Painting a Full Circle

I grew up in a home full of art. My father was an artist who worked a factory job to support his wife and one daughter. He gave up an art scholarship to start a family. I’m glad he did, although I know he would have loveMe and Dad2d going to college to learn more. Because of him, I grew up loving all forms of painting and drawing. He would draw and paint on anything that wasn’t moving. Acrylic and oil paints were always to be found somewhere. Brushes were a normal thing around the house and watching television was not the normal thing to do. We were always doing something artistic. He lived a short life when cancer took him at age 37. I was only 11 at the time, but what he taught me was already planted. I didn’t do much about it until I was 18 when I went to college to become a photojournalist.

I always tell people I meet that in a former life (pre-stay-at-home-motherhood), I worked. Ha! I was the full-time PR photographer for Western Kentucky University. For eight years, I worked day in and day out taking the best photos I could for the best department one could hope to work for. I met a ton of people who made getting up in the morning worth it. I got to create art through the lens of a camera. Although I was happy, there was something missing from mine and my husband’s life…a child. Each day, I was reminding that I was childless, not able to have a baby with each doctor’s visit; with each pregnant woman I passed; with each toy I bought to celebrate a colleagues’ pregnancy.

By Scott GalvinAfter visiting doctors for what seemed like forever and having more tests than I want to remember, my husband and I decided that we were going to adopt. When you are told you can’t have children by several doctors, you kind of just give up after a while. Well, I did anyway. We started attending various adoption seminars for Chinese adoption. Foreign adoption is what we had decided upon after much discussion. So, for a year we waited until we could actually apply to adopt from China as the minimum age was 30. A few months before my 30th, I felt completely unlike myself. Like anyone who goes through infertility issues, I kept pregnancy tests on me. If you have or are going through it you know what I am talking about. The test came out positive. I just about fainted. I flew home and took the rest of the box and they were all positive. This was how God introduced me to my beloved Assistant!

Me and Assistant It was on that day that I TRULY started believing that God could do anything. Sure, I had said I believed before, but had I really? No, I hadn’t. It was that day that I told God that he could do what he wanted with my life and could lead me in whatever direction he wanted, no matter how odd it might look. Within a few years, we had two more children.

Going through infertility and then having children has taught me so much. When researching adoption, I got to see into the world of the adopting parent and the foster parent and just how much the child is going though both domestically and internationally. There is so much stress on everyone’s part. Never in my wildest dreams did I think all of my past experiences would lead me to fixing dolls for children in need. Now, everything seems to have come full circle. After the e-mail from Mama Mary, I started buying paints. I had forgotten what paints my dad had used but when they came in the mail the memories flooded back to times spent with him. Now, I am sharing these times with my oldest daughter…the one I wasn’t supposed to be able to have. Ha, take that science! Assistant and I are doing what my father and I did all those years ago, but only on bits of plastic. We restore dolls with paint for those kids waiting to be adopting, for those kids going through a life crisis. Maybe they are in the middle of losing their father and feel like their world is crumbling around them. Maybe they have been though an abusive situation. Maybe they are the one with cancer and don’t quite understand what is going on, but need something to hug in the middle of the night when they feel all alone. I don’t know the stories of the kids these dolls are reaching, but my Savior, Jesus Christ does and that is what matters. He sent me on this mission and I plan to stay on this path as long as he wants me to. I love meeting all of the people I have met on this journey so far. I feel blessed and humble to be a part of people’s lives and their families.

So, if you are going through something right now, keep your chin up. It might be that the Lord is writing one of the many chapters in your life that you don’t understand yet. But, it will be revealed and it will be beautiful. Thank you for reading this entry. I wanted to share this with you so you know just how important you all are to us, me and Assistant and how you all are a part of OUR story. Blessings upon you and love to each of you and your family!

Meet our Sister…Broken Dolls Healing Hearts

First of all, Happy World Doll Day Broken Doll Family!  I hope you have or are making plans to give a doll away today.  To celebrate World Doll Day, I wanted to make a special post on a very special charity that we LOVE.  You may or may not know yet, but The Broken Doll is no longer a one of a kind doll charity. I have been so blessed to get to know people throughout the world who have the same heart and drive as we do, to help children in need through play. I met Debbie Hutton over a year ago on one of the many doll boards I used to belong to when I was learning the ins and outs of the doll world. This wonderful Canadian lady was always such a joy to chat with and we connected instantly. She was always interested in what we were doing with the Broken Doll and asked a lot of questions that I was happy to answer. It was time well spent because Canada now has Debbie to help kids in need there through Broken Doll Healing Hearts. Here is what Debbie has to say…

Broken Doll Healing Heart was started because of the sadness I felt by the number of displaced children in our city; by the number of murders including a 7 year old girl. The number of foster children in care is staggering and I wondered what I could do to help.

A Foster Knows

I myself grew up in foster care I knew all too well what it is like to have nothing, to be so lonely it hurts; to have nothing to hold on to; nothing to call your own. A friend told me about The Broken Doll. It was an amazing page and an amazing lady running it. This was exactly what I wanted to. So, with the help and blessing of The Broken Doll, my page was formed.

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Goal of BDHH

My goal is that every foster child has a doll to call their own, a friend to take with them on their long journey. Due to the violence and sickness in the community, I had to take it up one more step. So Trisha’s Corner was added to Broken Dolls Healing Hearts before Christmas 2014. Trisha’s Corner is for children suffering from medical conditions or severe trauma. These care packages contain all new items such as dolls or teddy bears for boys, coloring books and crayons, reading books, hats, pajamas and quilts (for the child and doll/teddy bear). Everything in the package was what a child would need for a hospital stay.

