Blog

Select a Category to View Blog Posts

Click on the above dropdown to view more.

Most Recent Blog Posts

Good in Our Community – PKU Adoption

For this weeks good in our community post, I wanted to focus on an amazing family. The Smith family is the type of family that we all aspire to be. Kristi Smith was born with a condition called Phenylketonuria or PKU for short. PKU is birth defect that causes an amino acid called phenylalanine to build up in the body. Basically, a person with PKU lacks the enzyme required to break down phenylalanine. Without being able to break down phenylalanine, a dangerous buildup can develop when a person with PKU eats foods that contain protein or eats aspartame, an artificial sweetener. This can eventually lead to serious health problems. If PKU is left untreated, it can lead to seizures, rashes, intellectual disability, delayed development, behavioral problems or psychiatric disorders.

Talk about a daunting list! Luckily, Kristin had great parents who were able to keep her PKU in check. Kristi is on a low-protein diet and drinks a special dietary formula. She was able to graduate high school, college with 2 degrees and marry Matt. Eventually Matt and Kristi started talking about the idea of having children. The Smith’s did some research and learned that PKU and pregnancy often ended in miscarriages or in fetal abnormalities. Instead of risking the heartache, they looked to adoption.

While on their quest, they discovered 2 children in China with PKU in need of a home! How perfect is that! These children were lucky enough to be in an orphanage where they understood and cared for their condition. Kristi also heard of 2 other boys in China with PKU who needed a home.

What do Matt and Kristi do? They fly clear back to China and adopt these boys too!! Unfortunately, one of the boys was not as cared for in his orphanage and with lack of treatment, it caused him to have some developmental delays and other issues.

Now Kristi and her 4 boys, drink their special formula everyday together. The boys are all thriving!

This story makes me want to love and take care of all of the children in orphanages with disabilities or special conditions. My heart hurts for those who are forgotten and lonely. I am so happy Kristi and Matt were able to give love and hope for their 4 boys!

Source: https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/woman-flies-around-the-world-to-adopt-4-orphans-with-same-genetic-disorder-as-her/

[...]
Read More
https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/woman-flies-around-the-world-to-adopt-4-orphans-with-same-genetic-disorder-as-her/">

Posted July 2018 under .

Follow Friday- Catfish with Ketchup

The reason I chose to highlight this family for #followfriday was their kindness and acceptance for people with disabilities is incredible. Elizabeth and Travis are parents to 3 darling little girls. Josie, who they adopted, has Down syndrome. They were inspired to adopt Josie because of Elizabeth’s sister. Leanne has Down syndrome as well.

Leanne is, as Elizabeth calls her, “the worlds best Aunt”. Leanne refers to Josie as catfish with ketchup as nickname. How cute is that?? On her instagram page, @catfishwithketchup, Elizabeth documents their everyday life with candidacy and humor. I personally follow their account and look forward to every time she posts something. She also has a blog that focuses more specifically on the joys of having a sister and daughter with Down syndrome called ‘Confessions of the Chromosomally Enhanced

I love love this family and their acceptance and love for people with disabilities. They are one example of how much joy someone with a disability can bring into your family. So much so they chose to adopt someone with a disability!

[...]
Read More
Confessions of the Chromosomally Enhanced' I love love this family and their acceptance and love for people with disabilities. They are one example of how much joy someone with a disability can bring into your family. So much so they chose to adopt someone with a disability!">

Posted July 2018 under .

Call for Stories

What makes Orange Socks so unique is our parent and sibling interviews.  We love sharing stories and giving hope to other families who might find themselves in similar situations. We need more!  We want to hear from YOU!  If you have a biological or adopted child, or are a sibling to someone who has a disability we want your story!

To submit your story, click here.  You will be walked through on how to submit your story.

[...]
Read More
here.  You will be walked through on how to submit your story.">

Posted June 2018 under .

Follow Friday – The Hartley Hooligans

Gwen Hartley is a mother who we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to highlight for #followfriday. She is an incredible mother to 3 beautiful children. Her two daughters Claire and Lola were both born with Microcephaly, Asparagine synthetase deficiency (ASNS), dwarfism, cerebral palsy, Cortical Visual Impairment and Epilepsy.

On her blog Gwen talks about her family’s journey.  She talks about the joys, hardships and what life is like for them.   Gwen doesn’t sugar coat things; she is funny, honest, and candid about their life.  Her love and dedication to her family, especially Claire and Lola, radiates from her posts.  She has dedicated her life to helping her girls live the best life possible.

Orange Socks was lucky to be able to talk with Gwen about her story and amazing daughters. You can find her interview here.

