Monday, March 21, 2016

World Down Syndrome Day 2016

Happy World Down Syndrome day!!!

I have been neglecting to write about the orphans as my life has been pretty crazy lately. So, I started a new blog to focus on writing about my depression so that this one could be used for advocacy. So if you like my posts on depression, head over to my other blog Depressed yet Blessed.

In this blog post, I am going to share 3 girls and 3 boys with Down Syndrome from Reece's Rainbow.

First up is a little guy named Rogan. He will be turning 3 in May. He has Down Syndrome and cleft lip/palate but that just adds to his cuteness!!! I mean look at him!!!

Next up is a little girl who goes by Spring. That is totally fitting for this post since Spring just started!!!

Thirdly is a young man named Joseph. This young man used to live with his momma but she passed away which caused Joseph to go live in an orphanage. Oh how I just wanna give him a hug.... But at least he still looks happy!
41130120852 Joseph

Next is little miss Isabelle! Isn't she a doll!! She is growing up so much!!!
Isabelle Sept 2013 (1)

Harlan is up next!! Along with his Down Syndrome, he has ADD and is nonverbal. But don't let that hold you back because I am sure he is a sweetheart!!!
Harlan Photo 1 rec. 1-22-13

And last but certainly not least..... is little Maeve. Doesn't she just look like she needs to be cuddled!?
Maeve EE4

How are you celebrating World Down Syndrome day??

Wednesday, January 6, 2016


I love smiling. 

People who are close to me and maybe even those who aren't say that they love my smile. 

I used to use it to hide how I was feeling. I'd just throw on my happy face and go about my day. Hiding all the sadness and hurt behind a little lift of my cheeks. Most people would walk by me and think nothing was wrong. When really my heart was so hurt I didn't know what to do other than smile. 

But I have learned that everyone is fighting their own fight. No matter how rough it is compared to what you're going through or have been through everyone is going through something.

When I was going through my hard time I would be unusually sensitive. I've learned that for me little things set me off in a way that it shouldn't. I would go off like a bomb and I wouldn't be able to control it. Someone would say or do something that would light the fuse and I would become a mad, crying, blubbering mess and it wouldn't matter where I was or what was going on. I would just break down. This taught me that there is no reason to be mean or harsh to someone. You never ever know what's going on behind the scenes. 

If you're my friend on Facebook or follow me on Instagram you would have seen a selfie (I know I post a lot of them) with a caption saying "You never know what someone's going through. Smile all the time. You could change someone's day. Or maybe even their life." 
I know that when would smile at me on my bad days it would just lift me up so much. I would just get to being so happy. It didn't usually last for long but for the moment it felt amazing. 

I am not a believer in New Years resolutions because I can never keep them. But this year, it's my goal to make someone at least smile every day. 

I was listening to Air 1 radio today while driving to work and the lady said she doesn't have a resolution for the whole year but resolution for each day. Her daily resolution was to not waste the day. Every day do something good for someone. Make someone smile. Make someone's day. For the year 2016, I don't wanna go to bed a single day saying "today was a waste" if I can make just one person smile my day won't go to waste. Who knows what that person was going through. 

My favorite place to be especially smiley is Walmart. Or any other grocery store. No one really wants to be there. Well actually, I love smiling. Wherever I am. I just love to smile. 

So join me in my smile challenge. Challenge yourself to make someone smile everyday for a week. Smiling is contagious. I've found that when I smile at someone they usually smile back. 

Smile. You never know what someone's going through behind the scenes. A simple smile might make their day. Or maybe even their life. :)

God bless and many smiles,

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Paper Towns

I find it amazing that depending on your mood, you can learn different lessons from different things. Depending on my mood, I learn different things from books, movies, people, the Bible, etc.

I just finished watching the movie "Paper Towns". If you've seen the movie and/or read the book you might understand this. If not, go watch it, or continue reading this post. But beware it may have some spoilers.

In this movie, the main girl character, Margo, has a thing for paper towns. Paper towns are places that map companies put on their map as a copyright. Margo says that she wants to go to a paper town with paper houses because she is a paper girl. She travels to a paper town where her friends have to go and find her because she went missing.

Margo running away to a paper town reminded me of suicide. Her boyfriend had just cheated on her and she had just been in a fight with her best friend. She says she had been planning it for a while. But she was waiting until graduation to leave to this paper town. This reminds me of suicide because it's not something that just happens. Usually, a lot of stuff leads to even having those thoughts and sometimes, something little might just pull the pin on that grenade. She left to her paper town, like many people leave their life behind but they aren't going to a paper town. They are still getting away from everything in their life but in a very different way. She didn't want to deal with these things anymore so she just left. She left behind clues so people, in this case; her friend Quinton, would be able to find her. He found her and found out why she left.

