To Dream the Impossible Dream!

I have learned to use the word impossible with the utmost caution Werner von Braun

What makes a goal or task impossible? Fear? Difficult Odds?

I love a quote by Dieter F. Uchtdorf. It says, “When God works through us, No one and Nothing can stand against us.”

I have several “impossible goals”. I don’t know how long it will take to accomplish them but accomplish them I will. I know this not because I believe that I am smarter than anyone else or more talented than anyone else – I know this because I know that I am being guided in these goals by God.

I don’t know all that there is to know but I do know that God has guided me before and with that guidance, I have done things that others considered impossible. Therefore, I believe in His ability to guide me to do the impossible any and every time I feel a task from God in my heart.

Are you listening to your heart? I hope that you realize that your heart needs to be listened to! I also hope you know that God knows you best and He knows what will bring you abundance and joy much better than you do!

I hope as you read today’s inspirational story that you will listen to your heart and what it is telling you! Enjoy!

When Your Goal Is the Impossible by Dan Pallotta 

(Written in 2010)

I’m writing this because a plane carrying an Uruguayan rugby team went down in the Andes mountains 38 years ago.

Twenty-one years later Frank Marshall made a movie called Alive based on the story. The film brings to life the experiences of 29 people who survived the crash and struggled to remain alive in the snow and freezing temperatures of the Andes for three interminably long months. An avalanche takes the lives of eight of them one morning. Five others die from their injuries and exposure during the ordeal. After learning by radio that efforts to find them had been called off, two of the survivors set out on an impossible odyssey to breach the Andes and send a rescue team back.

At one point during their quest one of them calls to his friend, “Come up here, man, you’ve got to see this, it’s beautiful.” The audience thinks he sees civilization. The camera pans to his view to show a nauseating infinity of snow-capped mountain peaks. No end in sight.

His friend says, “We’re going to die up here.” And the other replies, “Do you know what it is that we made it this far? It’s impossible, that’s what it is. If we’re going to die, we’re going to die walking.”

They breach the Andes. They find their way to the green valleys of Chile and make contact with the outside world. The closing scene of the film is of the survivors hearing helicopter engines and then seeing the choppers come into full view, with the two friends that saved them waving from inside.

The credits rolled and I couldn’t stop crying.

For two years before I saw the film, I’d had this idea for a 600-mile bicycle ride to raise money for AIDS but was too intimidated to do anything about it. Walking out of the theater, some voice that didn’t seem entirely mine said, “That’s it, we’re going to build the AIDS Ride.” And the next day my staff and I began trying to figure out how to get 500 people to bicycle from San Francisco to Los Angeles. It seemed impossible at the time. It hadn’t been done before. But a little over a year later, 478 heroic people of all shapes and sizes, most of whom hadn’t been on a bike in years, finished the 600-mile journey, netting a million dollars for AIDS.

As we rode into West Hollywood together, I couldn’t stop crying.

I would cry at dozens of these kinds of closing ceremonies over the years as tens of thousands of average people completed long journeys after raising large sums of money for urgent causes — both things they never thought they could accomplish when they started.

In a great documentary on the Apollo program, Eugene Kranz, the flight director of all those missions, reminisces about what had been accomplished during that unique period in American history.

He couldn’t stop crying.

I’m typing this week’s post on my new iPad 3G — truly a marvel of imagination, technology, and tenacity. It’s amazing not just because of the technology itself, but because of all the work building partnerships over the years that went into making it what it is — the negotiations with record labels and movie makers that made iTunes possible, enrolling Time magazine and countless others in its promise, and the nurturing of the network of app developers that helped make the thing the mind-boggling device that it is. Now, Steve Jobs was thrown out of the company he created. He has waged a fierce battle for his life against pancreatic cancer. He has stared deeply into the abyss of despair one feels when their dreams have been crushed and seem to be gone forever. I may be wrong, but I have to believe that at some point, using his own iPad and measuring the true distance he had come to make it real, Steve Jobs must have found himself crying.

As a mentor of mine reminds me, human beings are unique in our ability to achieve the impossible. Elephants don’t do it. Gorillas don’t. Mice don’t. We humans live in a world where everything falls but we say, let’s make things fly. The crying that ensues is an outgrowth of self-actualization. It is the profundity of experiencing the full depth of our human potential and it is unspeakably beautiful.