[...]
Read More
blog Gwen talks about her family's journey.  She talks about the joys, hardships and what life is like for them.   Gwen doesn't sugar coat things; she is funny, honest, and candid about their life.  Her love and dedication to her family, especially Claire and Lola, radiates from her posts.  She has dedicated her life to helping her girls live the best life possible. Orange Socks was lucky to be able to talk with Gwen about her story and amazing daughters. You can find her interview here.">

Posted June 2018 under .

Follow Friday- This Little Miggy Stayed Home

We started featuring inspiring companies/people every Friday on our Instagram and Facebook, and decided that our blog would be the PERFECT place to do it as well.

Follow Friday wouldn’t be complete without spotlighting Miggy. You may remember, We were fortunate enough that she also shared her story with us about a year ago. You can listen to or read her interview here.

Miggy has AMAZING blog she is a mom of 3, and uses her platform to connect and relate to families who have a child or children with special needs. Miggy’s daughter, whom they refer to as “Lamp” was born with Microgastria and Limb Reduction Complex.  She shares their story on her blog, and about her experiences as an advocate and parenting a child with special needs.

There are many reasons we love Miggy. She strongly advocates for her daughter, and other people with the disability community. She also educates people about disabilities and how to interact with them and their families.  She isn’t afraid to talk about the hardships and the things that aren’t too pleasant, she is real. She often quotes the dry witty, and hilarious things Lamp says, and uses the hastag #lampsays for people to follow along.

[...]
Read More
blog she is a mom of 3, and uses her platform to connect and relate to families who have a child or children with special needs. Miggy's daughter, whom they refer to as “Lamp” was born with Microgastria and Limb Reduction Complex.  She shares their story on her blog, and about her experiences as an advocate and parenting a child with special needs. There are many reasons we love Miggy. She strongly advocates for her daughter, and other people with the disability community. She also educates people about disabilities and how to interact with them and their families.  She isn't afraid to talk about the hardships and the things that aren't too pleasant, she is real. She often quotes the dry witty, and hilarious things Lamp says, and uses the hastag #lampsays for people to follow along.">

Posted May 2018 under .

Good in our Community- Canadian Barber

When I first read this story, I was smiling from ear to ear.  The amount of love and patience this man has is incredible! Any person who can cut children’s hair and get it to look half decent is a miracle worker. I have 2 children who I can’t get to sit still when I try to do there hair.  I can’t even begin to comprehend how hard cutting hair would become if a child has a disability.

Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) can have unique needs. Some children are very sensitive to touch, sounds, and lights. One Canadian barber is helping children with ASD look their best.  Wyatt, a boy with ASD, is both hyposensitive and hypersensitive.  Which means that he has a delayed response to stimuli and then when he feels that stimuli, it becomes extremely heightened.  This makes it very hard for Wyatt to have his hair touched.   ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀  ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀  ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Franz Jacob has gone above the basic requirements as a barber to help Wyatt get a hair cut.  Franz patiently follows Wyatt around his shop, adapting and accommodating to Wyatt’s needs with his tools to get the job done.  He even gets down on the floor to cut his hair.  I’m pretty sure if Wyatt wanted to hang upside down, Franz would find a way to make that work too!

Wyatt’s mom praised Franz calling him an “everyday hero”.   She posted about her positive experience on Facebook which gained a lot of attention.  I am so glad it did!  People like Franz do good because it is the right thing to do. He didn’t expect any praise or attention for it.  I truly believe he wanted to help Wyatt out.  That to me, is an everyday hero.

(WATCH the video below)

Here is the story, found on Goodnewsnetwork.com

 

This Canadian easily makes the cut as the most accommodating barber in Quebec for the way he makes haircuts bearable for super-sensitive children with autism.

A recent photo of the good-natured barber, Franz Jacob, shows him down on the floor with Wyatt, whose mother posted on Facebook praising the “everyday hero” for the care he gives his special clients.

 

The six-year-old is both hyposensitive and hypersensitive, so having his hair touched can feel unbearable, his mom, Fauve Lafrenière, told CBC News.

Jacob’s salon Authentischen Barbier is the only shop where Wyatt gets the welcome and sensitive care he needs.

Determined to get the job done, Mr. Jacob follows him around the salon with his tools—and kindness— so he can finish the cut.

 

⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀  ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀  ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

[...]
Read More
Facebook which gained a lot of attention.  I am so glad it did!  People like Franz do good because it is the right thing to do. He didn't expect any praise or attention for it.  I truly believe he wanted to help Wyatt out.  That to me, is an everyday hero. (WATCH the video below) https://youtu.be/cVaYAetyxO0 Here is the story, found on Goodnewsnetwork.com   This Canadian easily makes the cut as the most accommodating barber in Quebec for the way he makes haircuts bearable for super-sensitive children with autism. A recent photo of the good-natured barber, Franz Jacob, shows him down on the floor with Wyatt, whose mother posted on Facebook praising the “everyday hero” for the care he gives his special clients.   The six-year-old is both hyposensitive and hypersensitive, so having his hair touched can feel unbearable, his mom, Fauve Lafrenière, told CBC News. Jacob’s salon Authentischen Barbier is the only shop where Wyatt gets the welcome and sensitive care he needs. Determined to get the job done, Mr. Jacob follows him around the salon with his tools—and kindness— so he can finish the cut.   ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀  ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀  ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀">

Posted May 2018 under .

