Three years later since my first conference with Generation Rescue and I still get so emotional, this is long winded because this is more than a picture to me. I get wordy when things are important to me 😉
Most people have certain moments in life where they can pinpoint exactly where their path veered and nothing has been the same since. My first autism conference, I knew practically NOTHING about this world, no clue what a GMO was 😂, no clue about allergies and gut issues, toxins, supplements, etc…I only knew a handful of moms via Facebook, and contemplated skipping this signing because I was emotionally drained and wanted to shove some comfort food in my face 😜 (me? Eat 😂)
I felt a little pull and decided to go to the meet and greet instead and this moment was it. I’m not really a fan girl type (well I wasn’t unless it was a hockey player hah…ok and now I may get that way from time to time lol) but I remember sharing (mostly blubbering through tears) about Lennon to Jenny and for some reason her encouragement was that final push I needed.
I was so lost, so depressed, felt like the Lennon I had then was all I could hope for and he was not going to change. I couldn’t even imagine his future at that point, it was not something I had dreams about during this time. That Summit and our intro to Generation Rescue brought real HOPE into our lives.
We have lived, eaten, and breathed HOPE the last 3 years. I could be so ashamed of the mom I see in that picture, I had really let her down, let her go, lost her, and she felt like the worlds biggest failure. But now I am so very proud of her. Proud she went, proud she learned, proud she stepped out of her comfort zone and met the most amazing mommies ever, and proud she took that leap.
I’m proud of that girls family, the support we have had is unparalleled in my opinion! I’m most proud of that girls baby she was crying over. We had no idea what incredible changes were to come and how we would be on the most amazing journey in the coming years.
I don’t share any of this to “toot” my own horn because I will always be the first to give credit where credit is due and this is about where it all began. But this day, this moment I give this couple major credit for being loving and kind to me (to so many) and for taking the heat when they speak out to say “there IS hope!” I still to this day keep Candace’s card that Jenny handed me when she told me to just DO IT, apply for the grant and start.
That card is so much more than paper. It’s my reminder to be someone’s “Jenny”, to always pay it forward, to always be that kind and loving mom to help another that may feel the way the girl in this picture felt, to be that example of what great things can happen if you go for it and to NEVER GIVE UP HOPE, even on the bad days. Generation Rescue gave us a gift, and they still do everyday, one I’ll never be able to repay but will spend my life trying. Every member of that team has a place in my heart and always will.
I also want to wish a gigantic Happy Birthday to the insanely beautiful, inside and out Candace McDonald. We are sending you HUGE birthday hugs from Texas with so much love from us and Lennon! Thank you for the huge role you have played in our lives these past 3 years, we are forever blessed by your sacrifices, your passion, and your heart of gold! Thank you for being the face of that card that changed our lives for the better ❤️
– Jessica, Rescue Family Grant Recipient