On the AIDS Rides we had a phrase for it: I’mpossible.

In my office, I keep two books out where I can see them: Inferno, James Nachtwey’s horrific and heartbreaking photo documentations on the effects of genocide, AIDS, and starvation on nameless and forgotten human beings all around the world, and Full Moon, a collection of high-resolution Hasselblad images from the Apollo lunar missions.

The Nachtwey book makes me think of eradicating hunger in our lifetime — a task that seems impossible. The NASA book reminds me of one of the most impossible things humanity ever accomplished.

And they both make me cry.

No matter what you are trying to do, whether in business or charity or social enterprise, if the thought of it doesn’t scare the hell out of you — and if imagining the manifestation of it doesn’t make you cry — it isn’t worthy of who you truly are.

Today’s inspirational story is shared from the following website: https://hbr.org/2010/05/when-your-goal-is-the-impossib.html

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A Believing Heart…Believing in God

In matters of religion, a skeptical mind is not a higher manifestation of virtue than is a believing heart

I’m not going to lie. Somehow, I have always known that there is a God and believed in Him and in His ability to help me. I have sensed Him in my heart and I have seen Him all around me: in nature, in loving relationships, in the solutions to life’s problems that seemed to be handed to me. I know that not everyone has that experience.

Though I know that not everyone believes in God or has a believing heart, I also know that virtually everyone born to this world questions at one time or another if there is a God.

I believe that my life is a testimony of his existence. Even if you exclude my near-death experience, there are just too many “directed” events for me to brush a belief in God under the carpet. If I had never had a near-death experience, I have found the “needle in the haystack” far too many times to ever question God’s existence!

In that light, I share today’s story. I love Marilyn’s story. I also love that she trusted her heart and recognized the tangibly intangible moments that she shared with God. I hope you enjoy!:

How an Atheist Found God

A personal account from an atheist who was convinced no god exists, and what facts led to God.

By Marilyn Adamson

Religious people seemed annoyed by my question, “How do you know that God exists?”

Perhaps they wondered about my motives. Or maybe they had no idea how to answer. Most of their responses were, “Well, you just know.”

I wasn’t trying to be difficult. But I certainly did not “just know.” And I was hoping someone did!

After many months of this, I thought, “Here are the people who say they believe in God, but no one knows why!” It was like learning the truth about Santa Claus. It seemed obvious that God was completely fabricated. Maybe some people needed to believe in God but clearly there was no proof. No objective evidence. I came to the most stark conclusion…God did not actually exist.

I held this belief for years, not expecting it to ever change. But then I met someone who caused me to become interested in the possibility of God. She was caring, kind, and very intelligent. It bothered me that someone that intelligent could believe in God.

She talked about God like he was her closest friend. She was convinced he deeply loved her. I knew her life well. Any concern she would take to God, trusting him to work it out or care for her in some way. She would tell me, quite candidly, that she was merely praying that God would act upon her concerns. For over a year, I regularly saw what seemed to be answers to her prayers. I watched her life through a myriad of circumstances, and her faith in God was unwavering.

So, I wanted to believe in God on one hand, because I admired her life and her love for others. But I couldn’t believe in something against my intellect, against my better judgment. God did not exist. A nice idea, but that was all. Wanting something to be true, doesn’t make it true.

During this time I was developing a personally built philosophy.

I tried something that I’m not sure many people do. Every few weeks, I would study a particular philosopher’s take on life …Nietzsche, Hume, Dostoevsky, Sartre, Plato, etc. and then try to apply it to my own life. I was looking for the perfect, workable philosophy for life. I found over and over, that either their philosophies seemed lacking, or were too impractical to implement. But I kept searching.

I was challenging my friend with every question that came to mind about God. I would find myself writing out questions late in the evening. This went on for well over a year. One day she handed me a book1 that briefly answered questions like, is there a God; is Jesus God; what about the Bible. It presented facts. No comments like, “you have to believe.”

I saw some evidence for God that was solidly logical. The parts particularly convincing to me were the chemical properties of water and the earth’s position to the sun. It was all too perfectly designed, too perfectly put together. My faith in “nothing behind it all” seemed weaker than the possibility of God. I had fewer reasons to be certain of nothing, and more reasons to conclude that God might be there.

