Overcoming Challenges Together

Eight Fingers and Eight Toes: Accepting Life's Challenges


We each have our own journey—our own challenges, fears, pain, shame, curiosities, love, and joy.   Each one of us could write our story and publish our own book!

Writing our story about overcoming challenges, the lessons learned, and insights gained, became my passionate goal in my early 30’s.  One day I thought, “What if I died without sharing anything I’ve learned while being Heather and Logan’s mom or about how I’ve overcome challenges?  All these lessons would die with me, benefiting no one!”  Compelled to write my story I committed to writing at least 15 minutes a day.   After three years, I finished.   However, Logan needed me at that time, so I put my book on hold for four more years.  After helping Logan through emotional and physical challenges, and helping him gain government support which helped him become self-employed as an artist, and feeling an urgency to publish our story while Heather and Logan were still alive (their lung disease makes even the common cold a life threatening situation), I decided it was time to publish my book.  Knowing my efforts would be well rewarded if I were able to help even one person, I published my book, Eight Fingers and Eight Toes: Accepting Life’s Challenges, in 2010. Imagine the blessings Heather, Logan and I receive every time someone reaches out to tell us how our story has helped them!

Heather, Logan and I have great fun speaking publicly to a variety of audiences.  Our audiences enjoy themselves too.  Connecting with people and sharing our personal stories about overcoming our challenges inspires and motivates people as they face their own challenges.  While laughing, one woman said, "You've ruined everything for me! I can never feel sorry for myself again after hearing your stories of overcoming your challenges."  Do you want to feel inspired? Would you like to feel motivated? Watch our videos on Debbie Jorde youTube and check back often for helpful articles and Heather's writings!

Thank you!

Like most expectant mothers, 39 years ago, Debbie Jorde was expecting her first perfect baby. She already had what s he perceived to be the perfect marriage, as well as what she thought was the perfect life. Then came the delivery date and her perfect baby wasn'tso physically perfect, in fact, she was severely disabled and deformed. She wasn't even expected to live and the doctors had few answers.

After her second child was born, with the same disabilities, came the dissolution of what Debbie thought was a perfect marriage. She was destined to become a single mother dependent on public aid to help care for her children.  The illusion of her perceived perfect life was reduced to that of a divorced, single mom raising children with lung disease, autism and a rare disabling disorder called Miller syndrome that affects only 30 other people worldwide.

Debbie found herself forced into an odyssey of self-examination through issues such as divorce, single motherhood, eating disorders, addiction, self-worth, and the definition of beauty. The challenges faced in the process led Debbie to redefine her definition of happiness, success, and perfection.   The lessons learned and insights gained transformed her life into one that is full of acceptance, courage, joy, and 

The book: Eight Fingers and Eight Toes: Accepting Life's Challenges, is a story of the power of a mother's love for her children, and her journey of self-love.   It is a story of struggles, and learning to accept and overcome challenges.  One takes a front row seat as the author learns answers to questions asked decades ago that result in part from the family being the first ever to have their entire genome sequenced. 
The book is a reminder that in spite of the trials that cause us to think life isn't so pe rfect, with a little courage and a lot of love, all can learn to accept and overcome challenges, resulting in a more fulfilling life of happiness and joy.

Debbie Jorde, Logan and Heather Madsen-Photo by Season Atwater Photography