Monday, March 29, 2010

Our Continued Fight to Help Noah

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I've decided for the first time to publish email correspondence with Early Intervention. I truly want everyone to know what this fight is like. It's not an exaggeration. It's not me be overly sensitive, it's not about complaining or being negative about our circumstances. This is my daily fight. My daily fight to get Noah what he needs, what is owed to him by law. Keep in mind that our current alternative therapy ABM/Feldenkrais method is recognized by Denver Options (Early Intervention Services in Denver, Colorado), however DDRC (Early Intervention Services, in Jefferson County, Colorado), is attempting to tell me they refuse to recognize it as credible, certifiable therapy and refusing to help us financially fund the therapy of our choice. Even more ironic is the fact that DDRC is funding it for another family but refuses to do so for Noah. In addition DDRC states they will not financially assist us - not because we don't financially qualify, but because we aren't currently doing therapy through them. I'm pretty sure their reasoning is against the law, however I suspect they think I'll eventually go away if they can keep pushing me down. The same rules and privileges should apply for everyone. If you are going to recognize ABM/Feldenkrais Method for even one family in the state of Colorado in any Early Intervention Program, regardless of what county you happen to live in, than you'd better do it for all. And just because the State wants to not pay out as many families as possible gives them no right to deny us help with any false excuse they deem appropriate.

Dear Stacy,

I apologize for not responding sooner. DDRC was awaiting direction from the State Early Intervention Office and then our office was closed last Wednesday due to the snow storm, I was out of the office on Thursday, and DDRC is closed on Fridays. I’m back in the office today and wanted to get back to you with information on your request.

Currently, Noah does not have an active Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP). The IFSP is needed in order to access early intervention (Part C) services. In July 2009, you decided to have Noah receive clinic-based services through Medicaid and declined the IFSP.

At any time, if you are interested in receiving early intervention services in the natural environment again you would need to re-refer Noah to the program. As it has been longer than 6 months, the process for developing a new IFSP includes doing a new multi-disciplinary assessment for Noah to see how he’s doing in all areas of his development and then writing a new IFSP. Part of the multi-disciplinary assessment and IFSP process includes discussing with you and the IFSP Team what services are available through the program and recommendations of which services would best meet Noah’s needs.

In considering your decision, I wanted to make you aware that the State Early Intervention office has reviewed literature regarding the Feldenkrais Method and they feel the literature does not show it to be an evidence-based practice, that it is a method and not a service, that it is direct hands-on therapy and is not routines-based (family directed) and for these reasons is not an allowable service and we will no longer be funding it or have any providers we contract with for it. They also shared with us that Feldenkrais is a method that falls under the realm of physical therapy, in such that a PT could use this method as part of therapy. In this case, PT would be an allowable service, but would need to be recommended by an IFSP discussion.

You may want to call the State Early Intervention office for more details on their position. If so, they can be reached at 303-866-7657. I’m sorry we are not able to offer it at this time. Please let me know if there is anything else I can help you with.

I find this completely unacceptable that the State of Colorado doesn't have the same policy for every single person that is exactly like Noah. The same rules need to apply for everyone. And our family qualifies for money that is due to us - it doesn't matter if I do therapy or not through DDRC, we are still active to receive funding regardless. And I fight and I fight and I fight. But I'm all alone. I'm fighting all by myself each and everyday to get Noah all that I can. Until I take my last breath on this earth I will continue to fight for him. He is so deserving of every opportunity - the very same opportunities other children are afforded. Without this issue become public knowledge through media or otherwise I fear that many children just like Noah will continue to go without benefits that are due to them.

This has nothing to do with not staying positive. I have every right to be mad, to be discouraged, to feel exhausted from fighting the system. I'm advocating in every direction possible for Noah.

Noah had his well-being baby check today with a new doctor. I found a doctor that no longer required me to fill out these stupid developmental questionnaires or picked Noah apart like he was ailing being underweight every time I went in. He now weighs 17lbs 7 ounces and this doctor had zero concerns, and understands that Noah's only challenges are developmental delays. Whether or not it's the perfect doctor match for us, only time will tell.