I then encountered a situation that fully challenged my current philosophy on life. What I had been putting my faith in proved to be completely insufficient. It shocked me to see that I was at a loss for an approach to life that was fully reliable. However, the situation resolved itself and I moved ahead. I have a pretty steady personality. Throughout my life, I never really felt “needy.” No on-going crisis. No big gaps or struggles. And certainly nothing I felt guilty about.

But the concept of God was something I couldn’t get off my mind….was he there? does he exist? maybe there’s a God…..

One night I was talking to my friend again, and she knew I had all the information I needed. She knew that I had run out of questions to ask. Yet I was still trying to debate. In one clear, abrupt moment, my friend turned to me and said, “You know, I can’t make this decision for you, and God’s not going to wait forever.”

And I immediately knew she was right. I was playing around with a very important decision. So I went home and decided that I was going to decide. I was going to either ask God to come into my life, or I was going to end the subject forever and never allow myself to consider the possibility of God again. I was tired of dealing with this decision. I was tired of thinking about it.

So, for the next three or four hours, I reviewed everything I had read and observed. I evaluated it all.

I concluded that the evidence for God was so strong that it made more sense to believe in God than to believe he wasn’t there. Then I had to act on that conclusion.

I knew that just intellectually concluding God existed, was way too light. It would be like deciding…airplanes exist. Faith in an airplane means nothing. However, if you need to get somewhere and an airplane is the way, you have to decide to act and actually get on the plane.

I needed to make the decision to actually talk to God. I needed to ask him to come into my life.

After a few hours of thought I addressed God, “Ok you win. I ask you to come into my life, and you may do with it whatever you’d like.” (It seemed reasonable to me, that since God exists, God had every right to influence and direct my life, if he wanted to.)

I went to bed and the next morning wondered if God was still there. And honestly, I kind of “sensed” that he was. One thing I knew for sure. I immediately had a huge desire to get to know this God whom I now believed in.

I wanted to read the Bible. When I did, it seemed that God was spelling out who he is and how he viewed this relationship with him. It was amazing. What really surprised me is how often he talked about his love. I hadn’t expected that. In my mind, I was simply acknowledging God’s existence. I had no expectations of him, but as I read the Bible, he chose to communicate his love to me. That was a surprise.

Now, my basic, skeptical nature was still there. The first few months or year, I would ask myself, “Am I really believing in God? And, why am I?” And I would methodically review five objective reasons why I believed God existed. So my “faith” in God did not rest on feelings, but on facts, on reasons.

To me, it’s like the foundation of a building. The facts/reasons support my faith. It’s like someone driving across the Golden Gate Bridge. They can feel whatever they’d like about the bridge. But it’s the construction/design/materials of the bridge itself that allows them to safely get from one end to the other. In the same way, the objective reality of God–the logical, historical, scientific reasons to believe in his existence, are important to me. There are people who don’t seem to need that. But I hate being fooled, and I have little regard for wishful thinking. The substantiating reasons for God’s existence mattered to me.

My Experience, Part 2 – Further Evidence of God

Since that time, now that I’ve been a Christian for a number of years—-why do I now believe in God? What reasons do I have for continuing to believe in God?

I’m not sure any of these are going to be believable to you. But I’ll try to put that concern aside and be candid with you. Previously my questions were about God’s existence. After beginning a relationship with God, I saw additional evidence that God is real. Such as…

1. When I have questions, concerns, or would like insight on a matter, God speaks to me through the Bible. What he shows me is always perfectly suited to my question, and a better, more satisfying answer than I expected. Here’s an example.

One day, my schedule, deadlines, and obligations were crawling up my neck and tightening their hold. You know that feeling when you’re so overwhelmed, you don’t know what to do first?

So I got out a piece of paper and pen, and asked God: “Just tell me what you want me to do, and I’ll do it.” I was fully prepared for shouldering 100% responsibility, and was basically asking God to just set the priorities, tell me how to approach it all, and I would.

I then opened my Bible and immediately read where Jesus was talking with a man who was blind. Jesus was asking him, “What do you want me to do for you?”

I read it again. Jesus asked: “What do you want me to do for you?” Rather amazed, I picked up my pen and began writing an entirely different list…to God. This, I have found, is characteristic of God. Reminding us that he is there. That he cares, and he’s capable.

