SMM 029: Triumphs + Struggles Mothering a Special Needs Child || Kay West

Episode 29 of the podcast is my first time having a guest back for a second interview. In episode 7 of the podcast I interviewed Kay West and shared her faith-filled motherhood story of infertility, adoption, and miscarriage. Today, I have Kay back as a guest to discuss both the triumphs and struggles she has faced with her daughter, Eden, who is a special needs child.

Show Recap

Triumphs

Eden was adopted at birth and due to choices made by her birth mother has brain damage, asthma, autism and will someday need a cornea transplant. Kay shares how God revealed to her early in Eden’s life that although her body is damaged, her spirit is perfect. Kay also discusses how Eden’s condition has affected her other child, Isaac.

Struggles

When Eden entered middle school, Kay and her husband started to notice negative changes in Eden. As she started to regress, Kay discovered Eden was being bullied at school. She shares how their family handled this heartbreaking situation and what they did to help Eden.

Kay gives a message of hope to mothers who discover their child is being bullied. She says to help your child feel validated and to know home is a safe place to come for support. Kay also recommends to other mothers to pray and listen to that intuition to know how best to help a child. She shares the process she and her husband go through to know how to help both Eden and Isaac in difficult situations.

Sharing Kindness

One of the good things that has come from Eden’s experiences being bullied is Kay and her husband have helped their children start an online shop called Quietly Being Kind. The shop features postcards with Eden’s artwork and kindness quote that can be purchased and sent to others as a reminder to be kind. Kay’s children share a portion of the proceeds of the shop with an organization that helps children. They also hope to feature other children like Eden to help raise awareness of the importance of showing kindness.

Kay’s journey of raising a special needs child has not been easy. Although she doesn’t always see it in the moment, Kay can look back and see God’s hand guiding her in motherhood. She knows He didn’t send any of us here to fail. As long as we keep trusting Him, he will open the path.

How to Listen

Listen to the podcast below or on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher or Sound Cloud.  If you like the show, please subscribe and leave a review.

Show Notes

Follow Kay

Blog: threetoquesandatiara.com
Instagram: Instagram.com/threetoquesandatiara
Facebook: Facebook.com/threetoquesandatiara

To purchase postcards and find out more about the mission behind Kay’s kids’ shop, go to Quietly Being Kind.

Share Your Experience

At the beginning of the episode I shared how YOU can be part of a future episode of the podcast. Each month I will be asking listeners to share their answer to a specific question about motherhood and spirituality. If you want to participate in the November episode, here’s how to do it:

  1. At your convenience, call this number 480-525-7145.
  2. Leave a message starting with your name and where you are from. For example, “Hi, this is Darla from Arizona.”
  3. Give your answer to the question: How have you seen and felt God as your partner in motherhood?”
  4. Feel free to share a specific story or experience. Please keep your answer to under 3 minutes so I can share as many answers as possible.
  5. Submit your answer/message by Sunday, October 28th.

If you’re hearing or reading this after the deadline, call the number anyway to hear the current question and give your answer.

Follow Spiritually Minded Mom

Blog: spirituallymindedmom.com
Instagram: Instagram.com/spirituallymindedmom
Facebook: facebook.com/spirituallymindedmom
Podcast: Spiritually Minded Mom on iTunes

SMM 009: From Adoptee to Birth Mother, A Motherhood Story Shaped by Adoption + Love || Jori Reid

 On Adoption and Motherhood

“Adoption is about love. Birth mothers place their babies because they love them [and] because they are doing what they think is best for them.” –Jori Reid

“Motherhood is the highest calling we could have on earth. It is so sacred just to have these little spirits that we get to raise for a short time. …And all the help we can get is huge. It really does take a village and that village starts with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.”  –Jori Reid

Show Recap

Adoption is a common theme in Jori Reid’s motherhood story. She has not adopted a child, but Jori herself was adopted at the age of 6 months. Her adoption was closed, and she never knew anything about her birth mother, but because of her birth mother’s decision to place her for adoption, Jori enjoyed an amazing childhood filled with love and support.

Many questions about her birth parents were unanswered growing up, but Jori learned a lot about what her birth mother must have gone through when Jori herself was a 20-year-old college student with an unplanned pregnancy.

Adoption is not for everyone, but Jori knew it was the right decision for her and her unborn baby. She tells how she came to this decision and gives advice to those considering placing a baby for adoption.

Jori wholeheartedly believes that “adoption is about love.” She shares both the grief and blessings, including finding her birth mother, she felt after placing her baby and how having an open adoption has helped her to heal.

