanted intruder we were all enthralled. I am sure we scared it as much as it scared us.

"What is it mom?!!" yelled one. "Smash him!" yelled the other. "No - it is a praying mantis like on Kung Fu Panda" - I retorted. "He must have heard you two fighting and flew in to see why you were acting so ugly!" I told them. "Well get it outta here - HE is ugly!!" screamed Trevan.

"He is wise. He will leave when he has a place to go!" said Turner. With that I went in to get my camera and take some photos of this - unwanted guest.

We do not get to see all of God's creatures up close and personal like this. I wanted the kids to be able to really check him out after he had gone.

After things settled a bit - and we had taken Mr. Mantis' portrait, we all sat and just watched him.

I then saw them. They both turned their faces one after the other just as I had done, upward towards the sun. They both closed their eyes and froze there, soaking up the warm rays of golden sunshine. It was only seconds - perhaps shy of a minute, but I took the opportunity to do it too. As our silence was broken - Trevan said "Wow - it is such a beautiful day today - isn't it Mom?" Although my moments may be few - I enjoy them as they come. I would not want to miss any of them.

"Indeed it is baby!" I told him "Indeed it is!"

Life is not the amount of Breaths you Take. It's the Moments that Take your Breath Away. Alex Hitchins


Thursday, June 11, 2009

Shutting it all out!

Do you ever wish that when you covered your eyes that all that's bad would just "go away"? Trevan pictured above, my youngest has learned this behavior from his brother Turner. Since Turner was just a baby he would "hide" from the world when life got to be too much for him. We later learned this was a coping mechanism for him. He still does this at almost 6 years old. He has an autism spectrum disorder. We recently learned that he has an extremely high IQ. Perhaps he is trying to share with us that when life gets to be too much to bear - we need to shut it all out and refocus!

Yesterday I did just that. We stayed in all day. We did not watch TV. We did not answer the phone. We together cleaned and organized our apartment, did some crafts, tended to the plants, cooked a meal. We talked, snuggled and had a very emotionally rewarding day. I feel refreshed today!

I am a "doer" and like to "get it done". I have learned to take my lessons from Turner. Being very smart and hypersensitive to social stimulation he knows when enough is enough. I need to "tune in" to myself and learn when to "quiet my mind" and reflect inward.

I was just driving home from taking Trenton to school in RSM and we saw a large white crane come flying right at us as we were stopping at a stop sign. It landed on top of the sign and we just sat - the 2 little guys and I watching this spectacular bird. No one spoke as if the bird could hear us. The bird had us captivated. Sleek, feathers as white as snow. Long graceful legs. Shiny beak. " that an Angel Bird from Heaven?" asked Trevan. "I think it is!" whispered Turner. I took the opportunity to explain that God speaks to us each day. He shows us His love by the beauty in nature that he created for our enjoyment. I told the boys that when we do not stop to notice these "gifts" that it makes God sad. "Oh!" said Trevan. "Well, then...THANK YOU JESUS!" he shouted! "We love your Angel Bird! Send us another one...this time wrap it in wrapping paper, with a cage and ship it to OUR HOUSE!" You have to love the words out of the mouths of babes!

Today I will divide my "To Do List" in half. I will take time to enjoy the "gifts" God has given me. I will spend time with the boys, we will walk to the lake and feed the birds. We will walk to their new school and enjoy the sunshine that has graced us today!

Find something to be thankful for and look for God speaking to YOU! Take notice of things you may not. God is all around us showing us each day that he LOVE US!

For this be grateful and embrace your moments!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Surprises and motivation!

We LOVE mail! I went to get the mail the other day and what a SURPRISE Turner received from Warner Bros. Entertainment! They sent him the Lego Battles game for the Nintendo DS! Oh - to have seen the look on his face - it was priceless!!

Only problem is - we do not have a Nintendo
DS! That won't stop Turner! He at his wise age of almost 6 years old decided that he needs to sell things to get money to buy one! He came up with the idea of making cookies and cupcakes to sell, drawing "art" to sell and "other stuff".

His motivation warms my heart! Having a brother just 13 months younger means that they together will have to sell things and save to get TWO Nintendo
DS systems! SHARE? Well - that is just not a word in their vocabulary. Try as I may - that is a battle royal! COMPETITION is more the word that describes that!

I am glad that I am raising boys that come up with solutions instead of seeing things as an overwhelming mountain. Life's lessons.

We are all loving our new apartment. It is coming along. In time we will get some dressers and nightstands to house some of our clothing and things will be more organized. I am having a great time tending to plants on my porch, making decor with the kids out of creative mediums and feeding the songbirds with bread, peanut butter and bird seed. Simple things.

Last weekend we had our first dinner guest and had a great time. The kids loved entertaining and being able to BBQ and sit outside. We made corn on the cob on the grill - and they were in heaven!!