I choose that example because it’s brief. But I could cite hundreds of examples where I was asking God a question and he perfectly, thoroughly answered me. It probably is the characteristic of God that I most appreciate and value–that he is willing to answer my questions.

This isn’t something I learned from other Christians. It’s just how my relationship with God operates. I ask a question, with an attitude that I really want to give him freedom to tell me whatever he wants to….to correct my thinking, to point out an area in my life that isn’t right, to show me where I’m not trusting him, whatever. And he always graciously speaks to me.

2. Similarly, when I need direction for a decision, he gives it. I believe that God cares about our decisions. I believe he has a plan for our lives, that he cares about who I marry, what kind of job I have, and some decisions smaller than that. I don’t believe he cares what toothpaste I buy, or lots of mundane decisions. But decisions that will affect my life or what he wants to accomplish through my life…I think he cares.

When has God given me clear direction?

One time I needed to decide about a trip to the Middle East. There was risk involved, and I was willing to go only if God wanted me to go. It was important to me that I knew what he wanted.

Two different times I asked God about a job. Both times his leading on it was so clear, that anyone watching would have concluded the same. Let me try one thin slice of an example.

During my senior year of college, I had decided to take a job with a Christian organization after graduation, that would require a move to California.

It was Christmas break, and I was now visiting my parents. One evening, I was alone and thinking through a long list of friends. I was wondering who I could talk into moving to California with me to be roommates. One person named Christy, came to mind, who had already graduated and settled in a job in Iowa. I thought she’d be the perfect roommate, but I hadn’t talked to her in several months. Just 30 minutes later, at my parents home, Christy calls me on the phone.

Her first sentence was, “I heard you are taking a job with this Christian organization.” I was floored because I had only told one friend, in Ohio.

Her next statement was, “Ok, I’ve got the pots and pans and dishes.” I said, “WHAT?!” She was moving to the same town in California and was calling to see if I would room with her.

Ok, so you see my point.

You might ask, why such a big deal, to even need God’s help in this decision? I knew that my parents would be completely opposed to this job. I thought it might cost me my relationship with my parents forever. So it was not a light decision. I asked God to guide me toward what he wanted. And he did. There were about ten other events related to this job, just as clear.

Other reasons I still believe in God…

3. In terms of explanations about life–why we’re here, what the purpose is, what is important in life, what to value or strive for–God has better answers than anything I’ve ever read anywhere. I have studied multiple philosophies and religions and other life approaches. What I read in the Bible, what I see from God’s perspective, all the pieces of the puzzle fit.

There is still a lot I’ll read in the Bible and close the Bible saying, “I don’t get it.” So I don’t mean to suggest I fully understand everything in the Bible. Instead, I’m saying that life only makes sense from the perspective of what God has revealed. It’s like reading the operating manual to life on earth, only we are not left to merely follow the manual. The inventor is explaining to us how it all works, and then offers to personally guide us through it, on a daily basis.

4. The intimacy with God is deeper than intimacy with any human being. I say that married, with two children, and tons of very close friends. His love is perfect. He’s incredibly gracious. He takes me right where I’m at, and as I said, speaks to me. He intervenes with actions that leave me amazed as the observer. He is not a belief or doctrine. I see him act in my life.

5. He has done more with my life than I would have done on my own. This is not a statement of inferiority or lack of self confidence. I’m speaking in terms of accomplishments that far exceeded what I ever had in mind. He provides ideas, direction, solutions, wisdom, and better motives than I could aspire to on my own.

Story shared from the following website: http://www.everystudent.com/wires/atheist.html

 

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Love…Does it Make the World Go Round?

Love doesn’t make the  world go round; love is  what makes the  ride worthwhile   Franklin Jones

Today I am sharing a lengthy story. I hope you will take time to read it. I have two children with attachment issues. Over the next few months, I will be addressing some of the issues that children with Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) and their families deal with.

Some believe that love overcomes everything. I truly wish it did. What I do know is that love is essential and needs to be sought. However, with the knowledge that love alone cannot help children with RAD, more knowledge needs to be shared with the world about the needs and care that an infant needs and the life long issues that lack of appropriate care creates.

I hope you enjoy today’s story!

