Thursday, December 10, 2009

12 Days of Giving: Day 10

Life with Bubba, Chicky and Nika

For the first 12 days of December, I am hosting the 12 Days of Giving here on my blog. For more information on what this is all about or how you can participate ... click here.


When I was growing up ... life was good. Then ... when I was about 13 years old, my parents got divorced. And quite frankly ... my life changed.

We went from living in a single family home with a pool ... to living in a two bedroom apartment. My sister and I shared a room for the first time in our lives. We got a leather coat for Christmas one year --- to share.

I always knew my mom struggled ... but she never really let us in on how much she struggled.

In hindsight ... I see it. I recognize it. I appreciate it.

It made me who I am today. And for that I am thankful.


Several weeks ago, my friend told me that her husband had been laid off from his job. She is a stay-at-home-mom and he provided their main source of income. This lay off was unwelcome news ... especially after years worth of medical bills had piled up for their son -- causing debt that they had never dreamed was possible.

With the holidays approaching, I knew I had to jump into action. Because for me ... the true meaning of Christmas is giving.

Meet Kristen, Scott and Ethan ... if you don't already know them.

Kristen and Scott are wonderful parents and advocates for Ethan ... a little man with a lot under his belt. In his eight short years of life, he has experienced a ridiculous amount of hurdles ---> Down syndrome, four days in the NICU, Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, three years of chemotherapy, severe reflux, aspiration, Autism, non-verbal, Sensory Processing Disorder, Tethered Cord Syndrome, eating issues ... and the list goes on.

Yet ... he continues to smile and light up a room!


Aside from their current financial problems, Kristen and Scott have not really celebrated Christmas for the last several years ... click here to read more about that.

All the more reason for me to jump into action.

So I wrote to some of my fellow moms of children with Down syndrome. I put Kristen, Scott and Ethan's story out there ... and asked for their help.

And what I got in return was more than I could have ever imagined!

To say that everyone stepped up to the plate is a huge understatement. I have been brought to tears many times over the past several weeks ... just watching everything come together.

You can count on our donations!!!

LOVE-LOVE-LOVE the idea and Ethan. Tell me what, where, when, how much, how to and I WILL.

Count me in also! What an amazing family!

Package after package arrived on my doorstep ... packed with things for Kristen, Scott and Ethan. All of this from my friends ... most of whom had no idea who Kristen, Scott and Ethan even were.

But they were touched that deeply.


So today my friend ... Linda ... and I drove almost 6 hours and showed up on Kristen, Scott and Ethan's doorstep. Did I mention we did not tell them we were coming?


We visited for a few hours ... and before we left, we casually mentioned that we had a few things in the car for them. Just a few.

And as we carried all the gifts into the house ... Kristen and Scott just stood there ... pretty much frozen.


And they took in God's good graces.


Because that is exactly what it was ... a God thing.

In the end, we decided to give them all the gift cards and cash that was collected today, rather than wait until Christmas. My heart just swelled with joy.


Thank you to everyone who made this possible. In the end ... what matters is not that we have given ... but the happy souls on the receiving end.



  1. I'm so glad people were able to bless them! What a wonderful story! Thank you for sharing it!

  2. Okay, I cried while reading this one. I am so happy I could be a part of it. God bless them!

  3. Beautiful story, beautiful people! Many thanks to you and Linda for organizing. We are blessed to be a part of an amazing group with beautiful people.

    Kristen, Scott and Ethan.....Merry Christmas. May you be filled with joy, love and faith this holiday season.

  4. Absolutely beautiful. Sniff sniff.

  5. Kristin is one of my very dear friends, and Ethan is very much a part of our family too! I want to thank you all for making this holiday season very blessed and happy for them! They are very grateful!

  6. I can't wipe the tears from my face fast enough to even see what I'm typing. That was beautiful..simply beautiful.

  7. I am Kristen's mother and to see my child in such dispair rips my heart apart. To know that Kristen, Scott, and Ethan have such wonderful hearted truly caring friends makes me sob. They have such love and respect for all the friends and strangers who give without hesitation. I only wished I could fix this situation. You've helped more than I could have. Thank you so very much! Our Creator smiles on each and everyone of you. xoxoxo

  8. know how to tell a story GIRLIE! That was so wonderful to read and what a great way to go about the wonderful thing that you did! I am sure that it was a BEAUTIFUL day and a lifetime MEMORY that you will never forget. Kudos and God bless you :) Love, Pam

  9. Wow! Presents under the tree...just what Kristen was wishing for! I was in hospital and didn't see this, but Ethan is in my heart and I was already planning to send a "little something" for under his tree. He will be recieving a hand-made, with lots of love, blanket from me to add to that beautiful pile... Bethany, you are an angel!

    adopting "Russell" from Ukraine

  10. Beautiful post, beautiful pictures, beautiful family. I'm so glad we could be a part of this, and hope Kristen, Scott and Ethan's new year brings joy and peace of mind. Thank you for putting this together, Bethany.

  11. I am Kristen's older sister and your post made me cry. At work. Thank you for your generosity toward my sister and her family. My heart breaks for her and I wish I could do more. Thank you for doing so much to brighten their holiday. It was beautiful.

  12. oh how wonderful!! I wish I would have known you were doing this! I met Kristen last year in Boston and would have loved to pitch in. How awesome that this all worked out with donations and that you and Linda were able to drive up there!

  13. I was there the day Eathen was born. A buitiful baby. Scott and Kristen have been very inspiring people in my life. You couldn't have done this for better people. Bless you

  14. That is awesome!! What a great friend you are!

  15. That is SO awesome Bethany! I guess if I kept up on blogs and stuff I would have known and could have participated too!

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