For those of you just itching to load up my email with criticism over my choices of physicians, parenting, or how you think I'm not going about getting Noah the help he needs, please don't bother. I have so much to focus on that I'm simply getting quite found of the delete button, and I don't mean to sound cold, but I simply don't have the time in my day to respond to negativity. Think what you may. Chris and I are in this one-hundred percent for Noah. That is why we are so very thankful that his caringbridge website allows for the ability to leave such beautiful messages and positive feedback in his guestbook. That is where we look when we need to remember Noah is well loved and that our family is cared for by many. We have to pick and chose our battles, and right now getting Noah all his needs is our only priority. We don't have the time to spend defending ourselves.

Noah's grandma knew Chris and I had been desperate to find a way to puree foods for Noah, as he still isn't ready for the next step in eating yet. I've wanted to give him meats and "real" food for sometime, but have had to rely on baby food products exclusively because I couldn't get the proper consistency from our regular blender and food processor. But Noah's grandma found the perfect gadget for us an emulsifier. It is the most amazing kitchen gadget ever. Yesterday I made pureed top sirloin, pureed chicken breast, and pureed organic pasta and sauce for Noah. It is amazing. It's perfect. I could puree anything in this thing. It's a must have gadget for sensory problem eaters, or for anyone - children or adults included that had the necessity to have their food completely pureed. It was a wonderful gift, and we're so very thankful grandma found the answer to our food dilemma. She never takes Noah off her mind -always thinking of ways to help him.

Although at our wits end, Chris and I continue to battle very hard to find ways to get Noah all that we can. We feel backed against the wall, but we're doing the best we can to come out swinging. I got down on both knees today and just cried - cried to God over and over to help me, help me. I'm truly doing the best I can with this hard road. I love this little human being that he placed in my care more than life itself. I'm fighting to help this precious soul that he gave me. The brain has so much potential to adapt and find new ways. I have to try for Noah. I have to keep hitting my head against these brick walls even though my head is hurt from all the pounding. Giving up is not an option when it comes to Noah. If it were about me I would have given up months ago. Yet I feel like I may never be successful in winning this battle no matter how hard I try to fight. We are like that cliche saying "stuck between a rock and a hard spot."

"One of the most important decisions you’ll ever make is choosing the kind of universe you exist in: is it helpful and supportive or hostile and unsupportive? Your answer to this question will make all the difference in terms of how you live your life and what kind of Divine assistance you attract." Dr. Wayne Dyer

I want to live in a world where it's nothing but helpful and supportive.

Stacy, Chris & Noah

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Where is Noah's Help?

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Yesterday was a very frustrating day for us. Every single day there is a road block in our way. It's very hard to write about and discuss, but I want to believe I can conquer all. Some days my road blocks are minor other days they are like pot holes that do damage to your happy day. I try to stay positive but this process is so exhausting. And I always feel like I have to be on the lookout for that daily freight train coming my way.

Today I received a call from Noah's doctor saying that I couldn't take him to his scheduled appointment on Monday unless I pay in cash because they received a letter from Medicaid saying he is no longer Medicaid eligible. I have no idea where this came from, we've received no notification of any kind, and have no idea why they think he's suddenly not eligible. I spent over 32 minutes on hold with Medicaid because they are experiencing a high volume of calls - I can only imagine why - only to find out that he is still insured through Medicaid and they can't explain why the doctor's office received notification otherwise.

Early intervention of course is denying all my inquiries about helping us financially, they are not responding by emails or returning my phone calls. I'm trying to go about finding help the proper ways through programs and foundations. I hate the idea of trying to do a fundraiser to get Noah what he needs, yet Chris says that we should consider it because we're running out of options. He's knows how strongly I am opposed to the idea, I just feel like that is begging for help. We both feel strongly that Noah is responding well to non-traditional therapy. We feel that it is working for him and we're doing all we can to do to continue to fund it. I spend a large majority of may day trying to sort all these problems out. And this is happening to so many people. In fact I don't hear any family that has similar circumstances saying anything different. We're stuck in a system that won't help us financially, that denies everything we need, that pulls punches behind our backs without notice. And I'm supposed to have faith that some healthcare reform is going to come in a sweep it all up and make it better. Noah doesn't matter to anyone today, what makes me think he'll matter to anyone tomorrow. I want the ability to obtain anything we believe Noah would benefit from without constantly hearing the word "no."

Today Noah has his photo shoot with the Littlest Heroes Project. We are very excited since getting Noah photographed professionally is difficult for us. Hopefully he will be a load of all smiles and laughter. It's so nice that there are people that are so giving of their hearts, time and talent for such beautiful causes.

