(DOUG JESSOP – JESSOP’S JOURNAL) In this episode we feature powerful, positive, and inspirational folks including an interview with a musician that has had the number one R&B album on iTunes – Jay Warren, and yes, he will be performing for us today.
You may know a twin. You may even know a triplet. We visit with a woman that is a triplet…that had triplets…and then quads! Kayla Glines
While we are on the subject of kids – you’re going to want to check out a very special adoption story with the Griffins along with a unique twist.
But first, Jay Warren.
At eighteen months old Jay Warren would try to sing along with Whitney Houston’s “I will always love you.” Years later Jay is a successful professional singer and his oldest son, three-year-old Winston, loves to sing along with Dad and has even been on stage.
The number one R&B iTunes album, “Give Love”, was released in September 2020 and even beat Alicia Keys. Jay told me that the one silver lining of COVID was that since he wasn’t touring, he had more time to spend on this album. Of course, every song resonates differently with people, but I did put him on the spot to pick one that seems to be a fan favorite. His reply? “Dangerous Things”. Yes – I did ask him to do an impromptu acapella performance that is included in this interview.
Entertainment runs in the blood of this family. Come to find out that his maternal grandfather was a classically trained actor that received a Trinidad & Tobago lifetime achievement award. Grandpa Horace James was in this James Bond movie you might have heard of called “Live & Let Die.” Jay’s Mother was a dancer that attended New York High School of Performing Arts and was a classmate of Vin Rains.
Both of his parents were from the Caribbean. His father was a career military man, serving in the United State Marines. Jay was born in New Jersey. He didn’t know many American musical artists until middle school. The three musical artists that he did know were Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, and Kenny G. I think it is safe to say that Jay Warren’s musical range has changed that quite a bit.
The first song that Jay Warren wrote was called “Lately.” No surprise, it was a song that he wrote for a high school girlfriend. Jay was a good sport and sang a quick rendition.
Jay attended college at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. He told me that he met his wife (not the high school girlfriend) in what he called “a very romantic parking lot.” Yes, he did write a song to propose to his wife and yes, she has been in one of his music videos. Jay admitted that his wife teases about writing more songs for her.
The Jay Warren brand is to use music to connect people. That brand is going strong. His mantra “You can create an enjoyable, successful and happy life through setting goals and making plans to achieve them.” I’m pretty sure you are going to hear some great things in the future from Jay and you just might want to sing along.
Everyone has a story. Sometimes these stories are told through music. It’s time for Jessop’s Jukebox. Here’s Jay Warren performing “Closer.”
In this episode of Jessop’s Journal I had the pleasure to interview a woman that has Mother written all over her.
Kayla Glines is a triplet. What makes her different is that she had triplets? But then she had quadruplets!
Kayla has an incredible attitude. She came to our interview wearing a shirt with the phrase “good vibes” on it. Her enthusiasm and smile are quite contagious.
I don’t want to give away everything in the interview (yes – I want you to WATCH AND SHARE). I will say that there is a show on TV called “This is Us” that has some very interesting parallels.
Come to find out that Kayla and her husband had been trying unsuccessfully to get pregnant for ten years. They did fertility treatments and hit the jackpot. On an incredible sidenote, the next pregnancy did NOT use any fertility treatments…and she had quadruplets. Yes…one pregnancy and four kids.
If anyone from Huggies is watching this story, hint, hint, Kayla buys two large boxes of diapers from Costco every week. The boxes have 150 diapers in them. Math is not my strong suit, but that is a lot of diapers to go through in one week!
As you can imagine, getting a picture together with all of their kids is pretty much like herding cats. But I will say, they turned out pretty cute.
What gives her joy? Seeing the look of her children on Christmas morning! What keeps her up at night? Worrying about her $4.2 Million dollar baby (watch the story for details).
To all the mother’s out there, thank you for what you do.
I’ve been a broadcaster for a long time. This next story warms my heart because of what happened after it aired. Stay tuned.
Shawnee and Jordan Griffeth had been married 11 years when I interviewed them.
Infertility has a cost, both emotionally and financially for couples like the Griffeths.
They told me; “They give you ranges, but usually $30,000 to $50,000 for the adoption.”
After having what they call their Miracle Baby, Carter, they chose to adopt when it doctors said that the chances of having another child were remote.
I asked Jordan what kind of things did you do to help this birthmother chose you? He said, “Jaxon’s birth mom, when she was choosing a family. She had already chosen one before us. She had the feeling to go back and look through the books. And look and see if there were any other families that maybe she really didn’t pay attention to. She came upon us again and thought, boy, this is the family that Jaxon needs to go to.”
When I asked Shawnee what it was like to meet their new son for the first time, she got emotional; “The minute that nurse put him in my arms I knew without a doubt that he was meant to me my little boy.”
What would Jordan say to a birth mother that is thinking of placing a child? “I could only think of how courageous that could be. To give that child to a family that can’t have children and give them a gift like that is one of the greatest things you could ever give somebody.”
The Griffeth family has been on what they call a rollercoaster of emotions with adoption. For other families of thinking on getting on that wild ride they say, “It takes a lot of patience, and faith and hope.”
Talking about hope, you can find an abundance at the Griffeth home. Shawnee put it this way; “How do you not have hope when we see both our boys, who are both miracles and see their faces and get to be their mom and Dad every day. How do you continue to have hope when we weren’t sure if we would have any kids? That gives me all the hope in the world.”
So here is the inspiring part of the story. The Griffins had lost touch with the birth mom. After the story aired, I got a voice mail from a woman on the East Coast that had watched online. Come to find out that she was the birth mother and asked me to along her new contact information. Stories do indeed have power!
Consider this your personal invitation to watch this entire episode of Jessop’s Journal and share it with someone that enjoys powerful, positive and inspirational story. Jessop’s Journal airs Sunday mornings at 10 on ABC4 TV and you can watch on-demand at JessopsJournal.com.
Everyone has a story. I strongly feel that “stories have power”. Chances are that if you are going through something, that someone else probably has as well. The shared experiences we humans have can help each other. That my friend makes the point that stories “help us understand each other.”
You don’t have to agree with everyone, but in my opinion, if people would take more time getting to knowing more about others and where they are coming from, we just might find out that we have more similarities than differences.
Jessop’s Journal is something special when it comes to broadcast news. I have the honor of being able to do longer in-depth interviews that you don’t normally see with people from all walks of life. A big shout out goes to my collaborator, Ed Wilets, who does a great job as my videographer/editor for all my stories.
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