This year my vote for mom of the year (dual ownership with my mom of course) goes to Joey’s mom, Chrystal. When I heard their story I wept. We all have our own reasons for nominating mothers for the #1 mom or mother of the year, but I when I stepped outside my own self and saw this selfless woman I thought who could be more deserving of this title than her.
Webster’s dictionary defines a mother in these terms: 1a) a female parent; 1b) (1) a woman in authority; specifically: the superior of a religious group of women: (2) an old or elderly woman. 2 source origin <necessity is the mother of invention>. 3 maternal tenderness or affection. 4 vulgar (which i choose not to post). 5 something that is an extreme or ultimate example of its kind especially in terms of scale <the mother of all construction projects>.
The full definition (transitive verb) is 1a) to give birth to; 1b) to give rise to: produce; 2) to care for or protect like a mother.
Obviously Webster was trying to abbreviate the definition, for we all know there is so much more to a mother than this. And I believe that Proverbs 31 10:31 in describing the virtuous woman captures the very essence of motherhood.
Joey’s mom, after being recently divorced, felt the call to visit an orphanage in Romania. The video captures when the two met. Joey was born without legs and had two club feet. But that did not keep her from loving him. She was determined to adopt him and get the surgeries he needed so that one day he could walk. To give of oneself so deeply is very inspiring and uplifting in a world where people are desperate for love.
It is through the efforts of this woman that little boy with no legs now has prosthetics and can walk. It is through her obedience to listening to God that a foundation has been established. Graceʼs Lamp is a charity that Joey Funderburk and his family started to help Joey and others like him receive the medical treatment that they need and also to help other families adopt children. When they originally started raising funds to get new prosthetic legs for Joey, they had no idea they would see such an incredible outpouring of love and generosity for Joeyʼs needs. Everyone was so kind and encouraging, that they soon realized they could not just sit back and accept all these blessings without doing something to help others in similar situations. Graceʼs Lamp was established to help families adopt children, go on missions, and get the medical treatment that they need.
Chrystal, just before adopting Joey, got married. They have now have two daughters of their own and are helping other families. One woman on a mission to be a mother truly deserves to be Mother of the Year.