Please continue to pray that doors will open to help us.

"Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no help at all." Dale Carnegie

Stacy, Chris & Noah

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Prayers go up and Blessings Come Down

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Noah continues to do great each and everyday. He's now able to make attempts to raise his head up while on his tummy while putting weight on his arms. His positioning makes me think that crawling is still very much a possibility for him. From our perspective he's making great progress. Chris and I want his journals to always be a celebration of every single little accomplishment that he finds a way to do. His little "inch-stones."
And with every inch he gets so much closer to the next great big thing. I want you to read his journal and be excited that this little guy is finding a way to do incredible things with the medical community doubting everything. I want him to give you hope for every parent that faces similar challenges, I want him to restore your faith in all things are possible, I want him to send the message out loud and clear NEVER GIVE UP HOPE - on anything in your life.
Noah has sprouted one more bottom tooth, that makes a total of five now, and even those five aren't all the way in place yet. We visited his physical and occupational therapist last week for a check-in, and they gave us some neat new gadgets, a cup that makes flow slower, since Noah much prefers to drink from regular glasses than sippee cups, and some chewy teethers, to my surprise he really likes the little teether and is making awesome chewing movements to me - I think he just needs some more teeth and he'll get the chewing mastered.

Noah's verbal skills are also increasing. He continues to talk to the vacuum and shop vac with such a passion, he also carries on his own personal conversations with the dogs, and they may understand him as they sit patiently with such intent next to him until he's done telling them all he needs to. The both of them have been wonderful companions for Noah. I knew there was a reason we had a dog that liked to bring her toys to you to play and if you don't play she'll just continue to bring you her entire toy box and make a nest, and another that had such wonderful motherly instincts.
I went shopping the other day and found these great books that another little boy was using when he first learned to talk. When I got to the cashier she made the comment "Oh someone is learning to talk," I nodded in agreement because we fully believe Noah will one day talk, even though our skeptics say otherwise. Noah loves the books, he especially loves books that talk, have music to them, light up. And I can see very clearly that he understands everything. So it's just a matter of time before he decides to demonstrate to us all that he knows.

We're getting excited for Noah's second Easter. We love celebrating the holidays with Noah. From what the Easter Bunny reports Noah will be getting two Easter Baskets this year filled with goodies because there were too many baskets that looked perfect for him. We haven't found any great coloring kits for his Easter eggs yet. So it might be the good old shrink wrap left over from years previous.

Thank you for leaving such sweet messages in Noah's caringbridge guestbook and blog site, it's always so wonderful to know is still touching many hearts.

"Prayers go up and blessings come down."
Yiddish Proverb

Stacy, Chris & Noah

Monday, March 22, 2010

Noah's Happiness

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Noah continues to be the happiest little guy ever. Chris and I remember all too well the distraught baby he once was, often times unable to be soothed by much of anything. When Noah is happy it makes us happy - his happiness means the world to us. Everything we do, every choice we make we always have his happiness on our minds.

I've always known that the same rules don't apply for everyone. I always told my mother growing up, that if I stepped out of line, if I ran a red light, I'd be the first one caught, unlike many others who get by with just about anything. I'm finding that the same rules also don't apply to many other things in life, including obtaining things you need for your child's development or care. For some families, every single opportunity is handed to them effortlessly - they don't work hard, they don't play by the rules, they get handouts left and right, they make up stories to play at heartstrings, they use faith and churches to manipulate to obtain their needs. It's a selfish game that is played. And those who know me best, know that my honesty, my character prevents me from being that kind of person, even knowing that Noah will not be afforded half of the opportunities that other children might if I played the game differently. But at the end of the day I want to say I lived the the best honest life I could, that I played by all of societies and God's rules. That I was a good person. And maybe - just maybe God will grant me a special wish and just continue to heal Noah to the best of his abilities. That is all I ask for trying to follow all the rules.

I admit it is disheartening to know that certain families get free therapy and perferential treatment, while I'm struggling to pay out of pocket, or that families get free equipment when I have to rely on Medicaid approval or non-profit organizations that are designed specifically for those purposes. But I want to teach Noah that hard work and perseverance comes from within. If I show him how to manipulate to get somewhere, then I'm doing a terrible dis-service to him as his mother. He more than anyone will have to learn where hard work and determination and relying on yourself will get you. I'm disappointed that my generation doesn't work harder than they do. Generations before us, really knew what the phrase blood, sweet and tears actually meant. And in today's world "egos" have gotten away from the person. It's a world where many approach life from a point of what is in it for me? I wish we helped our fellow man genuinely because it was the right thing to do and not because there was something in it for themselves.