My Battle with Attachment After Adoption

Over the years, I’ve written many articles about adoption. Those articles have often taken a passionate stance for the orphan, especially those whom experts dub the “functional orphan,” ones who may technically have a parent somewhere but remain unparented and empty. My passion is  twofold. The first is practical, in that if we as pro-lifers are successful, we will be left with 3500 orphans a day. I’m not okay with that.

But my second reason is personal, a story I only shared publicly for the first time on Orphan Sunday, and which I share here now because I am learning my story is less uncommon than I thought, despite my unique circumstances. I’m learning that as a group of pro-lifers, unless we are prepared to deal with the reality of the problems that may come our way, we will have little reason to argue against abortion, for we must be willing to nurture and love, at personal sacrifice, what we claim should not die.

My story begins in a manger in Bethlehem, but that’s where most of the similarity with a more famous Bethlehem manger birth ends. I was an orphan, abandoned on the city streets. There I was found and taken to the Holy Family Hospital, which calls itself The Crèche, another word for manger.  When I would speak publicly about my story, saying I was born in a manger in Bethlehem was a captivating opening line– a lighthearted quip, masking the darkness on the other side of that adoption, my dark secret.

It’s that side people today need to understand, both to reduce the fear of adopting “unknown” kids as well as to empower them to deal with it and eschew the internet horror stories, which are often written by people who overgeneralize.

My mom died with the secret of how she acquired me, the lies on my adoption papers, and her real reasons for taking me.  I was likely a child to an unwed Palestinian woman. I was found in the West Bank/Gaza Strip, the wrong side of the tracks from birth. I don’t know if I was left literally on the street or left on the doorstep of the hospital/orphanage like a cheesy orphan movie, but Fr. Emil, the head of the court that facilitated my adoption simply said in 2011, “you were collected from the street.”

My adoption papers, which call me “Catherine,” say, “The name and whereabouts of Catherine’s father are completely unknown.” I didn’t believe that for a long time. In 2011 the court officials, the Latin Patriarchate in Jordan, told me they likely lied to push the adoption through. At 6 months old my adoption was complete and I went home with her, in Jerusalem.

And never, ever in my life, not one day, did I feel loved.

If you have children, you know what happens with newborns. They cry: they get fed; they get held. You stare in each other’s eyes and fall in love. Parents bond. Children attach. The first few months of  babies lives with their parents are probably some of the most precious. That bonding/attachment happens at the deepest level then.

The first 6 months of my life my mom apparently came to visit me, but not enough to establish a primary connection. Whether or not the frequency of her visits was her fault or not is irrelevant; the only question was, to whom did I attach? I wasn’t abused that I know of. I have no information on my in-utero development. Science tells us that matters. Palestinian culture tells us a woman pregnant out of wedlock may be killed to avenge family honor. All I know is I never attached to a primary caregiver, and it made life difficult.

Usually the stories are about crack addicts and promiscuity. Kids with Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) who never get a family, never get to attach in the right ways, seeking all the wrong ways, doomed to destruction. Your local prison population houses many poorly attached folks. Few adults really live well enough to analyze it, to overcome it. Some of us make it, but the ache lingers, indescribable.

My life was a tale of trying to fill a hole. I grew up wild and free, did anything I wanted to, dropped out of almost every year of school and conned my way into the next year (except 7th grade where they had truant officers). I shoplifted from Sears at 14, got arrested, thrown in juvenile hall because no one could come get me from the police station, started smoking then—a habit which continued to over a decade until I had a vision of Jesus and never smoked again.

In between were a couple homeless shelters and drug overdoses, not because I wanted to die, but I wanted to live and didn’t know how. I was kicked out of my conservative church at 13 for being too wild, and took a proficiency test at 15 to get done with high school so I would stop getting beat up by bullies. In college at 15, I dabbled in everything that looked interesting. It’s how I lived all of my life. I floated until something looked good, then honed in like a hunter finding her prey. I’d take anything that would satisfy for a season, whether school or work or friends or food. But if that something looked like a mom, then my life was reordered because maybe she would love me, want me, emotionally adopt me. Maybe then, the torment would end. Maybe then I would be safe.

I’m not unlike many adopted late or to families who didn’t know how to love them. Most of us never had words for it; no one would talk about it. When I was growing up, people said adoption screws you up. Lots of adoptees I knew were a mess in all the ways we describe someone as messy, from anger to rebellion to drug abuse to promiscuity.

