As many of you know we had our 2nd Annual Child Abuse Rally and Vigil this past Saturday, April 24th at Carbondale, IL.
We was so happy after Thursday we spoke with Darlene, our Vice President. She and her granddaughter drove in from Pennsylvania to our house. They hurried to pack and get on the road, arriving on Friday!
We spent the rest of the day getting last minute details done, packing, and enjoying finally meeting each other in real life! Hard to believe three years of talking, working together and now meeting.
Kayla and James
Darlene and James resting
Eric and Kayla playing playstation
Next morning we got up finished packing up the van and took off.
Got to SIUC and seen us on the events.
Started setting up
Painting James' face after setting up during break before all began. Didn't stay on he didn't like the feel of the face paint
It all began with me speaking
Then Darlene speaking
For me other then the vigil, this was the most moving part of the night. Kayla got up and spoke on abuse. She is a survivor true and true, as well our future advocate. She is 10 years old, and we was all so proud of her.
One point Darlene had to get up and comfort her. Please all pray for this adoption. Darlene is now working on adopting Kayla, her granddaughter. She has had custody of her now she is taking the next step.
Then in honor of all survivors we had a balloon release. 100 balloons to represent 100's of children of abuse.
One of the band members pointed out there was a double rainbow
We then went in and spoke and enjoyed some time before the band.
Our own survivors, Kayla and James, talking to some of the kids about the victims. Was so proud of both of them. Yes even James told some of the stories, he may of been hard to understand but was a blessing listening to him.
Me and Darlene
Kayla and I, she looked at me before this picture and said "I want to be like you" I asked her why she said "You showed me it's all going to be okay" I wanted to cry, I told her "We may be survivors but we have a life ahead of us"
Eric, me, Kayla and James
Kayla stealing kisses
Kayla and James playing
Eric decided he would paint our arms.
The artwork he did on James. We sure needed Glenda, our graphic designer, here for this part lol
Another moving moment of the night. Darlene got my attention to look at James. He was spending his time with the victims, as himself.
It was then time to listen to the band, The Naked Turtles
The ending was our candle light vigil. The band sang "Tears in Heaven" during the vigil. Excuse the few parts where it was no picture, I was tending to James.
After it was all over, we got some pictures with the band, talked some and cleaned up.
We then went to the motel. Now for the another moment of the night! As all of you know James' bio tried drowning him and water especially pools has been out of the question especially if someone was splashing. WELL look what our boy did!!!!
and hot tub with Darlene
This one is for Grandma Judy and Grandpa Nolan, wished they didn't miss this moment.
Next day we got up, had breakfast and headed home.
We may not of had the turn out we wanted to have, but I can say we had a time of our life. Darlene and Kayla is back in Pennsylvania now and we miss them like crazy. Good news they plan to move here to Illinois soon!
I have always said, "If I touch one life it was worth it all" I hope someone was touched as much as I was at this rally.