How We Are Raising Empowered Kids

How We Are Raising Empowered Kids

People often tell me that Luke and I are doing a great job raising our children given their disabilities. This is extremely insulting as a parent. My children are special as are all children. My children are not different, but they are children with unique needs as well as abilities. People ask how we have managed to raise respectful well behaved kids given their conditions and ours. We are a special family, not because of special needs, but because of a special love. I believe that having a disability or illness can make you appreciate every blessing in life more than before, and we all need to count our blessings. I also believe children are life’s biggest blessing and greatest teachers. Children are born innocent, without expectations, without hate, and without entitlement. You need very few things to raise empowered children and none of these things cost any money. You need love, determination, patience, and most importantly the ability to express your feelings. These things apply to all children! We have plans of raising Olivia with the same techniques as we have with both of our older daughters who happen to have special needs. Read more

My Story of my Daughter’s MS Diagnosis

My Story of My Daughter’s MS Diagnosis

I got the call at the end of my daughter’s second week of her freshman year in college. She told me that her feet and legs had been going numb. Knowing my daughter doesn’t complain when she’s hurt or sick, and that she is very independent, I knew something was not right. Read more

Working Towards More

Working Towards More

He smiles, and laughs, and keeps working towards more. Even when inside he must be thinking: Read more

A Child's Perspective: Growing up with a Disability

A Child’s Perspective: Growing up with a Disability

This week, Jessie+Luke‘s oldest daughter Isabella has shared her thoughts on what it’s like to be a child with a disability.

Hi everyone. My name is Isabella, but everybody calls me Bella or Izzy. I wanted to write a few blogs for a bunch of reasons. I want to help my parents raise money for Christmas toys for families. I want to tell you about my parents and what is like to live with them. I also want to talk about what it’s like for me and my sister Tay to live with disabilities as kids. I guess I will start with my sister’s life and mine. Read more

The Role of Faith in My Life

The Role of Faith in My Life

The role of faith in your life can be an important one when it relates to your struggle with disabilities or hard times in general. There have been many times in my life where I have relied on my faith to help survive desperate situations. From sexual abuse, the death of loved ones, to being diagnosed with what was supposed to be a terminal cancer. I know my husband also relies on his faith when he is struggling to accept that his situation will not change. You can look at faith in two ways. Either you can say it gave you strength to persevere or you can say that it was a miracle. I believe my case to be a bit of both. Read more

Finding the Strength to Get Out of Bed Each Day

Finding the Strength to Get Out of Bed Each Day

Yeah it’s hard…

Sometimes I find myself drifting away, staring at the wall, thinking of things that I know I have no control over and that I cannot change. It’s difficult to be in a position where you’re so vulnerable to others and in which your privacy is gone; where the only place that feels safe and comfortable is inside yourself. I have trouble sometimes dealing with this whole situation. There are times where all I do is direct and tell people what to do. In fact that’s my life. I didn’t sign up to be a manager of others starting at 16 years old. Sometimes trying my best doesn’t seem good enough to me. I think I’m my own worst critic. Read more

7 Steps to Powerful Special Needs Parenting

7 Steps of Powerful Special Needs Parenting

Without question there are days when you will wake up and feel as if you are failing as a special needs parent. These feelings are a normal and natural part of parenting a child with special needs. There are however some powerful steps we can keep in mind to help us through it: Read more

Immortal Joy

Joy spills from his eyes and fills a room with a certain glow. After the initial double-take from seeing him in his wheelchair, that is what most people see.   Read more

Olsen House, Cushing, Maine

For Christina

I stretch out in the warm water and breathe a sigh of relief to finally be taking some time for just me, in a bath. As I let the lavender scent relax me, I gaze up at the picture hanging above the tub and think of our history together.

Andrew Wyeth met Christina Olson at her home in Cushing, Maine. Christina was the inspiration for his world famous masterpiece, Christina’s World. Christina suffered from an unknown illness that left her legs paralyzed. Refusing to use a wheelchair, Christina continued life on her family farm with her brother, Alvaro, using her arms to move around. Read more

I Run 4

I Run 4 You

I was a runner for a short time. I gotta admit…running is not my favorite. I was around twenty-five and decided that my nightly walk could turn into a jog. There certainly was something to it. Nighttime runs were awesome, with the wind, stars and lights. I felt so alone in a good way. Pushing my body to go a bit further or run a bit faster next time. Eventually, a back injury lead me to revert back to the speed walk. Read more