Hold Your Nose and JUST Jump

The story behind Project Left Behind is quite poignant. The seed was planted the day we first saw our son Gregory at the orphanage in Mykolaivka, Ukraine in April 2002 and we hadn’t even thought about adopting until one year earlier.

In 2001, we both watched a 20/20 report on Romanian orphans. The disturbing program ended at 11 p.m. and we just said goodnight and turned off the lights. The next morning, Kevin left early for the Naval Reserves. As always, he called me at lunchtime to chat.

Up until this point, our next plan was to hit 40 together, get two Harleys (you know, the obvious midlife crisis-that tantalizing rush of wind mixed with freedom blowing through your hair while the sun warms your skin and soul), and do more traveling. It was a perfect plan because Jackie would be in college, so the next phase of our lives would begin.

I finally got around to asking Kevin what he thought about the 20/20 report and… ‘what if’ we adopted a child. We both had good families to share…Jackie would be a wonderful older sister… I stammered with a pause. Without one ounce of hesitation, Kevin just calmly stated, “that’s why I married you.” With those five words, the next chapter of our lives began.

In April 2002, 15 pairs of eyes watched us as we started to get to know our son Gregory, who was 3-1/2 years old. Those eyes followed us as we walked around the grounds with Gregory. Those eyes watched us as we left with Gregory, and they will forever stay with us. In 2005, we adopted Matthew, who was 1-1/2 years old. More eyes watched us. More eyes never left us. The need to help those beautiful children started to germinate.

We wanted to do more for orphans, but how? After my husband and I adopted our two amazing boys from Ukraine, who were vitamin deficient, I became extremely focused on preparing creative, flavorful, super-nutritious foods for them. NuttZo-the organic Omega-3 SEVEN Nut and Seed butter was born and is one of my favorite creations.

In 2008, the seed started to sprout. We started our nonprofit 501 c3, Project Left Behind, to support orphans around the world. Project Left Behind is NuttZo non-profit of choice. 1% of NuttZo sales go to Project Left Behind.

Thanks to all our friends and family for their unwavering support!

My life motto is to “get a good ride out of life because you only live once” and it’s been one heck of a great ride thus far.

What’s stirring in you?

Danielle