Life gets hard and this post is by no means advocating for suicide or stating that the movie Paper Towns is advocating for suicide.

Paper Towns is showing that sometimes you need to get away from your problems. People do that in many ways. I often do it by blogging. Margo did it by going to a paper town.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this subject. Please comment or email me at

God Bless,

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

I can see clearly now.......

I like to tell myself that the depression is gone. But is it really? Or am I just in a happy moment, day, or week. This current "phase" of happiness has lasted longer than any of my past "phases." Usually, they last a day and then someone does something that puts me back into that place. My not so fun place.

I would try to make my happy moments last but I usually knew that it would come to an end soon. It usually would. I got to the point that no matter who did what to me or about me I would keep a smile on my face, especially when I was around the people who hurt me.

I don't know if the people around me realized I was depressed. I tried to hide it but I think that hurt me even more. If you are close to me, do not hide your feelings or your depression. I hated having to hide my feelings around the people I know and love. It probably did more damage than not.

I'm finally starting to realize that I was self harming myself by not showing my feelings. It wasn't something I wanted to do or tried to do on purpose, it just kinda happened.

Over the summer, one of the students at my school committed suicide. It really opened my eyes more to depression and what happens if it doesn't get taken care of. It broke my heart that people would get so depressed that they would end their lives. Truth be told, that news of hearing about the passing of a fellow classmate really changed my life. I was headed down the same path and my eyes were opened when I saw how everyone was affected by the loss of our friend. I didn't even know this student personally and it affected my life. I only knew him by seeing him in the hallways. When I saw how everyone reacted and rallied with his close friends and family, I realized that I didn't want my friends and family to have to go through that because I made an unchangable decision. #ctH everyone still rallies with his family. Our football team represented our #69 all season. Everyone keeps his spirit alive by wearing their pink shirts and pink bracelets.

It was one day over summer or football season that my eyes were opened and I could see clearly. I could see what was going on in my head. It was over those weeks or months that I started, slowly but surely, working on getting out of this depression.

I am ending this year way happier than I started it. I am ending it feeling beyond loved by so many people.

Being depressed is like being stuck in a dark rain cloud when everyone around you is at the beach on a sunny day.

I am now at the beach on a partly cloudy day.


I can see clearly now the rain is gone.

Much love and God bless,

Monday, December 14, 2015

Depressed yet Blessed

Two posts in two days, crazy I know.

Depression isn't talked about very much. And it should be. I think I'm going to do a series on it. This is my second post about this subject.

Almost 4 years ago, my grandma passed away to cancer. My whole family's lives were effected by this. There was nothing that anyone of us could do for anyone. Each of us had our people that comforted us for the time being. Honestly, most of those people aren't a part of any of our lives any more and if they are, they aren't as big of a part.

If you have never been depressed or know someone who has been depressed, which I think is very rare, it's hard. You have a desire to be happy. In my case, I wanted to be alone all the time but at the same time I had a huge fear of being alone. I didn't want to be alone but I didn't want anyone to be bothered by my sadness. I would just want to sleep all the time. If I wasn't sleeping, I was eating.

 At 16 my life changed dramatically by divorce. My life continues to change. Just in the past year, my mom got a boyfriend, and my dad got married. It was hard for me to process everything and it got rushed by my parents moving on so quickly. I'm still not sure if I have processed all of it. It all just happened so fast. It was unexpected and I tried to deny it for the longest time. I held onto every single hope I could find that my parents would get back together, and unfortunately they never did. Weddings were hard. Graduation is going to be hard. My wedding and raising my kids will not be what I had envisioned it as when I was growing up. I basically have to start over on what I thought the rest of my life would look like. But God has a plan.

Two Christmases ago, I would have never thought that it would be the last Christmas I spent with both of my parents under the same roof. I still try to see both of them on Christmas but it's difficult with them living so far away from each other. Last Christmas I was still living with my dad. This Christmas I have to drive 50 minutes to one parent and 1 hour 15 minutes to the other.

Things have been said to me or about me to others that have gotten back to me that ultimately hurt me. People are trying to help but they do more damage. The intention is well I know but people with depression need to be approached about their depression and their actions while depressed very carefully. They are trying to do the best they can under their circumstances.

