The meaning of Kidd’s Kids has changed so much to me over the years. My personal life isn’t much different than it was when I first started working for the show. J-Si has gone on to have 2 kids in the time that I’ve been here and I can’t imagine what a different experience it is when you are blessed with healthy children. Still, I’ve found that I’ve matured as an adult and found myself bonding more with the parents than I used to. It has always been about the kids for me before. It still is in many ways, but the vibe for me has changed into more of a parental role, than a sibling. It was one family in particular that did this for me.

jenna-090314I’m sure if you listen to the show, you have heard me talk about Gracie. Gracie and her mom Jamie went on last year’s trip and meeting them was such a game changer for me. I’ve normally so overwhelmed with trying to meet every single family and spend some time with every child on the trip. Last year was a tough year to say the least and I was not originally looking forward to going on the trip simply because I thought it was going to be a constant reminder of Kidd. I was so pleasantly surprised that the trip turned out to be the least sad of all. I felt that these families in particular understood what grief is like and how to treat others that are in pain. There was such an overwhelming sense of family last year and that’s what really helped me get through it. I spent the majority of my time with Gracie and her mom Jamie. I was so fascinated by her story about deciding to adopt Gracie as single mom. I suppose I feel like I could envision myself doing the same thing one day. Since the trip, I’ve kept in touch with Gracie and her mother Jamie. I see them every time I am in San Antonio and even had them come visit me in Dallas this summer. I know Gracie sees me as her “bestie” but I see her more like a daughter. Her mother Jamie is just the most gracious person I’ve ever met. She never complains and is always in a good mood. I know life can’t be easy for her with a special needs child, but I can see that Gracie makes everything better. Having Gracie around just for a weekend made everything better for me.

I suppose my problems just don’t seem as substantial when there’s a child involved. It gives your life such a greater sense of purpose. Don’t get this confused with baby fever. I don’t have that. I just think it’s helpful to have that deeper purpose. Maybe it’s not necessarily a child for everyone. Maybe it’s just a different calling of sorts. I definitely know that I haven’t found that for myself yet, but having the pleasure of Jamie and Gracie being in my life has shown me something different, something deeper and I really, really like it. Jamie probably thinks I am going to kidnap Gracie from her, and though it’s tempting, I just wish they would adopt me. Or maybe I could adopt them? I literally have no family, but this is a family of totally unrelated people who totally relate to one another:)