Good in our Community- Hearing Aid Awareness

This story is ticks all of the emotional buttons for me. I found myself relating on so many levels with this story. Braden has hearing loss. He was diagnosed as a baby and has been able to benefit from wearing hearing aids. Hearing aids are really expensive. Each hearing aid on average can cost $3,000!!! The part that really frustrates me is, most insurance companies do not cover the cost of hearing aids. So when Braden’s family dog chewed his hearing aids, he realized how expensive they really are. He is fortunate enough to not have to worry about the cost of replacing them. However, he started to think about all the other people in the world who couldn’t afford hearing aids, batteries, or replacement parts.

I have had similar thoughts, to which I thought about it, and then carried about my day as usual. Braden actually did something about it!  He set a goal: to raise money to help only one stranger obtain hearing aids. Within 2 months of starting his GoFund Me page, he raised over $15,000! Oticon (a hearing aid company) heard about his efforts and helped provide the avenue to link the money with recipients. The money he raised helped provide batteries, hearing aids and other hearing aid expensed to several people.

To date his GoFund Me page has raised over $76,000. Cue the water works. What an amazing selfless gift for those recipients! I can only imagine the relief those families have felt.

This story has hit me especially hard. I have a degree in Communicative Disorders and Deaf Education. I have seen first hand how financial struggles have hindered a child’s ability to hear. Which in return only affects their ability to learn, grow, and communicate with others. The main thing I learned and realized from reading this story was, one person really can make a difference. It made me wish I had done something like this sooner. Thank you Braden for setting an amazing example to many others and me! We need to look out for each other and help lift one another up who are in similar situations.

 

Here is the story, found on Goodnewsnetwork.com 

[...]
Read More
GoFund Me page, he raised over $15,000! Oticon (a hearing aid company) heard about his efforts and helped provide the avenue to link the money with recipients. The money he raised helped provide batteries, hearing aids and other hearing aid expensed to several people. To date his GoFund Me page has raised over $76,000. Cue the water works. What an amazing selfless gift for those recipients! I can only imagine the relief those families have felt. This story has hit me especially hard. I have a degree in Communicative Disorders and Deaf Education. I have seen first hand how financial struggles have hindered a child’s ability to hear. Which in return only affects their ability to learn, grow, and communicate with others. The main thing I learned and realized from reading this story was, one person really can make a difference. It made me wish I had done something like this sooner. Thank you Braden for setting an amazing example to many others and me! We need to look out for each other and help lift one another up who are in similar situations.   Here is the story, found on Goodnewsnetwork.com ">

Posted April 2018 under .

Good in our Community- Twitter take down

There is nothing I love more than a group of people coming together to rally in aiding someone in need.  That is exactly what happened with Natalie Weaver.  Natalie has a daughter named Sophia who has Rett syndrome.  Rett syndrome is an extremely rare neurological disorder that affects nearly every aspect of Sophia’s life.  Such as her ability to eat, walk, talk, and even breathe.  Natalie reached out on Twitter one day to talk about the changes to Medicaid and how it would affect her and her family.

Sadly after that, Natalie was attacked about her daughter.  She received several cruel and heartless tweets advocating for coerced abortion and practices equivalent to eugenics. Ok, I’m not sure about you, but I’m about 99% positive that NONE of us would still be here if we practiced the idea of eugenics today.  No one is perfect, and no one has perfectly desirable traits to be spared from the idea of eugenics.

Once Natalie received those tweets, she reported them to Twitter and asked her followers to do the same.  She hoped that they be removed or the account would be shutdown. However, the tweets, and the account both remained.  This user even went so far as to call out Natalie and her followers.  The user was baiting her, viscously trying to start a war.

Natalie once again asked her followers to report the tweet and the account.  This time THOUSANDS of people responded!!!  After a week and a half of pressure, Twitter finally responded.  They apologized for their error, took down the tweet, and suspended the user.

Talk about a victory!  Natalie is one fierce mom who clearly will do anything and everything to protect Sophia.  I think one reason this story is so important to me is that it highlights just how crucial it is to be an advocate for our children. Especially if our child has a disability.  Sophia can’t talk.  Instead, Natalie has taken the bull by the horns and has become Sophia’s voice.