When you are forced to go without - it is amazing the appreciation you develop for the small things in life! We have not gone out too much to eat the past year and last night I stopped to take the boys for Milk Shakes at Knollwood's . They were just precious taking their mugs of milkshakes and raising them in the air shouting "CHEERS!" They "clinked" their mugs together with a huge grin and drank like there was no tomorrow!

As we left - they both thanked me for taking them and told me what a good time they had!
That - warms a mom's heart! Appreciation. Gratitude. Thanksgiving.

I think we all need to take a step back in this beautiful world that we have been blessed with and give God a little appreciation, gratitude and thanks! After all - if it were not for the little things in life there would be a lot less big things and perhaps no smiles!

Have a wonderful day - I pray the sun is shining on you! We have June Gloom here - but that's okay - we know the sun is just behind the clouds! It gives us something to look forward to!


Monday, June 8, 2009


Keep on stepping forward. One foot in front of the other. One step at a time.

I could not sleep last night. Knowing that my son Taylor has taken yet another step backward on his path. I remembered my mother teaching me macrame in the 70's. My stomach felt like someone was turning it into one of those macrame plant holders. It was twisting and turning as I stared at the shadows in the night. I kept hearing: "From everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required; and from one to whom much has been entrusted, even more will be demanded." Luke 12.

I could not help going over and over in my mind what I could have done differently where Taylor's life is concerned. I had to pray and just ask the Lord to calm my fears - knowing that HE loves him more than I ever could imagine.

My grandmother taught me the verse in Romans 8:28 as a child: "And we know that for those who love God, that is, for those who are called according to his purpose, all things are working together for good."

I know Taylor is a believer. I know he has strayed far - far away from God. He was the little boy that dressed for church and insisted on wearing a tie every Sunday. He loved going and getting up on the stage to sing. He dressed as a Pastor when he was 8 years old for Halloween. Oh, how he hated that holiday! He went door to door asking if people had the love of Jesus in their heart. I knew then that the Lord had a great plan for his life. I have to still believe that. I hope that he will get help, recover from his addictions and be able to help others in the future.

Since sharing our story on Stace's Accident Blog and then here on my blog that led to the piece in the Orange County Register . That story led to some harsh criticism of our family. I was able to address people on the OC Freedom Blog. That then led to the LA Times Article.

I have received so many emails and letters of encouragement. We have received gifts that have been given out of the purest love. We have felt the love of strangers and feel that we have made new friends. I recently received an email from a man who harshly criticized me and my belief in God. All I can say to you Steve, is that I will pray for you. I feel so badly that you felt so strongly that the Lord does not exist and I know it took you a bit of time to compose that lengthy email. I assure you that if you would just open your heart and give God a chance - your life will not be filled with such hatred, but rather changed forever.

I do believe that all things happen in God's time and all things happen for a reason. I know that sometimes the things do not make sense to us as human beings, but all things are part of a much bigger plan. No one comes into our lives by accident. I am so blessed that others are being blessed by my sharing our journey. Here are some snippets of what others are saying:

"When I got to your blog, I couldn't stop reading! I
was so touched by your story and your honesty and the beautiful pearls
of wisdom that you shared as you experienced life as you've known it for
the last couple of years. I know you've heard this before, but I just
want to praise God for your testimony, for your faith and faithfulness.
And for just laying it all out there in such honesty and vulnerability...."
a portion of an email from Christine A.

"Hi Janean,
I read your story in the LA Times today and spent about 30 minutes on your blog.
You are an amazingly strong woman even though I am sure there are many days you do not feel so.
I believe your faith and belief in GOD will help you get through this." a portion of an email from the Agnello Family

"I think I have come to realize though that the hardest and most painful things we go through bring us the most blessing. When this particular valley has been passed through I know I will look at it with gratitude to the Lord for the blessing and growth that will come from it. Already we have learned to be a family, something we never knew before, finding joy in spending every free moment together. My husband and I have grown leaps and bounds in our marriage and I feel closer to him than I ever thought possible. And finally I realize the Lord as my every day provider, not just when I really want something to happen, but every day to take care of our basic needs." a portion of an email from Jamie

"I haven't had a chance to read more than your May 30th blog (I linked to it from the LA Times story about your family). Wow! Your faith in God astounds me. I too Love Love Love the Lord, the bible brings comfort and direction to my life like nothing else ever could. I don't want to pretend to know all of God's plans for you, who could, but I'll tell you... this one is all His doing. He is using you like He never could when you had everything. People are listening, reading and hearing about your faith. About our God who can do anything. Who takes care of us and is our provider. Without being homeless you would not have the listening ears that you do right this moment. And our Lord is very proud of you. Thank you for sharing, for being honest about the ups and downs, the struggle that we feel even though we have faith. Oh my dear sister, thank you for being a willing vessel to a BIG GOD. I don't have much but I have a heart for God and I am praying for your family. May God continue to bless you.
In Love with Jesus, Christine"

I have many more emails like these. I feel a great sense of responsibility from the Lord blessing us to reach out to others. I am blessed to be a blessing and intend on paying it forward each chance I get. I think if each of us in this time of economic crisis would just take the time to reach out to ONE person - with an act of service, kind gesture, gift, or words of encouragement we can all be part of a solution. In hard times people need to be aware of the needs of others and show support. This is how God intended it. He made us relational for a reason. For a purpose. If I can convey this message to just one person I have blessed someone in need.