There are still handfuls of God's angels sprinkled about doing great work for others, genuinely loving and passing on good will. I sure wish that was as contagious as hope is. I wish for all of those out there who have been so loving and supportive and hopeful and faithful that it would spread to 100 more people that you touch everyday. I've learned you can never stop being yourself, even in an unkind world. Thank you for those who continue to blaze that trail and are so giving of your heart, and kindness towards others, who don't put yourself first, who always thinking about how your actions speak louder than words, who realize that handouts and freebies and using smoke screens to obtain your needs isn't how things are done.

Chris and I may not have much, but we have a loving home and a beautiful little boy. God granted us a gift to allow him to stay, however challenged our road is, and I feel rich beyond words. So I'm okay that we don't chose to play the wrong game or break all the rules. Noah will find his own way, and we'll be going about it in the best way possible. And even if that means I have to make therapy gadgets out of craft paint and toothpicks or a "sheet" as Early Intervention so insensitively pointed out, or watch a million therapy videos because I don't get things for free, then so be it. We aren't the type of family that will probably be afforded the opportunity of high-tech medical advancements, treatments or therapies, but there are thousands of families like us in the very same boat. And my hope is that they know in their hearts they're doing all they can do within their means and that they in no way feel tremendous guilt because they can't jump on every therapy or medical treatment bandwagon there is - don't to be intimidated by the parents that have found a way to freeze brain cells for possible future recovery in the year 2030 - as there are no guarantees to anything in this life. Do the best you can do with what God has given you.

"Every child possesses many gifts. Mine just chooses to open his on his own time, rather than the time set aside for opening those particular gifts."
Alicia Harper

"Character is simply habit long continued." – Plutarch

Stacy, Chris & Noah

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day

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~"May your blessings outnumber the shamrocks that grow, and may trouble avoid you wherever you go." ♥ ~an Irish Blessing with love to you all ~Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Noah's Garfield

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Happy I got Ice Cream

Playing on my new platform swing

Hello Garfield Nice ot Meet You!

Wow a New Toy!

Trying to feed myself with help

Noah's continuing to have a blast on our "retail therapy" trips, although I'm not sure my pocket book can handle too much more fun for us. Thank goodness the weather is getting nicer by the day and we'll have more stroller options.
I've been trying to work with Noah's self-feeding. It's hard, but he totally understands the goal, he knows it needs to get to his mouth and appreciates the help. I'm thankful he understands as much as he does, it's still going to take a lot of effort, but I think he'll master it eventually it could take a year or more, but we'll keep working on it.

I ran across a patience quote today by Rainer Mria Rilke:
“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given to you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions”

I'd love to say that I can live by that philosophy. I still find myself wanting to know Noah's future, what he'll be able to learn to do. Yet to see the future would be cheating. It robs us from the experiences in which God has set forth for me to grow - to learn - to accept. I have to learn to live the questions, whether I want to or not. It's not a choice, it's mandatory. Something clearly that is non-negotiable.

A good friend recently gave me a fantastic phrase on when I was having a down day: I'm raising a child with special needs. What's your super power?

I'd like to say that somehow I have something built in that makes me up for this extraordinary challenge, yet I don't feel that I do. I feel just like the "Average Jane" - a simple person just trying to make my way like anybody else. Noah is the special one. He is the one that has the super power. The super power to be anything he wants to be. Drive and determination to succeed to the best of his abilities. I'm merely the guide and protector along his journey.

We took Noah out today to dinner again, just a quick trip to the Village Inn, since my oven is temporarily out of commission. His daddy was able to win him a Garfield Easter Bunny out of the machine, and he had a great time dining out. I'm quite blessed that Noah is so easy in public. He never fusses or puts up any kind of a fit. I see other children really getting quite worked up, and Noah has never done that. He's just a mellow little guy, super interested in everything around him.

I've attached some pictures of Noah, sometimes he just loves posing for the camera.

