Thursday, November 13, 2014

A Night at the Majestic

Last night, we participated in the Veteran's Day salute and movie premiere of Travis: A Soldier's Story. The documentary was produced by Fotolanthropy. Katie Norris and Jonathon Link filmed the incredible inspiring story of Travis Mills, a soldier whose recovery from stepping on an IED in war led to the loss of both arms and both legs. If you remember, Fotolanthropy is the non-profit organization that filmed Titus' story: Unexpected Joy. (you can find it here).

The red carpet event was at the Majestic Theater in downtown Dallas. Katie invited all the Fotolanthropy families that have been featured, along with the photographers/videographers who captured the stories to participate in the evening activities and be recognized on stage.

The boys were all very excited to get dressed up and take a trip downtown. Becky looked especially stunning with a friend helping her with hair and makeup and styling her for the event. Backstage, Titus was babbling with excitement. Tucker and Cade were besides themselves to be on such a large stage, and Aidan and Noah looked quite dapper in the suits and ties. I can only hope someone captured a picture of all of us on stage with Titus' picture shown on the movie screen behind us as we were recognized. Since we were all on-stage, we didn't think it proper to take some selfies in front of the audience.

Katie asked me to say a few (very few words - and those that know me know that is not an easy thing to do). And honestly, I can't remember much of what I said. But I do remember this.

I said "My son is made in the image of God and he is wonderfully and fearfully made" and before I could continue, the audience broke out in applause.

And I was stunned - almost speechless while emotion washed over me. A lump rose in my throat, but I knew I had to finish my statement (after all, I had rehearsed it all day - but that statement was not part of what I had rehearsed - it had just slipped out).

And there sat my little Titus in his wheelchair, beaming and smiling in the bright stage lights. It's hard to describe the feeling of affirmation received from several hundred people applauding a statement. . . but it was.

We know we are conspicuous;
We know people stare;
We know people have questions that they will never ask;
We know what people think - we see the look of pity at times.

And we somehow wish we could tell them to do 2 things: STOP STARING at my child and just acknowledge my child like you would any other child, and DO NOT PITY US - for we are blessed beyond measure with incredible joy - and that doesn't mean that days are happy and filled with sunshine and rainbows. Being blessed has absolutely nothing to do with being happy or being positive or having perfectly photogenic children or having perfect weather or finding the perfect cup of coffee or winning awards or having kids get all A's on their report cards.

We are blessed because God has given us a chance to live today and to bless others.
We are blessed because God is good all the time - even when days are hard (especially when days are hard).
We are blessed because God is still God even through hardship and sickness and difficult times and long nights.
We are blessed because God loves us so much He gave his only Son as a sacrifice for my sin so that I could live eternally.
We are blessed . . . beyond measure.

And yes, we are blessed with a child that is wonderfully and fearfully made exactly the way God designed him to be to live the life God predestined he live. And while my son may never be able to speak a word, he has an incredible story to share with the world. And we are thankfully we've been given that opportunity to share the life of Titus.

Here's a few pics we did get from the evening.

Monday, November 10, 2014

And We Are Back . . . Again

19 months is a long time to go with no posts. . . I agree. And there are no real excuses except for the normal lack of time that we all seem to experience.

So in a few short paragraphs, I'll re-cap what has transpired in the life of Titus (and the rest of us Daily's).

Titus turns 7 at the end of this week. It's is hard to believe my little one will be 7 years old. He attends SEM Elementary school 1/2 days Monday through Friday. He truly enjoys school - and his teachers/aides enjoy him.

Titus has been relatively healthy. For a child in the condition he is in, this is difficult to measure against anyone else. But for him, he's not had any major hospitalizations besides the normal ones we seem to have about twice a year. (We call those his 'tune-ups'.)

Titus remains his happy, content self. He has become quite the babbler and verbalizer - especially as we work on potty-training. But he is learning to give us the clues we need to hear that says he is ready to go - and with a little bit of time and patience, he is getting there. This is bringing up the need to remodel the bathroom to make it more accessible to get him on/off a toilet and in/out of the bathtub. He continues to grow and put on weight. He should be receiving a new set of wheels in the next few weeks which will be more comfortable for him. But he has a smile that still charms all that come into contact with him.

But the biggest news to happen for Titus (and the rest of us) is that Titus is going to be a big brother - very soon. In the next few months, we hope to be traveling to China to bring home the newest Daily boy - BaoJun. Bao is 5yrs old and is waiting for us in China. He was born with no arms and was abandoned immediately. He is quite remarkable and with the care of the aides in the orphanage, he eats, dresses himself, makes his bed, and is learning to write - all with his feet. The video's we have of him show a very content, sweet, little boy who is quite talented with his feet. We think he will fit in perfectly with our family.

More to come this week - along with recent pictures.