Danielle's Story 2013 Gala
Danielle shared her experince with everyone at the 2013 Gala and Casino Night...
Good evening everyone. It is a pleasure to stand before you again. Last year as I spoke, I was a very scared and unsure young lady that was about to embark on the journey of motherhood. I now stand before you as a mature, responsible, passionate, and loving mother. My life has changed drastically in the past year. On December, 1st, 2012 I gave birth to my sweet princess Lei'Lani. The gift of life is the most beautiful thing that I have ever witnessed. I've never been so in love with another human being like I am in love with my daughter. I would give my last breath just so she could breathe one more time. Her smile is so captivating and could illuminate the entire world if the Sun decided not to shine one day. My heart beats for her, my lungs breathe for her, my eyes open each morning for her. Everything I do is to benefit my beautiful baby girl. Without Lei'Lani, there would be no me.
My journey at the Paul Stefan Foundation began about a year ago. The mindset I had then was outwardly positive, yet subconsciously terrified. I was so scared to bring a baby into the world. I wanted Lei'Lani to stay in my belly forever. I felt as if I could protect her in there from the vicious and hateful world we live in. I remember even telling my doctor that I didn't want to give birth, that I wanted to stay pregnant forever. He of course laughed at me and told me that the safest place for a baby was in her mother's arms. In my state of fear, I let that statement go in one ear and out the other. But now I know that that was God speaking to me through that doctor. A Jewish Proverb says, "God could not be everywhere, and therefore He made mothers". And I truly do believe that my daughter is safe in my arms as I am safe in my God's arm. I won't ignorantly say that I can protect her from everything, but with the graceful assistance from God, I will do my best to try to protect her from every weapon formed against her.
The last 10 and a half months have helped me secure the confidence I have in myself as a mother. I know that being Lei'Lani's mom has been my calling all along. As a teenager, I struggled with many things. My pastor at the time told me that Jeremiah 29:11 would be a profesyable scripture that would follow me my entire life. 6 years later, I know that my pastor was right. Jeremiah 29:11 says, "For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." The plans my Lord had for me played out exactly as they were supposed to. I had to endure earthly Hell to experience the Heavenly beauty of waking up to my perfect daughter every single morning. When people saw a barren woman in Sarah, God saw the mother of all nations. When people saw a poor young shepherd in David, God saw a mighty king of Israel. When people saw a poor prisoner in Joseph, God saw a powerful Prime Minister of Egypt. So never mind what people see in me, because I am a great, and worthy, valuable person in God's eyes, and He had incomprehensible plans for me and my daughter…plans to give us a bright and prosperous future.
Within the short year that I have resided at the Paul Stefan Foundation, those prosperous and bright plans for my future have already begun. I am currently attending online classes through the University of Phoenix to obtain my Bachelor's Degree in Human Services of Sciences with a Concentration in Addiction, as well as an eventual Master's Degree in Counseling. While residing at the Paul Stefan Foundation, I have already completed 5 classes, of which I have received a final grade of an "A" in each class. I start two more classes Monday. I absolutely love being a college student. I am the first person on my father's side of the family to attend college. I have made my mom and dad so proud of me, which is something I couldn't say a few years ago. I've endured so much in my life that has shaped me into the beautiful person that I am today. My dreams and goals used to seem so far away. But now with the support and love through Evelyn and the prosperity of the Paul Stefan Foundation, I am now touching my goals and my dreams. I can smell them, I can taste them. They've become my reality and not just a distant thought. Without Evelyn, I wouldn't be where I am today. She constantly tells me how proud she is of me, how special I am, how bright my future looks, and how much she loves me. I don't think she knows how much her words and her love encourages me and keeps my moral out of the gutter. She's like a second mom to me. She knows my heart; she knows my secrets and my struggles. She's the glue that keeps me together when I feel like breaking down and tearing apart. She is my literal guardian angel. And I love that woman more than words can even begin to describe, more than she will ever know. Evelyn is the most beautiful person, inside and out, that I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. Her heart is so pure and so sweet. She is absolutely incredible. Her passion for human life is something that has rubbed off on me.
Throughout my time here at the Paul Stefan Foundation, I have seen the miracle of life happen over and over. I have watched women's bodies transform and produce beautiful, precious babies. I am now so intrigued with pregnancy and the miracle of child birth that I have begun the process to be certified as a doula. Through the Paul Stefan Foundation, the sky is the limit for my success as a woman and as a mother. My success a woman is just as important and beautiful as my success as a mother. I have made a vow to God and to myself to stay celibate until I get married. I think I owe God that. He's proven to me that I am worthy enough to be a mother and to bear children. So I can prove to Him and myself that I am also worthy enough to be loved by a man without betraying my morals. And I believe that God will bless me for obeying His word.
God has promised me that He will never leave me or forsake me. He will never give me more than I can take. He might let me bend, but by His grace, He won't let me break. Life is hard. Life throws us curve balls and Satan tries to destroy us. But with faith in Jesus Christ, Satan will not prevail. Psalm 30:5 says, "Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning." My weeping is over. I'm living in my joy now all thanks to God's glorious and beautiful work that He's doing through the Paul Stefan Foundation.
With all that being said, I would love to introduce everyone to my pride and joy, the love of my life, my little monster Lei'Lani.