I gained friends that had gone through depression before and I thought they would help me when unfortunately they did more damage than my friends who haven't been depressed. They were the ones who would tell me "just try and be happy". Believe me, I wanted to be happy just as much as you wanted me to. I am so very blessed to have the friends who have loved depressed Dakota just as much as they love happy Dakota.

God has blessed me with so many new relationships through this hard time. I honestly didn't thank him enough.

Depression made me a very self centered person. I didn't want anyone's help. I didn't want God's help either. But as soon as I turned back to Him, He slowly started to change things. He changed my living situation. He changed my work place. He changed my church. He changed my family. Sometimes I don't agree with what He is doing but i can look back know and see that he is doing good. I will look back on today in a couple months or years and I'll be able to see the good that he is doing right now.

I'm not sure why He keeps putting it on my heart to write about my depression but I'm sure I'll see why one day.

A lot of this I have never really opened up about before. I guess it's just easier for me to type and blog about than it is to read about. But I'm okay with that.

Thanks for reading.

Much love and God bless,

Sunday, December 13, 2015


Typically, I only blog about orphans.... Tonight, there is something different on my heart. It's actually became a part of me... Who knows if I'll actually end up publishing this post, but if you're reading this, I must have...
Disclaimer: I'm not posting this for attention, in fact it's the last thing I want. I am posting this so other people know they are not alone because I felt that way the whole time I've been depressed.

Depression, it is in fact a real thing. People can impact you in a way that puts you into a deep sadness and then other people can bring you out of that deep sadness, sometimes it's temporary and sometimes is permanent.

The people around me have recently been telling me that I'm a lot happier. It's not that I wasn't happy before, but I was pretending to be happy. Maybe I was pretending to be happy for myself and maybe I was pretending to be happy for others. But today, I can say that I am genuinely happy. There are several people that I can thank for that but that's a whole different post. Some people tell me that it's just the time of year, being Christmas and all, but I don't think it has anything to do with that because I am not even in the Christmas spirit this year. I don't know why.

I can link most of my depression to my parents divorce. But other things such as bullying, abandonment, break-ups have made it much worse. Divorce is not easy. In my case, it was something I never saw coming and wished that I would wake up one day and have it be a terrible nightmare but that never happened.

During the past 2 years, people have tried to pull me out of this depression but really, it gave me anxiety because I wanted to please them and I just couldn't. They would say things like "you're not the person you used to be" and "don't let something like that bother you, just be happy and ignore it like everyone else does". Those things broke me down.

Through this I have found out who genuinely cared about me and who didn't. I've lost relationships I'd never thought I'd lose and gained relationships that I never thought I'd gain. And now I can look back and say that I am happy that that happened. I'm okay with loosing those people. I now know the people who actually do care. Who want to be a part of my life whether I am happy or sad. And I can't thank God enough for those people.

Multiple people who I didn't think would ever hurt me put me into this depression. It was a long two years and in fact, I'm not fully out of this depression, I'm not sure when I will be. God is working through me and through other people to work on me and my heart to make sure I will be happy again. I am happy right now. This has been a learning process.

I am here to let you know that if you are struggling with depression, you are not the only one. I am here to listen to you and to pray for you. Depression got the best of me for over 2 years. I don't want anyone to experience that.

I have never actually been diagnosed with depression. But there is something about depression that someone knows about themselves that they know when they are depressed.

Alright, I'm done ranting. Feel free to comment, email ( and id be happy to help you.

God bless and much love,

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thanksgiving and some Updates

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

I have so many many things to be thankful for this year. I am only going to list a few things that I am thankful for in this post, but note that I could write a novel on just things that I am thankful for.

  • Jesus, my Lord and Savior for suffering so that I won't have to
  • The caring heart that God has given me to care so much for these orphans
  • All of my supporters in this blog and of my fundraising and Angel Tree
  • That I am alive and healthy
  • I am celebrating this holiday with people I love and who love me
  • my job
  • That I am capable of typing this post while bouncing a baby in his bouncy seat
  • google (heehee)
  • and many many many more
I had my shooting competition on November 14th and we raised $640 which was split between Nicholas and Marlowe. We also had a chili cook off on November 22nd and we raised $161 which has yet to be put into their accounts because I haven't made it to the bank yet. 

I could not do this without all of your prayers and support. Please continue to support and pray as you feel led. 

If you would like to donate to either Nicholas or Marlowe you can here:

Have a happy happy Thanksgiving!!!