Although Jori is now married and she and her husband have four children of their own (including twins and one baby that came as an unplanned home birth!), Jori knows “being a mother doesn’t mean you have to give birth.” She is grateful to her own birth mother. Jori knows she has been blessed by her decision to be a birth mother and help someone else become a mother. Her story is a beautiful example of the love, sacrifice, and faith of motherhood.

How to Listen

Listen to the podcast below or on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher or Sound Cloud.  If you like the show, please subscribe and leave a review.

Show Notes

Follow Jori: 

Instagram: www.instagram.com/fromtheheart5
Blog: fromtheheart-jori.blogspot.com

Follow Spiritually Minded Mom:

Instagram: Instagram.com/spirituallymindedmom
Facebook: facebook.com/spirituallymindedmom
Podcast: Spiritually Minded Mom on iTunes

SMM 007: Turning to God Through Infertility, Adoption and Miscarriage || Kay West

On turning to God, Kay West had this to say:

“When I  turned to Him, I found that I am a daughter of God and that is worth so much. Nothing about me is broken. He sent me to this earth at this time with the body that I have for a reason. He put me on my path in life for a reason and whatever that reason is, it’s perfect because He wanted me to do something that only I could do.”

Show Recap

I haven’t met many mothers who have been through as much as Kay West has on the journey of motherhood. Her story has a happy ending with the adoption of two long-awaited and beautiful children. However, Kay also knows the heartache of infertility, miscarriage and the grief of a third adoption that did not happen. Her story is so heavy and full of trials that I was completely caught off guard by how happy I felt during this interview. Even as she shares the most painful moments of her life, her hope and joy shine through and I walked away feeling so uplifted by her words.

We talk about her expectations of motherhood and the fun way she deals with strangers who ask why her children don’t resemble her Asian background. Kay also emotionally shares her anger toward God and her ups and downs in her relationship with Him. During infertility, her husband told her one thing that changed her perspective. He said, “You can either turn away from Heavenly Father or you can turn toward Him.” Kay knew she had a choice. It wasn’t easy but she chose to turn toward God.

Though her daughter has special needs that are easy to see, Kay has learned we all have something that makes us not whole. She knows her trials of motherhood are not a punishment and she isn’t broken. Kay shares a beautiful message of hope for any mother who feels she is less than another mother in the eyes of God.

How to Listen

Listen to the podcast below or on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher or Sound Cloud.  If you like the show, please subscribe and leave a review.

Show Notes

Follow Kay:

Blog: threetoquesandatiara.com
Instagram: Instagram.com/threetoquesandatiara
Facebook: Facebook.com/threetoquesandatiara

Follow Spiritually Minded Mom:

Blog: spirituallymindedmom.com
Instagram: Instagram.com/spirituallymindedmom
Facebook: facebook.com/spirituallymindedmom
Podcast: Spiritually Minded Mom on iTunes

SMM 004: Adoption and Faith in God’s Timing || Jo-anne Mazurat-Orlesky

“As a mom, the only thing I can hope for any of my children is that they learn to love and they learn to love good because I can dream of them going to university or college, but if they don’t have love to give to others I just feel like they don’t have much to offer to the world. I’m a big believer in loving others.”

Show Recap

In 2013, Jo-Anne Mazurat-Orlesky went on a 1-week mission trip to Haiti that changed her life. She openly admits she went on the trip just to say she did it, but during her time in Haiti, her heart was changed. She knew God was calling her and her family to return to Haiti as missionaries. Soon the Mazurat-Orlesky family landed in Haiti with 10 suitcases and no definite plan on when they would return to their comfortable home in Canada.

In this interview, Jo-Anne discusses how she helped her children navigate the poverty, malnutrition, and abandonment they saw everywhere in Haiti. She also shares the way God led her to care for the children around her in Haiti. Ultimately, her family became bonded with three siblings they eventually sought to adopt.

Jo-Anne’s story isn’t a picture-perfect ending. She spent a lot of time questioning God and his timing.  She openly admits her faith is tried on a daily basis. But Jo-Anne has learned to put aside what she thinks is best and do what God wants.  Jo-Anne’s motherhood story is about love, connection, and a faith in God that helps her to say, “He has provided so well for us.”

How to Listen

Listen to the podcast below or on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher or Sound Cloud. If you like the show, please subscribe and leave a review.

Show Notes

  • Follow Spiritually Minded Mom:

Blog: spirituallymindedmom.com
Instagram: Instagram.com/spirituallymindedmom
Facebook: facebook.com/spirituallymindedmom

  • For more inspiration from Jo-Anne follow her on social media:

Instagram: instagram.com/joannemazuratorlesky