Broken Dolls Healing Hearts

Last year, Broken Dolls Healing Hearts gave 70 packages to foster children and another and 25 packages went to other displaced children. I am so thankful for my American sister group, The Broken Doll, and for all the people that have joined us in our journeys. My goal is to change my community, my country (Canada) and our world, one child at a time.

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The goal of collecting, restoring and then giving these dolls away is about turning children’s tears into smiles if only for a brief time and to show them that there is someone in this big world that cares. The first little girl I helped buy a doll for passed away a few weeks ago. She was only six-years-old and it broke my heart more then I can say. But I know she is dancing in heaven holding her doll tightly.

Contact BDHH in Canada

Broken Dolls Healing Hearts is on Facebook at or by e-mail at dchutton@hotmail.com

If you live in Canada, are from Canada or want to support this amazing charity and are outside of Canada, please get in contact with Debbie Hutton. I can’t say enough about her generosity and the generosity of those who have donated to Broken Dolls Healing Hearts.

Would you like to know about starting a sister or brother charity like this in your state or country? Contact me at 4thebrokendoll@gmail.com. It takes a community to raise a child. The world is our community. Love and blessings to each of you!

World Doll Day

Dolls are important in our ever day existence in our household. We have them in the playroom, our closets and of course in the doll workroom. We can’t imagine life without dolls. I had a doll from the time I was born and so did Assistant. It has just always been. There are some kids in the world that have never experienced the companionship that a doll brings; the joy and hours of play those bits of plastic, paint and stuffing bring to one’s life.

World Doll Day was established on June 14, 1986 to simply share the joy of dolls and the giving of dolls. Mil and Vernon Seeley came up with this day and decided to make it a yearly event, encouraging doll collectors, adults and children alike to spread the word about the love of dolls to the ends of the Earth and their neighborhoods. Here is the letter they sent out during the first World Doll Day.

So, you have not heard of World Doll Day?  This is not surprising as of an hour ago, I hadn’t conceived the idea. To make it happen. I need cooperation of every doll collector, every magazine editor, doll newsletter, doll shop, library, doll maker, mother, grand­mother, father, grandfather, and all the stray aunts and uncles. The first World Doll Day is the Second Saturday of June 1986. Give a doll to a grownup, child in the family or just a friend.  If you don’t have a child to give a doll to – find one. There are many children with no dolls.

Think of it this way and ship a doll to another country.  I have always felt that the common doll could be an instrument of world understanding. From the first time I started writing books on doll making, I had the hope that dolls would help make friends all over the world and develop a little love among all.

World Doll Day will also be a day for doll exhibits. It is my hope that all libraries will have a special doll exhibit. Museums will publicize their doll exhibits and have special doll exhibits at this time.  Magazines will put out special editions.  Doll stores will put on campaigns weeks ahead.  Doll Makers will make special dolls for World Doll Day.  There will be doll competitions with World Doll Day awards, plaques and trophies.

The logo is made from artist Boots Tyner’s doll representing a child. The child carries a German bisque doll to represent this doll collectors gift.  Feel free to copy the logo or have one made.

Everyone can enjoy the fun as there are no fees, no permission needed, no obligations, nobody owns the day, no club, no company.  It’s a free- for- all, take up the day, its ideas and fly with it.  Lets do it now.  World Doll Day.

If you think World Doll Day is a good idea, then appoint yourself a committee of one to do something about it–only then can it become a reality.  Would you tell five people,  ask them to tell five people, and each of them tell five people and so on.  World Doll Day’s birthday is June 14, 1986.

Sincerely,
Mil and Vernon Seeley

 

When we started The Broken Doll, we had never heard of WDD. What a delight it was when we first heard about it from our friends at Confessions of a Doll Collector’s Daughter. We were celebrating this every day! So, we want to encourage you, our Broken Doll Family, to celebrate World Doll Day this year on June 13 by giving a doll to someone. Share your love of dolls with others and spread the word about this amazing day.  Feel free to use the letter above and image below.

Blessings to each of you from me and Assistant.

Wold Doll Day Logo
World Doll Day Official Logo

Assistant says, “Hello!”

Our second blog entry comes from our wonderful gal known to you all as “Assistant.” She has a few things she would like to say pertaining to the dolls, work and other things that go on here at The Broken Doll. Take it away!

Playing with dolls is important because it makes people know you appreciate dolls. My favorite part of working at The Broken Doll is plucking hair and painting. It is fun and interesting. Mom asked what skill I would like to learn, EVERYTHING!!!!!! I love painting, plucking hair and putting on wigs. It sounds really fun. It helps. Fun and working is fun all the time when you work for something fun.

Plucking Hair

My favorite donations have been the blankets and baby bottles because babies and baby dolls go together and I love the babies.

And that’s all I have to say…Bye Bye!!!!

Love,Assistant ❤

Plucking Hair

Welcome to The Broken Doll Blog!

BD  Well, this has been a long time coming.  I have been wanting a place to talk more at length about what we do, share more info and be able to do more than what we can do on Facebook.  I hope you share this page with others and that you visit often.  We will still update Facebook, but will have a TON of more content on here to share with you, our Broken Doll family.  I am super excited!  Welcome and I hope you enjoy what we have in store.  ❤