Stacy, Chris & Noah

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Noah Finds His Tummy

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Noah is still having a great week. He's now just really taking one nap a day - a power nap of up to three hours at a time. Often waking to re-snuggle, or take some more of his bottle then goes back to sleep. He's also decided that he's tired of staying up until 11pm, which is fine by Chris and I, we are all for an earlier bedtime. And we have no idea what the time change will do to his day.

We've also tried other food lines this week. Not because we're unhappy with the Sprouts line, but to give Noah more variety with different food combinations. We've found three more excellent baby food lines that work excellent for his needs. Ella's Kitchen, Peter Rabbit Organics, and Revolution Foods Organic Mashups. Of course finding them has proven to be a bit challenging. I'm going to try to ask our local grocery stores to carry them, but I don't know how successful I'll be. But all of them have good textures and consistencies that Noah can handle.

Noah has also done some amazing movements this week. He now has learned to roll from his back to his tummy on his own. Of course the first time he did it I didn't get to see it, my back was turned putting laundry in, and didn't realize he had done it until I heard him squeal for assistance. I immediately had to call his grandma at work, to tell her the good news. She is Noah's number one fan, and believes in him more than another person on earth - well next to us. He's also becoming more vocal, still no words, but he's cleary trying to formulate his own sentences. His toes no longer curl under and his feet are completely flat, his legs are so lose now that he can sit in a pretzel position and diapering and clothing is very easy. Now we're trying to work on loosing up those tight back and arm muscles so that he can get things to his mouth.

Noah and I have gotten out more again this week. Although retail therapy is always great, I find myself trying harder and harder to only window shop - sometimes unsuccessfully. The urge to buy adorable things that seem to have Noah's name written all over them often gets the better of me. I notice so many different people on our daily trip adventures. I notice more people that face challenges, notice more even of the people that don't. Parents screaming to their children to "shut up" in stores, Mothers pulling their clingy children away from their legs, telling their children not to skip. I wish they really knew how much of a gift they had. Parents of normal developing children have such built in treasures they don't know it. They wish and long for things I can only dream about.

We all have those moments where we think the grass is greener on the other side. So I always try to think maybe the other grass isn't so green. Maybe the other side is filled with dead spots and infested with chronic bugs - something my grass doesn't have. Maybe the other grass has suffered a bad winter, maybe crab grass is creeping in. Maybe my grass is okay - it just needs longer for the seeds to grow into beautiful tall blades.

I just finished reading another book, titled How We Roll, By Tim Wambach. It is a good book and worth exploring. It is a book about friendship filled with honesty and love, and overcoming all those challenges that lay ahead to "Keep on Keeping On." There is a line in the book that states: "You see, Tim, Mike isn't the only one with CP. We all have cerebral palsy." That is all too true. The whole family takes on this diagnosis, it changes our entire dynamic, our entire daily lives.
Our family has been and continues to be, so blessed with people that genuinely care about us, that come into our lives for a reason. They say that people are often a season, a reason or a lifetime in your life. And Chris and I are so thankful for each and every person that has come to lift us up. March is cerebral palsy awareness month. I think it's so very important to remember those that have such challenges. Please take a moment to view these two videos:

To be an abled body person is a tremendous gift. Not everyone is so fortunate to have a body that works so easy. I, like most, always took it for granted that I had my health. A body that had no limitations; the ability to physically walk down a street - to run in fear, to skip in delight, to throw a snowball at a sibling, or paint with a brush. Cherish what you have, remember it is a gift - a gift that others only dream of.
With love,
Stacy, Chris & Noah

Monday, March 8, 2010

My Future Is so Bright

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Noah had a great week. He is just such a huge joy to be with everyday. He is just blossoming into the happiest little baby and is such great company. We made it out to a few places for shopping and stroller rides this week. I've been treasuring my little starbucks card like a golden ticket to a little piece of heaven and pulled it out for a treat on a sunny day. He was an absolute little doll everywhere we went. He just loves to flirt and bat his eyes at anyone that talks to him.

I would say most people don't even detect that Noah is different when he's in his stroller. They make comments like oh, I bet he'd love to just get up and walk, or I bet he's just talking up a storm. I took the week off from explaining that Noah has a brain injury and just let people think what they may, without actually disclosing the truth. Really it was kind of refreshing. It was simply our secret that Noah can't do those things. And I enjoyed that he was getting attention for the right reasons (because he's just a cute little guy) rather than because people were feeling sorry for our circumstances or having a curiosity about his medical diagnosis. We camouflaged and blended in, just for a few days everyone thought we weren't any different.

