Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Investment of a Lifetime

Lynn and I were asked to speak at the "Investment of a Lifetime" breakfast and fundraiser for Family Support and Treatment Center on Saturday morning. We shared a bit of our experience with Ella and how the agency has benefited us. I love what Lynn shared:
All children who come to Family Support and Treatment Center have their own stories to tell. Their stories are not happy. They are stories of neglect, physical and sexual abuse and other unspeakable trauma. These little ones need to tell their stories so they can heal. Without healing, these stories become the storyline of their lives. Most adults do not know how to understand these stories. The staff at FSTC does. They listen to the stories of pain, horror and shame; they do not turn away in shock, but give the child love, compassion and safety, and guide them to change their stories.
This is what has happened with Ella. Through the efforts of Jessica and Erin, Ella’s story is changing. Pain and fear have been replaced with peace, comfort and safety. Kim and I know that Ella’s early years will not be her destiny. Because of FSTC, her early years will be but one chapter of her life, followed by many chapters of peace and happiness. Ella’s story will have a happy ending.
We were told we could bring Ella to introduce her, but decided that wouldn't be a good idea. She doesn't do mornings and she only eats Grape Nuts for breakfast. :) But I did put together a slide show to introduce Elles to everyone and share a few of our "thousand small moments."

tinkerbell photos by Tracie Ruffner | temple photos by Tracy Wagstaff

Click on photo or here to see the slide show. (The photos are grainy shown here, but not in real life. Not sure why that happens.)

Some of our great friends joined us.

Yes, Jen always acts that way. She's our special friend! :P Amy Hanson is next to Lynn, then Debbie Hanson, Jen Ostler, RuthAnn Roberts, Sharlene Richards (you can't see her) and Jenn Strauss. We have such great friends who are willing to support us on a Saturday morning. Thank you, again!

Oh, there's Sharlene with Jenn.

Stuart Harper is the coordinator at FSTC.

Carrie did a wonderful job with the event.

Rachelle is our "personal parenting coach." She's awesome!

Erin (Ella's therapist--and ours :))--wasn't able to attend. We missed her.

The entire staff at Family Support and Treatment Center is amazing! They provide services for children and families who have experienced abuse, trauma and/or neglect. They are the most experienced and exceptional agency for play therapy, and also have a respite and crisis nursery. They provide in-home respite care, prevention training to schools and the community, parenting classes and in-home parenting sessions. Besides donations, there are also plenty of service opportunities available. They are an incredible resource for families and have been instrumental in helping Ella heal and in providing us with the tools to help her heal. If you're looking for a worthwhile cause to support, this is it!


  1. amazing photos! Congrats for what looked like a good day.

  2. Oh my goodness. The video just made me cry. She is soooo blessed to have you and your husband. Amazing photos. You are truly blessed. Love ya.

  3. Should I cry now...or later? I just love you and your little family. Ella is lucky to have you and Lynn, I think you are amazing:)Love ya!

  4. How EXTREMELY cool of your family to be involved in such a worthwhile cause. There's no better way I can think of to really make a difference in the world. I hope there are lots of other families like yours out there!

  5. I know I just commented but I just had to add how much I loved your slide show. It was adorable. My husband saw me watching it, and saw that it made me cry, then asked what it was, then I made him watch it again with me, and he loved it too! It was so sweet. What excellent photography. You have captured such beautiful moments of a darling little girl.

  6. that is so amazing!!

    I love Family Support and Treatment Center. I volunteered at the Provo one for four years during High School and college. It was a really positive experience!

  7. OMG!!! We totally forgot about going. When I saw your post I checked the calendar (which I obviously don't do enough) and there it was written down. I even had the paper about it too. Geez! We are slackers. Sorry! It looks like it was great though. The slide show is so awesome. I love the song!!!!

  8. I loved your video. You are both great parents, Ella is a very fortunate little girl.