Thursday, March 31, 2016

Trisomy Awareness Month

The last month I have posted a photo a day for Trisomy Awareness Month. I hope it has been  like a window into Noah's world and you have found that he is more then just a boy on the sidelines.
He is a boy that has feelings, just like everyone else. He smiles, cries and he even gets mad. He even can be a bit ornery sometimes. He just wants to be part of this big big world.
I'm going to really miss sharing a picture of Noah everyday and I hope that you've enjoyed the journey.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Our First Noah/ Kehres Day

Over the years we have been very blessed with family that would help us with Noah when we needed them to. The idea of letting someone we hardly know take care of him scared me to death. Especially since he is unable to let us know if someone has been mean to him and we've had problems in the past that we are still not sure what happened to him. 
Lately it came apparent that I really need to find someone we can trust so Scott and I can get out and enjoy each other. To reconnect if you will. The thought of it gave me much anxiety. I posted our needs on Facebook and I got two responses. Both I'm very happy with, in fact I found myself getting very excited about spending time with Scott. Over this last weekend we got away together.
We found ourselves talking about Noah, but never once were we worried about him. He had such a great time with the Kerhes family. It felt so good to see them enjoy him. They were so nervous but they soon relaxed and they can't wait for the next Noah/Kerhes day. We got this sweet picture of Noah and Todd watching the high school championship game together.
A huge thank you goes out to the Kerhes' for offering to help out with Noah. Scott and I had the best day talking and laughing together.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Thanks for Everything Shelby Basketball

This post brought to you by Noah's dad!
I've written here before about our enjoyment of Shelby basketball, and how well the basketball program at Shelby High School has taken care of Noah over the years.  I'm happy to say that has continued throughout this year.
Noah was given a home jersey this year, and he wore it to every home game.  Late in the season, Troy Schwemley, Shelby's head coach, told us he wanted to have Noah announced as part of the team on Senior Night.  That was a dream come true for me.  What father wouldn't want to hear his son's name announced during the introductions, and hear the crowd applaud?
Seriously, that was enough for me.  I couldn't stop smiling after that happened.  But then after the season, Troy contacted us and invited Noah to the awards banquet, too.  We were very happy to be able to enjoy the awards banquet with the team and their parents.  What happened during the banquet was quite a surprise, though.
Noah was given a special award from the basketball program.  Talk about your "proud dad" moments.  I never would've thought I'd see the day when Noah was given a basketball award.  Another dream come true for Noah's dear ol' dad. 
Here's Coach Schwemley giving Noah the award.
Here's a close-up of Noah with his award. 
After the banquet, the other award winners asked if Noah could be in the newspaper picture with them.  Who were we to say no?

Noah got his picture taken with a lot of the players that night.  Here he is with Davey Hipp.
Noah with Davey Hipp and Carter Brooks.
Noah with senior Brandon Schneider.
Noah with Brock Kehres. 
Noah with senior Trevor Young.
The four seniors of Shelby basketball, 2016:  Brandon Schneider, Matt Dawson, Trevor Young, and Noah.
Noah's got several friends on the cheerleading squad, too.  Here's fellow senior Allie Uplinger.
Here's Noah with senior cheerleader Arica Friebel.  And below is Coach Troy Schwemley with Noah.
Thank you, Troy, for all you've done for Noah (and us!) the last several years.  You and the players each year have helped make Noah feel like "one of the guys" and that's all Susan and I ever wanted for him. Also, between the coaching staff and the other parents, Susan and I were made to feel very comfortable and included over the course of the season.  That felt great.  We've made some new friends through this experience.  And isn't that what it's all about?  And don't worry... We'll be back next season.  We're Whippet fans through and through, and we can't imagine NOT going to the games.  Go Whippets!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Happy Trisomy 8 Day

When Noah was diagnosed with Trisomy 8 seventeen years ago it felt like our world had come crashing down around us. We were told our little baby boy would probably not live very long and he would probably be a vegetable. Yes, Noah can't walk or talk, but he is far from a vegetable. He is a happy well loved young man that just turned 18 years old. We have experienced more joy and love than we ever thought possible and it's not about what he can't do, it's all about what he can.
There is a long list of characteristics for Trisomy 8. Noah doesn't have any of them. So we believe he suffers more from his CP then his trisomy. 
The extra chromosome that Noah got just made him awesome.

God didn't make a mistake, he just made Noah extra special.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Spread the Word

Historically the word "retarded " was a diagnostic term describing someone with a developmental disability. In pop culture today, it's used as an insult. Even when the person using the word is intending to directly demean our son , the implication is there and it's hurtful. So today, on Spread the Word to End the Word Day, we ask that you take the pledge to show Noah the respect he deserves by removing the words "retarded" and "retard" from your vocabulary. It's a  little things that is easy to do and can make a big difference in advancing the perception of people with special needs.