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I have such a soft spot for writing about animals and the amazing humans who dedicate their lives to helping them – here we have Michelle, founder of DOTS – Dogs on the Streets – a charity set up to assist the homeless population in the care of their dogs. Michelle taught me so much I didn’t know about the homeless sector and it was so inspiring to listen to her and learn about her efforts to support homeless people and their dogs.

You can read her story online here and support Michelle here

Happy World Down’s syndrome Day! Time for my annual love fest – click below to see a collection of the incredible families I’ve written about in the last year. I feel so incredibly fortunate to be able to use my pen (alright, keyboard) to celebrate so many inspiring young people. These are the game-changers, the rule-breakers, the cliche-defiers – while there’s never been more urgency to highlight what Down’s syndrome actually is (and not what medical professionals would STILL have us fear it is) these little legends are going about their legendaryness with aplomb. Just by being who they are, the ripple effect across society says We. Are. Awesome. So while NIPT (noninvasive prenatal testing) looms into view, the Down’s syndrome community are here to say #wouldntchangeathing.

For more information about Down’s syndrome, visit www.futureofdowns.com an online community offering friendly support for parents and an up to date, balanced view of life with the condition.

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I have such a soft spot for writing about animals and in yesterday’s Love Sunday, I was able to celebrate a gorgeous, patient and wise dog called Suzie, who along with her human companion Kelly, fosters kittens in New York. Kelly has been fostering kittens for a few years and at first thought she’d have to keep the kittens away from Suzie. But Suzie proved to be an asset to the fostering process, showing the kittens that she could be their climbing frame, their protector, their hug blanket!

The story behind the fostering makes for difficult reading – kittens and cats are dumped and neglected all over the city and Kelly works tirelessly to raise awareness of this, while looking after as many kittens as she can. The story of Suzie the kitten whisperer will melt your heart! You can read the online version here and follow Kelly and chums on Instagram here.

Here’s a story sure to make you smile! The beautiful family Judy built – her ‘custom made’ family as she describes them! Unable to have children of their own biologically, Judy and Jim set out to adopt. Tom was their first child and they thought he was more than they needed… until they heard about Katie. Both children have Down’s syndrome and both children are excelling and wonderful and keep Jim and Judy on their toes even after all these years. Sounds like family life then…
For information and support about Down’s syndrome, visit www.futureofdowns.com

 

 

It’s not often enough that us humans stop to think about the consequences of war to the other animals who are trying to live on this planet. But for Louise, this became the meaning of her life – after serving a tour of Afghanistan she saw the horrors inflicted on animals living in a war torn desert country and made it her mission to help them. Dogs, cats, horses and beyond – Louise set up a rescue centre, then moved to Iraq and did the same thing all over again.

She is an incredible woman and I was proud to bring attention to her projects. If you’d like to help animals all over the world, help veterinary charity WVS send care packages worldwide by donating here.

atkinsongaryfab-largeThis is the incredible story of Gary and his gorgeous son, Thomas. Gary and Thomas’s mother split up when Thomas was a baby, leaving Gary to raise his son alone. Behavioural problems left Gary worrying about Thomas’s future and pressing for a diagnosis, which eventually led to the discovery that Thomas had foetal alcohol syndrome, a preventable condition that arises if the mother drinks alcohol during pregnancy. It leaves the child with lifelong problems.

Around the time of the diagnosis, Gary also discovered he wasn’t Thomas’s biological father.

Maybe some men would have walked away at this point. But not Gary. He explains it simply – he was there when Thomas was born. His name is on Thomas’s birth certificate. He’s raised him so far, he loves him – he IS Thomas’s father. Because that’s what it takes. It is a beautiful but heartbreaking story and I am so proud of Gary for sharing.

Further information about foetal alcohol syndrome can be found here.

Gary shared his story in Fabulous Magazine here, but we have more lined up so stay tuned!

Matite colorateWe’ve had a flurry of stories published this week and it’s been great to see so many of our stories come to fruition in such quick succession. Leona and Rachael have starred in the Mirror, explaining the brilliant reasons they didn’t quite make it to consummating their marriages. You can read about that here. Then we had weight loss star Vikki telling Best Magazine how she’s shed the pounds since last Christmas – that one is still on the shelves for a few more days so don’t miss it!

The incredible story of SuperMum Sarah, who adopted Amy, a child living with the lifelong burden of Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (her birth mother drank heavily during the pregnancy) – is out in Pick Me Up this week. And news just in – Sarah used her payment from the magazine to buy her fiance an engagement ring, so it’s a very happy day today!

And finally, the brilliant, fun story of Taylor-Rae, who splashes the cash on someone very special – click here to find out who, in this week’s Sun Newspaper.

PhotoChangedLife (Medium)Today’s story, out in Woman’s Own this week, tells the tale of three women who’s lives were changed in one moment. One pivotal moment that took them down an unexpected journey. One pivotal moment that we were lucky enough to have a photograph of! For Nicky, it was the photo of a malnourished, abused dog that needed rescuing. For Janey, it was a profile picture of a handsome man she knew instantly that she was destined to marry. And for Sarah, it was a photo of her two sons bonded that made her realise how lucky she was to have Pip in her life, and sparked off a passion for photography that still sparkles to this day.

I found writing all three stories fascinating and inspiring and I’m so thrilled to get to write about women like these – courageous, bold, wonderful women.

You can catch this story in Woman’s Own all week, and read more below. If you’d like to share the story of the moment your life changed forever, please get in touch today.
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We’ve been in touch with Hayley’s family ever since they first adopted eight children from Sierra Leone. In one go! Hayley is an incredible woman. Having had two children of her own, she felt the greatest gift her family could give the world was to open their doors and arms to adoption. But not just one child or two… eight. The eight children are all brothers and sisters and Hayley knew how important it was for family to stick together. 

The almighty Jones Dozen are all living happily under one roof, storming their way through as much bread and milk as you can imagine. Have a look at this link to see the fabulous pictures the photographer took, illustrating what a happy household it is.
The story appeared in the Sunday Mirror as an exclusive at the weekend, but we have a feeling it won’t be the last you’ll see of the happy dozen.
You can read more about Hayley here.

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I Was Meant To Be Their Mum

Categories: adoption, Children, fostering, Health, Latest Stories
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Here is Super Mum Christina sharing her story in Prima, the lovely parenting magazine. Foster mum Christina has taken two very special children under her wing permanently, and when you read about Mikey and Dean we think you’ll understand why. Gorgeous family – read more here…

Christina loved being a foster mum. But there were two very special children who she just couldn’t let leave her family…

Christina, 53, explains:

After I’d had four children, I was a single mum and wanted to help other kids who hadn’t had it as lucky as my own.

In 2004, I qualified as a foster parent.

I had a few children come to me – all with different stories. Some for a week, some for a few months. Then along came Dean.

As soon as he was in my arms, I know he was going to be mine forever. There was no way I could have ever let him go. Read more