I grew up with the idea that adoption was bad. At 15, I was against adoption. I just knew a bunch a screwed up kids. We were adopted; we were a mess. Therefore, adoption was bad. As a syllogism it failed. In my broken mind, it was the only answer I had. My own adoption had cost me a family, something from which I never recovered. I wanted to, but my brain and my heart could never connect. Attachment, the joy of the parent-child relationship, seemed my curse. The truth is, adoption is good, adopting kids with attachment issues is really good, but it must be informed and deliberate because adoptive parents need to address the holes. The prognosis is good when it’s addressed, even in older adoptees.

When you aren’t attached to anyone you never feel safe. I could handle not having a family like all the kids I knew, but I couldn’t handle the hole that seemed to be hollowed out inside me. It’s the worst kind of orphan mentality because it feels floundering, detached from everything, a state of living so vulnerably that the only survival mode is to erect permanent walls because anything that flies by might hit you. Might kill you.

And ironically, while I couldn’t attach, detaching was easy. I could make anything disappear if it was out of sight.  With attachment disorders the actual part of the brain affected is the orbital prefrontal cortex That is the part that regulates images. Faces. There is a phrase I use a lot: Faces and voices. Without consistent faces and voices, it was easy to make things go away. Unfortunately, that also meant I could never internalize the good. Later I met people who loved me, who expressed it, but unless they were reminding me often, it faded. Every time I saw them again, I needed them to speak first, needed to be sure they had not changed their mind. Internalization was my greatest desire and more elusive than a unicorn.

Nothing I could ever explain helped anyone to understand. I am highly educated; I spent years writing and speaking publicly, but I couldn’t explain what it felt like to be in a prison of RAD. I got a lot of canned answers the few times I did tell. “You need to attach to Jesus,” some said, conveniently ignoring the part of the Bible where God says it’s not good for man to be alone—before there was any record of sin. So the religious comments didn’t work. “You need to make a decision to act in spite of your feelings” said the amateur psychologists. They didn’t understand it was beyond feelings. It was more like cancer, destroying cells that give life; it was like telling me to out-will cancer.

Theoretically, a child at 6 months could pretty easily attach to a single caregiver once adopted. Why that didn’t happen is not clear, but my mom wasn’t affectionate or loving, not ever; she simply didn’t know how to be, and we had no resources. I have no memories of her looking me in the eyes with love, of embracing me, of tenderness. So the only conclusion I can offer as grown-up-Susan is that I went from multiple caregivers in the orphanage setting, who probably were very good to me, helping my mind stabilize to some degree as an infant, to one caregiver who didn’t give care. This happens often with foster children who arrive to homes this way.

At first when I learned more about attachment and even had a professional confirm it, I told others thinking that this would help them understand. What ensued was one of two things. I’m still not sure which was worse. Either people got scared and suddenly pulled away and/or passed me along—or they tried to deliver me from some demonic power. And because I wanted to be wanted, I didn’t chase the former—and I always gave into the latter. A friend once likened me to an abused wife, who kept going back for more out of a desperate need to be loved. He was probably accurate in his assessment, and my intelligence told me to stop. But my heart I was captive to a curse. I knew nothing else.

This is the (preventable) story of so many orphans, unidentified, labeled as difficult, and research tells us, often mistaken for having ADHD. It’s the story of the somewhat trendy phase of adoption that glamorizes the sweet baby, but forgets the older child. And it’s probably the story of many of the 100,000 plus kids in foster care today who need to be adopted. It’s a hard story. We like simple answers. Pithy tweets make us feel profound. But the fact is that there isn’t an easy answer for these kids, whether they are victims in the womb, or they are traumatized by life after that, from badly screened adoptions, bumping from foster home to foster home, or simply from those who don’t understand.

If being pro-life is being pro-child, then we have to recognize that in a fractured society where thousands exist as at least functional orphans that many will have issues with attachment and their lives matter. Some will have problems with it, and some, like me, will have RAD and believe they are not worth fighting for. For multitudes of kids, they are aware they are not the first choice, not the one people want because maybe they have a notation of “Reactive Attachment Disorder” in their files. Or perhaps worse, there is no notion since it often goes undiagnosed, and then stunned parents feel trapped, or worse yet, send a child back. None of this furthers the reality of being pro-life. We must walk out of fear and into the hearts of these children.

