APPLICANT #3: Gina Newberry

Gina Newberry is a mother of six from Olympia, Washington.

Here is Gina's video application:

Here is Gina's current situation:

"What am I up to? That is a funny question...

I love it almost as much as when people ask, "What do you do?" My answer is typically, "Well, what time of day?" I am a cook, a chauffeur, a nurse, a referee, a motivational speaker, a financial planner, a cheerleader, activities organizer, and a counselor and then I go to work. You should see people's faces. It's really funny if you try to fit that in an "occupation" box. I am a very active mother and wife. I run a part time wedding business out of my home which allows me to have time for my family. I have six very busy children. They range in ages from 7 to 30. My husband is a commercial airline pilot who is wonderful, but gone half the time... so I do balance a lot. Luckily, I work well under pressure.

My husband recently served as a helicopter pilot for the National Guard in Operation Enduring Freedom/Afghanistan. I am SO proud of him and his sacrificial service to our country. I am in the process of writing two books. One of them is a manuscript of love letters my husband and I wrote while he was away at war.... and the other one is my perspective on raising a child with Down Syndrome. My mom always says my life is like a Chevy Chase movie so I have a lot of funny stories. (Some of them didn't seem funny at the time.... but now it is HILARIOUS!)

I am a crafter.... a scrapbooker and a stamper. I am always looking for new ways to save my family money, new recipes, home organizational tips, and even fashion, hair and makeup ideas. I have my own version of 'Oprah's Favorite Things' it's called, 'What Mom Loves....' So whether I am updating my blog, Twittering from the Special Olympics, performing a wedding ceremony, or just hanging out at home with my family... you can be sure of one thing... I am definitely up to something."

Here is Gina's blog post:

"I was not yet 20 years old when my son, Jordan was born. I was not one of those moms who worried that something, anything could go wrong with my pregnancy. I was completely confidant that all would be 'perfect.'

After 27 hours of labor, Jordan was born and it seemed like I was kicked in the gut when the doctor said, 'Gina… I believe Jordan has Down Syndrome.'

While thoughts and visions rushed through my head immediately, I was exhausted. The news seemed to go in one ear and out the other. I slept for a while and was awoken by a social worker. I felt like I had to be dreaming when she told me that I didn’t deserve this. Seriously. I don't know what her goal was, but the result was that it made me feel like it was my baby and I against the world. I looked at him, and he was truly perfect to me. I could not see that his ears looked a little square, his eyes looked a bit different or his fingers were all the same length. I just saw a beautiful boy who had just completely changed my world.

I recall that as friends and family learned that my baby had been born, they called to check on us. A common question completely baffled me, “Is he perfect?” I knew what they meant, all fingers and toes… and healthy. I know they didn’t mean anything hurtful, in fact… I am sure they believed that of course he was perfect. In my mind, the pause to answer that question seemed long and hesitant. In reality it was only a few seconds when I answered, 'Yes… but he has Down Syndrome.'

It took 10 days for the tests to come back and verify that Jordan has Trisomy 21, Down Syndrome. In that time I had completely convinced myself that they were wrong, he didn’t have it. But upon learning the truth and the reality that I had to face, came a miracle. A shift in my perspective. I realized that my beautiful baby boy would teach me more in this lifetime than I could ever possibly teach him. That has certainly been the case. Jordan is now 19 years old and he has been one of my greatest blessings and joys. He has made me look at the world differently.

I realize now that “perfect” means something different to everyone.

My son, may not be the vision of “perfect” that most people see, but the gifts he brings to my life, and the lives of my family, have made us see beauty in things we would have never seen. Everyone has a story… something that happened in their life that just didn’t go as planned. I challenge you all to look for the beauty, not just focus on that which went wrong. Change your perspective.

If you do... I know you will really understand what it is to experience a 'perfect miracle.'

Gina"

The Verity Mom Team