4 min agoThis foster mom is grateful for her “miracle baby” (Courtesy Cassie McNulty)After seven years of infertility and adopting twins through foster care, Cassie McNulty figured her family was complete.
“We first started trying to get pregnant in 2015. Everyone around us would plan when they wanted to get pregnant and it would easily happen. We assumed it would be simple for us, but month after month of us trying, I was left feeling devastated when my period would come,” she says.
Cassie and her husband did all kind of tests before they were prescribed with “unexplained infertility.” Instead of pursuing expensive fertility treatments, they decided to shift their focus of wanting biological children to helping children in foster care.
“In 2017 we became licensed foster parents and took in newborn twins. After two years of being in the foster care system, our twins were adopted in 2019. After the adoption was finalized, I gave away all of our baby items,” Cassie says, adding, “I no longer wanted to get pregnant and my mind was set on us being a family of four.”
Cassie and her husband didn’t use protection because they figured, after so many years of trying, it wouldn’t – and couldn’t – happen. So in September 2020, in the middle of a challenging pandemic, they were shocked to find out they were pregnant!
“I had my period date all wrong, so in my mind, my period wasn’t late,” Cassie explains. “A friend quickly reminded me that we were on the same schedule for our cycles and that I should have had mine by now. She made me run to CVS to get a pregnancy test. I took her advice even though I thought I wouldn’t be pregnant. There were many joyful tears over a positive pregnancy test, but I still didn’t believe it until my first doctor’s appointment where I heard the heartbeat.”
Karis, which means “grace,” was born on April 21 of this year and Cassie describes her as their “miracle baby.”
“During a scary, challenging, chaotic time, when our world felt divided and hopeless, miraculously getting pregnant provided us, and those who knew our story, a glimmer of hope,” she says.”When it’s hard to see any good that came out of the pandemic, we are reminded of this gracious gift we’ve been given, and we are forever grateful.”
30 min agoWhat are you grateful for this year?As Thanksgiving kicks off the holiday season, many of us are taking stock of what’s most meaningful in our lives. Although times are still tough for many, if we stop to think about it, we still have much to be grateful for.
We want to know what you’re most thankful for this past year?
Has someone done you an act of kindness you especially appreciate? Or is there something else – a gift, a person, a passion or an event – that has brought you profound gratitude?
Fill in the form below and let us know.
54 min agoThis woman is grateful her sister is still alive (Courtesy Alice Hahn)Alice Hahn is grateful that her twin sister Margie is still alive.
“Margie has had epilepsy for most of her life, with ups and downs of brain surgery and assorted medications (and their side effects),” she told CNN.
Margie fell on April 7 while attempting to sit in a chair in Alice’s kitchen after washing her hands.
“A sudden seizure made her fall sideways before I could catch her, resulting in a foot injury,” Alice says.
As a result of the fall Margie experienced complications which resulted in multiple hospitalizations and rehabilitations.
“Like others with epilepsy, she has also endured ignorance from others regarding her illness. Yet Margie has continued to fight on as she recovers from the unbelievable nightmare that she had to endure. I am filled with gratitude that she has survived!”8 min agoShe discovered walking in the pandemic – and saw her neighborhood through new eyesFrom CNN’s Brandon Griggs
Jessica Homann snapped this self-portrait near her suburban St. Louis home. (Courtesy Jessica Homann)Jessica Homann was not much of a walker.
But when the pandemic hit and she found herself in lockdown, she chafed at the notion of being stuck inside all day.
So during her lunch hour she began going on short strolls around her suburban St. Louis neighborhood. Just a few blocks, in her flip-flops.
Before long, Homann had bought walking shoes and athletic clothes, and she was striding two miles each morning. Then three miles. Then four.
She began to notice little details around her neighborhood, as if for the first time. She admired the trees. She spied hawks, bunnies and even a fox. When it snowed, she surprised herself by making a snow angel.
And she felt restored.
“These walks, with the fresh air, nature, and opportunity to stop and take in the beauty all around me, have returned me to myself,” Homann, 47, told CNN. “They have physically and emotionally saved me.”The walks have also encouraged her to delve more deeply into photography, one of her hobbies. Homann uses her phone to document her neighborhood walks on Instagram, sharing scenes of foliage, flowers and holiday decorations – along with occasional shots of rolled-up newspapers in her neighbors’ driveways, their headlines marking the passage of pandemic time.
She’s also connected more deeply with her neighbors – fellow morning strollers, dog walkers and others.
“I have walked through all seasons and holidays – admiring the festivities and decor of the homes I pass,” said Homann, who works as an executive search consultant in the health care field. “I have seen families bring home puppies and babies.”
Homann now walks four to five miles a day, almost every day. Her husband rarely joins her – most days, she goes solo. She’s lost 25 pounds, and her cholesterol has gone down.
But for her, the biggest benefit of her walks might be psychological.
“They have brought me joy and perspective that I am passing on to others,” she said. “It has been the greatest gift – one I had the ability to give myself all along, but likely would not have
What are you grateful for? This foster mom is grateful for her “miracle baby”
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