Besides advocating for Sophia, Natalie is the founder of Advocates for Medically Fragile Kids, an organization that strives to preserve the rights of children like Sophia. She is also on the founder’s council for the United States of Care, a non-profit that fights for accessible, affordable solutions for health care.

I hope that as Orange Socks and our followers continue to educate and share inspiring stories, situations like this will become nonexistent.

 

Story found on CNN 

[...]
Read More
CNN ">

Posted March 2018 under .

Good in our Community- Wheelchair accessible van

Orange Socks mission is to inspire life despite a diagnosis.  For this section of our blog we wanted to share stories, from communities across the country, of families who are doing just that!  If you know of an incredible family or community who have rallied together to help someone with a disability in need, or who are making a difference for those with disabilities, share it with us!

I found our first story courtesy of East Idaho News.  Wyatt and Mindy Rees have 4 children under the age of seven.  Their world was rocked in early 2017 when Wyatt was diagnosed with ALS.  ALS is a progressive neurological disease that attacks nerve cells. Nerve cells are what help control our voluntary movements. Progressive meaning that the symptoms worsen over time.  Wyatt is now at a point where he is confined to a wheelchair.  He can’t talk, eat, swallow or move any of his voluntary muscles.

During Christmas of 2017, East Idaho News had an anonymous secret santa who donated a $10,000 to the family! East Idaho News surprised Wyatt and Mindy with the $10,000 and featured them in a news article.  This news article caught the eye of Ruth and Rick Clark.

Ruth and Rick had 5 children, all were born with muscular dystrophy.  Which is a group of diseases that cause someone to lose muscle mass and weaken over time.  All 5 of Ruth and Rick’s children spent most of their lives in wheelchairs.  Because of this, the Clarks needed a wheelchair accessible van.  Over the past 15 years all of their children have died. Their last child passed away in September of 2017. Cue the news story featuring Mindy and Wyatt!

Ruth contacted Mindy and dropped the van off to her.  FOR FREE.  She handed her the title to the van and told Mindy that it was a gift.  Ruth said to Mindy, “We had listed the van for sale and somebody was supposed to come look at it Wednesday.  But I saw your story, and something told me ‘You know what to do with that van'”.  What?! I’m crying, you should be too.  Because of this selfless act from the Clarks, Wyatt is now able to leave his home for appointments and other outings.

How cool is that?? The Clarks are seriously so amazing and give us hope that there are still good people in the world who want to help others.  Our favorite part about the whole story was that at first, the Clarks didn’t want their donation to be made public.  This family sincerely wanted to help someone in the most pure form.

I hope one day I can be as selfless and kind as the Clarks.  To Wyatt and Mindy, I wish you’re family the best as you fight ALS.

If you want to read more about the Rees family you can find Mindy’s Blog here: Hope on the Horizon

 

 

[...]
Read More
East Idaho News.  Wyatt and Mindy Rees have 4 children under the age of seven.  Their world was rocked in early 2017 when Wyatt was diagnosed with ALS.  ALS is a progressive neurological disease that attacks nerve cells. Nerve cells are what help control our voluntary movements. Progressive meaning that the symptoms worsen over time.  Wyatt is now at a point where he is confined to a wheelchair.  He can't talk, eat, swallow or move any of his voluntary muscles. During Christmas of 2017, East Idaho News had an anonymous secret santa who donated a $10,000 to the family! East Idaho News surprised Wyatt and Mindy with the $10,000 and featured them in a news article.  This news article caught the eye of Ruth and Rick Clark. Ruth and Rick had 5 children, all were born with muscular dystrophy.  Which is a group of diseases that cause someone to lose muscle mass and weaken over time.  All 5 of Ruth and Rick's children spent most of their lives in wheelchairs.  Because of this, the Clarks needed a wheelchair accessible van.  Over the past 15 years all of their children have died. Their last child passed away in September of 2017. Cue the news story featuring Mindy and Wyatt! Ruth contacted Mindy and dropped the van off to her.  FOR FREE.  She handed her the title to the van and told Mindy that it was a gift.  Ruth said to Mindy, "We had listed the van for sale and somebody was supposed to come look at it Wednesday.  But I saw your story, and something told me 'You know what to do with that van'".  What?! I'm crying, you should be too.  Because of this selfless act from the Clarks, Wyatt is now able to leave his home for appointments and other outings. How cool is that?? The Clarks are seriously so amazing and give us hope that there are still good people in the world who want to help others.  Our favorite part about the whole story was that at first, the Clarks didn't want their donation to be made public.  This family sincerely wanted to help someone in the most pure form. I hope one day I can be as selfless and kind as the Clarks.  To Wyatt and Mindy, I wish you're family the best as you fight ALS. If you want to read more about the Rees family you can find Mindy's Blog here: Hope on the Horizon    ">

Posted February 2018 under .

WordPress Video Lightbox Plugin