Chris and I even took Noah out to dinner with us this week, a rare treat for us. Noah loved it. Of course it he takes more travel gear than the average baby, since we have to bring his own high chair in tow for sitting support. He really didn't want any of his own food, so he sampled ranch dressing, ketchup and we ordered him his own very over-priced cheesecake, which he thought was the next best thing to pumpkin pie.

Noah has also taking a liking to Boulder Organic Ice Creams, which is great that he'll eat things that are both warm and cold. He is processing different tastes and textures better, although he's still very far off from being able to eat probably like other babies his age do. But we have full confidence that he'll eventually get the hang of everything in that department as well. It will just be slow for him like most things are.

Chris and I continue to hear about such inspiring stories, which continues to give us hope each and everyday that Noah does have a chance at beating the odds against him. Today was the first time Noah rolled over from his tummy to his back completely on his own. Unfortunately I didn't get to witness the great event, but Noah's daddy did. He's trying so hard to build some great bridges. Granted he's not sitting, crawling, walking or talking, but these stepping stones are going to get him to the next step. And we couldn't be prouder of his accomplishments.

Noah continues to blaze his own path. I took a picture of him with his sunglasses on. His future is so bright he has to wear shades.

Stacy, Chris & Noah

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

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Noah's Favorite Butterfly of the Day
Noah loves chimes in the gift shop

Our Butterfly

Noah had a great weekend. It's always a highlight for Noah when he makes it to the Butterfly Pavilion. He loves to watch nature. With every butterfly he passes he tells them "A-Boo." His universal word of choice. Then turns to me and smiles like he wants me to recognize that he's offered kind words to one of God's beautiful creatures.

We've also noticed that Noah had developed a whole new set of language abilities when the vacuum is on. He talks to the vacuum with different Noah words than he uses at any other time. Chris and I call it vacuum speech therapy. We can only imagine what he is telling the vacuum, but he seems to make his own sentences. I fully believe if Noah had the ability to crawl he'd be all over that vacuum. We find it so hard to believe that Noah will be non-verbal. Real words may be a little slow to come, but he'll get there.
Brystal continues to mother Noah offering her gentle encouragement to roll-over. Hollie has since felt slightly ignored so she's now brining her balls to Noah thinking he'll somehow play fetch with her. Between the both of them I'm sure they'll have him moving in new directions soon. Chris and I would like to thank those who kindly responded to Noah's last posting with such support, love and kindness. Although we both recognize that even being very upfront with our feelings has not and will not stop people from judging, making assumptions or criticizing our decisions. Since the last posting in Noah's blog we've still both received emails of the very same nature, ironically maybe even more than the days prior. Our intentions were always to simply describe our life and Noah's beautiful miracle, yet people are picking us apart, dissecting us as parents, making demands that we explain ourselves. We've opened a door we never intended to simply by writing about Noah.
I remember once saying and even writing in Noah's journal "I fully believed that you should live your life out loud, even if that exposes you to judgment." I don't know if I really stand behind that idea anymore. There is a lot to be said for living your life very quietly, very much off the radar. When I was younger I thought that I would grow up and find a vocation that would let me change the world, I wanted to make this world a better place. Writing about our family and about our little Miracle Noah, I wanted the same thing - to demonstrate that this world was a better place because a little special boy named Noah fought the odds. I wanted to offer his story for hope, encouragement and faith that all things are possible. There are some days when I do question if writing about our family is even making a positive difference for anyone.

I have received encouraging responses from yet another set of special needs moms that assure me that these types of responses are very common. That people assume they know what you need, or how you should go about things, that you're doing things completely right or completely wrong. That doctors, nurses, therapists, friends, family and even strangers think they have your life all figured out in a matter of minutes simply based on something they've read. While I'm sure that maybe some are filled with good intentions others simply exist to be malicious maybe only because something is lacking in their lives and the only way for them to feel positive is to pick on others. In all honesty this phenomenon that I'm calling "journal entry back-lash", would have made a great college Sociology paper.

We will always remain thankful for those that continue to stand on the sidelines and cheer Noah on, in our hearts we know he is destined to do great things in this life. The rest we simply have to ignore as we move forward in helping Noah reach his destiny. As Noah's grandmother would say "don't sweat the small stuff."

Remember "Hope is Contagious."

With Love,
Stacy, Chris & Noah