I don’t know what it feels like to be connected in a familial way, though I have some dear friends. It’s an odd, unanchored feeling, but beyond that it is a feeling, a mission, if you will, that I must help fight for others who can be rescued as children. If we are pro-life, we must stop passing around children, stop rejecting the ones with problems too difficult for us, stop valuing our lives over theirs and jump in with our eyes wide open. Thousands of kids need us–they need to attach to us so they can see the value of their lives, and, in turn, see the value of life so one day we will have an answer to the classic pro-choice question:

Story shared from the following website :https://www.liveaction.org/news/my-battle-with-attachment-after-adoption/

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The Role of a Father…The Power of Positive Influence

A Father is neither an anchor to hold us back, nor a sail to take us there, but a guiding light whose love shows us the way

Father’s have an influence whether present or not. I have seen that influence. I have seen the influence of father’s who chose not to be present in their children’s lives. I have seen the insecurity that was a result of those absent fathers. I have seen some of those same children, in an attempt to cover and disguise their hurt, become very angry individuals. I have also seen the positive influence of loving, supportive father’s.

I believe that each of us inherently needs the guidance of a father. In fact, I believe that we each need to have two fathers in our lives – our eternal father and our mortal father. I also believe that our mortal fathers frame our ability, at least initially, to conceptualize our eternal father. Where fathers are caring and supportive, we can more easily envision God as caring and supportive. Where fathers are absent or harsh, we are more easily inclined to believe that God is harsh, absent, or intent on punishing us.

I am grateful for the fathers of the world who have embraced the importance of their role in the lives of their children. I am also grateful for the many men who have “fathered” children in some positive way that they have no genetic link to – whether they have fathered those children as a coach, teacher, ecclesiastical leader or some other way.

I hope your life has been blessed by a wonderful father and many amazing father figures. However, if that has not been the case, it is my prayer that you will be willing to search your heart and come to know (if you don’t already) the father of your soul. I know He loves you and I know of His concern for your welfare and well-being.

Today, I hope you will be as inspired by today’s story as I was. I am so grateful for loving fathers!

An Inspiring Story of Fatherhood

Two years before Castro took over Cuba, Faustino was twelve and returning on a flight to Havana from Miami where his dad took him on a shopping trip. Over the straights of Florida one of the airliner’s four engines caught fire. After efforts to extinguish the flames remotely failed a steward announced the pilot decided to ditch the plane.

Recently Faustino told me, “I’ll never forget the panic in his face. Some passengers began to scream as he told us to buckle our seatbelts, put on life vests, remove our shoes, and brace for the impact.”

Despite the steward’s attempt to stop him Faustino’s dad disobeyed. He unbuckled his seatbelt and knelt in front of the boy where his body could act as a modern-day airbag. He told the child, “Once the plane stops, get out. Don’t wait for me.”

Fortunately when the airplane nearly reached sea level the flames went out. The plane was diverted to a Cuban military airbase instead of Havana’s municipal airport. But at least the touchdown was with wheels on dry land.

The scariest episode of Faustino’s life taught him that he was his dad’s number one priority. Consequently, the boy resolved that he would never intentionally do anything to disgrace the family name. Thereafter Faustino took all of his dad’s advice seriously because he knew – beyond a shadow of doubt – that his father always had Faustino’s best interests at heart.

The boy’s family escaped Castro’s Cuba for Florida in the early 1960s. Like most refugees they had no money. Within weeks of arriving Faustino’s dad held down three jobs. But nothing ranked higher in the dad’s priority than the boy’s education.

Earlier this year Faustino told me, “Even though I was only sixteen dad announced that I was to start electrical engineering college courses. I never questioned the decision. When I brought the University of Florida diploma home after four years, dad hung it on the wall of his home office where it remained until he died 35 years later.”

As an adult Faustino left Florida and became prosperous in Silicon Valley where he worked with some of the era’s legendary figures. Recently I asked how he could be comfortable taking risk on volatile start-up businesses.

Faustino said, “Although dad never explicitly told me that I could recover from failures, I felt instinctively that I could because of his example. Upon arriving in Florida dad possessed almost nothing, yet he made a good life for our family. Additionally, the unconditional family love left me feeling that even if I did fail, there was a parachute.”