I try to write each person a thank you note who has reached out to our family. I apologize if you are reading this and have not heard from me. As you know - life gets in the way. I have the best of intentions at times and then time does not cooperate with me! I also have many "little and big beings" that count on me to meet their needs. I want you to know if you have written me, sent us a card or gift - that each thing is share with our children. I am not sure of the comprehension my little guys have but I know that by sharing with them they are seeing the Lord's hand at work.

When we are able to eat a meal from a gift card that was sent, purchase items that we need from another gift card we explain to the kids that kind people have "gifted" us with these things. We pray and thank the Lord for his blessings. I know that I was entrusted a great gift of four boys and I am trying to teach them by example. I try to entwine appreciation, gratitude and humbleness in their lives in hopes that they will grow into God fearing, sensitive men.

Again - I thank you all for your words of encouragement. For those of you who do not know me - I LOVE to get MAIL! Since I was a kid - I have loved running to the mailbox (or now email box) looking for a piece of mail. My Grandma Fox sent me a card a week when I was very little for years and years. I think this is where my love of mail came in! She sent me little love notes and precious cards. I collected them and treasured them - for I knew that by sending them to me that I was loved!

I am going to make some calls to see what I may be able to do to help save Taylor from himself. Sadly at this time I do not know where he is. We have lost contact with him and I pray it is not too late for him to be saved. If you think of it - please say a prayer for him.

Many Blessings!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Giving Hearts...

Alyssa Clark age 8 1/2 and in the Third Grade

There is nothing more beautiful than a giving heart,
that especially of a child!

Alyssa's C-Group at Saddleback Church

Turner and Jamison on Wednesday night when the
C-Group hosted us for dinner and games.

On April 2, 2009 I got a note from Christina Clark. She wrote:

Hi Janean, I've been wanting to tell you about this for a couple weeks, but I was waiting to get more details... A couple weeks ago at Alyssa's Kids Small Group at Saddleback, they were learning about service, and doing for others. The leaders asked each of them if they had anyone they knew that needed prayers or support. Alyssa told them about your family and what you're going through. Lo and behold, they have decided to do a service project on your behalf! The leaders have read your blog and are amazed at your attitude and strength through all of it..."

This past Wednesday night, June 3rd we were asked to come to the C-Group at Saddleback. We arrived and were greeting warmly by the leaders and the kids. I was so moved at how these 3rd Grade children we showing such love and stewardship to our family. We were served pizza, cookies, drinks and delicious cheesecake dessert.

One of the Leaders Sandy told us that they were outside praying in March. They all held hands and whoever wanted to pray could do so, when they were done they were to squeeze the hand of the next person when they were done, or if they did not want to pray they could just pass by squeezing the hand of their neighbor. Alyssa Clark asked for prayer for our family. I had never had the chance to meet Alyssa. I knew her mother through a Children's Store that I owned with a friend a couple years ago.

The kids then decided to do a service project to help our family. They all collected money, sold drinks and snacks at AYSO Soccer Games and one girl did a lemonade stand and alone raised $168.00. We were handed an envelope that had money and gift cards inside with a beautiful card that was signed by all the children. We will put the money toward our rent fund and the gift cards will be used to purchase much needed items and food. I was especially excited about the JoAnn's Gift card!! I love to craft! :o)

I can not express how loved we felt. What was so moving was how these kids embraced us, not even knowing us. They approached us and asked questions about our journey, asked if we had trusted God through it all and how hard it was for us. They asked the ages of the kids, asked where we were now living, how we were doing and played with Turner and Trevan. We felt like we were a part of a big family! It was the best night we have had in a VERY long time.

We then joined them outside for a game of "Spongebob Dodge Ball" played with wet sponges!
Turner and Trevan HAD to get in on the fun!

We thank all the leaders and children so much for blessing us and for "being Jesus with skin on" to our family. We had SUCH a great time and love that we have made new friends. We would love to see you all again and we are sure we will around the Saddleback Campus!

Thank you again - you have all touched our hearts and have left your "print" on the stepping stones in our journey!
Bless YOU!