From a friend (Guest Blog by Rachel Baird)
Often times I have wondered why God has led me down different paths in my life. My husband is in the military, so this means we have ended up in situations which are different than we've planned. We have met many different families and have a collection of friends in various places around the world.
We were stationed in Nebraska at the same time that Ashley was there in rejection. I had the privilege of meeting Trish and Ashley, and we became fast friends. I spent many hours with her up in the PICU at UNMC while Ashley went through various treatments and surgeries. I saw her interact with doctors and nurses daily. I witnessed her parent her older children from a distance, and I tried not to eavesdrop as she shared conversations with her husband from a cell phone.
During these months, I learned some life lessons.
I saw the true, unconditional love that a mother has for her child. The kind of love that would sacrifice everything for the life and safety of one, but the battle that raged internally as she wished she could be with her other children. I learned that Dave and Trish are the real deal. They are not blogging fluff. They believe what they write and they live it. But one of the biggest lessons was a surprise to me... I believed that in being there, in being a part of their life, I was being a friend to Trish; my presence in those moments with them was helping them. I never expected those moments to change my life.
Since Nebraska, we are now stationed in Louisiana, just a short one hour drive from the Adams' family. I do not believe it to be coincidence how God orchestrated us to meet hundreds of miles away from where we now both live. I know God planned for our paths to cross. Trish is one of my dearest friends. When I have had my own life issues, she has stepped up. She has walked through my struggles and prayed through family emergencies with me. She has encouraged me and loved me. They have truly been a support to our family in return.
I could continue about what I have gleaned from my relationship with this family, but I believe that anyone that has been touched by them, even just through the blog, has their own story of how the Adams' family has impacted their life.
I am blessed to be the mother of three children. All, for the most part, healthy. If you say the name Ashley (or Allie, Blake, Ms. Trish or Mr. Dave), my children light up. My family loves them all. I have always found it amazing that my children (who do not know sign language) have never struggled to communicate with Ashley. It is like they have a universal language. They just understand each other.
When I asked Trish if I could facilitate a fundraiser, I approached expecting a denial. They ask for nothing of anyone. They willingly share their story with all of us, with overwhelming support, but sometimes with criticism from strangers. I believed she would say 'no,' so I chose a t-shirt, so that it could be a way for us to show our support as well.
My oldest daughter (12 year old), Katie, found out the plan and asked if she could be involved. She jumped on the ipad and immediately designed a rough draft of the t-shirt design. I sent it to Trish, who in standard form, loved it, especially because it was designed by Katie. The company I work for has graciously donated the shirts at cost, because they too are touched by Ashley Kate's story.
So, here are the details...
The shirts are available to order until Wednesday, 4/17/13. Send your paypal email address to email@example.com, along with sizes wanted. The 100% pre-shrunk cotton shirts cost $10/youth (S-XL) and $15/adult (S-3XL) and run true to size. I will then send you an invoice for the shirts ordered and shipping. The shirts will then be mailed to the shipping address notated through paypal.
Any questions should be directed to me (firstname.lastname@example.org), and I will answer as promptly as possible. I will do all the invoicing at once, so there may be a delay.
I am so thankful to God for you all. I am thankful He has chosen us to play a small role in Ashley's story.