During most of his career Faustino lived 3,000 miles distant from his dad. Nonetheless, they talked on the phone almost every day. Typically his dad asked, “Are you okay? Do you need any money?”

Story shared from the following website: https://www.avoiceformen.com/men/fathers/inspiring-fathers-day-stories/

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God Never Gives Us a Dream That We Cannot Accomplish

God never gives you a dream that matches your budget, He’s not checking your bank account, He’s checking your faithI know, from my near-death experience, that the passions we have, the dreams we have of pursuing positive, uplifting endeavors are a gift from God.

When we listen to our hearts and pursue the good things that our hearts yearn for, we become a tool in God’s hand and we keep the promises we made to our Creator before we came to this world.

What God-given desires, passions and gifts do you have?

Listen to your heart and you will know!

I hope you love today’s story as much as I do!

Dreams Do Come True

As a child, my parents, by their example, instilled in me a love for reading. I dreamed of being a writer but the pursuit of dreams was never discussed or encouraged – leaving me to write in secret in my room.

Life progressed, however, and an interest in interior design surfaced in my teens. However, at my parents’ insistence, I enrolled in secretarial school and worked in that area contentedly, for twenty years.

Married with two children at thirty-eight, I grew restless. I was unhappy with my job and felt exhausted at the end of the day. I wanted to do something creative with my life. “Life begins at forty” became my mantra.

A growing addiction to decorating shows on television reawakened my teenage interest. As I devoured every word and every scene, I vowed that I would let nothing deter me from becoming an interior designer.

With my fortieth birthday ten months away, I signed up for a two-year interior-decorating course. I crammed two years of work into nine months to ensure that I received my diploma for my fortieth birthday. I met my self-imposed deadline with twelve days to spare and I was ecstatic.

The next step was to get some hands-on experience at a design firm. A visit to a newly opened interiors showroom ushered me into a dream job that opened more opportunities for me than I could have ever imagined. I donned the hat of a decorating consultant at the showroom and I was on my way to creating the career I envisioned.

Opportunity knocked at my door in 1997. I peeked and saw the possibility of writing a decorating column for a woman’s magazine. The editor liked the idea and the monthly column debuted in February 1998.

Writing did not only open doors for decorating projects, it also provided me with the opportunity to teach interior decorating classes. A three-year teaching experience added a new dimension to my career while the confidence and reputation I gained were invaluable.

In the midst of the enjoying my new career and the diversity of experiences, I realized that I was involved in doing something I dreamed of as a child. I was writing. To master the finer skills, I signed up for a freelance writing course. Encouraging feedback from tutors gave me the confidence to submit my work for publication on the internet.

An online newsletter published the story of my mission to redefine myself and pursue my dream. The response from readers was unexpected and overwhelming. From around the world, people emailed to say that they identified with my experience. Some even asked for advice. They inspired me to write self-care articles and motivational pieces, especially for women. Soon, this hobby had developed into a passion that consumed me–and my writing.

Nevertheless, working a full time job and struggling to write at night while fighting sleep and fatigue did not whittle away at my determination to be a full time freelance writer. I hung on because I had another dream — to retire at fifty, even though my fifty-first birthday was staring me in the face.

Prompted by my husband and grown, working children, I handed in my resignation on the 8th of August 2006. The next day, knowing that I will have the time to do the kind of research and writing I enjoy, I sent my writing resume and copies of my published clips to the three local newspapers in my country. I contacted every editor I had worked with before to let them know that I would be available for assignments.

One week before I left, the oldest and largest newspaper in my country commissioned me to write a weekly motivational/inspirational column for their Sunday pullout magazine for women. On the 30th August 2006, eighteen days before I turned fifty-one, I left my office for the last time.

I now write two regular columns while researching and writing feature articles on a variety of other topics, mostly for publication in online magazines. Three books are works in progress and my website is under construction.

My family tells me that I look younger and seem more energetic. I am living my childhood dream, doing what I love. I am a fulltime freelance writer with yet another dream — to be a motivational speaker.

On my journey, I have learned that it is never too late to pursue, and live your dream.

Story shared from the following website: http://www.values.com/your-inspirational-stories/194-dreams-do-come-true

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