Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Down but Not Out ...

Okay.It is late but I just have to jot down a few thoughts so we can just push past that last post.In many ways,continuing with the momentum of that post feels disrespectful to the journey our family has taken since the conception of this blog.Disrespectful to,as Caitlin so eloquently spoke of,the heart and soul of this site,and that is the incredible little Miss Zoey.So I will cut to the chase.It is the consensus of our family to not go private.Making that decision was not that difficult in the end because one would only have to look to the overwhelming response we received in the form of comments,to see why.Not by sheer number but rather by the content of those comments.Many brought us to tears.All were simply so genuine and kind and did not at all,remotely resemble the ugliness of what brought us to this day in the first place.We also received the most unbelievable emails lending their support and advice as well.Mind you,most all of the comments and emails were from complete and total strangers.Many of whom have never even left comments previously but have followed this road alongside us in silence.Silently but resounding loudly in support of each trial and triumph that we faced.All of this was absolutely mind blowing and mind boggling.How is it one precious child could reach so many?From all over the world.Literally.I don't have the answers.What I do know however,is that Zoey's life, at the tender age of 2 years and 4 months,continues to leave me awestruck.I am so proud to be the mother of this little girl, who is oblivious to what has gone down and just goes with the flow of her daily life.Maybe I should have trusted her lead as I have done all of her young life and went with her inspiring ability to forgive what has been given and just move forward.I am disappointed in myself that I allowed the ignorance of a select few to take hold and take over what I ultimately know is true.And it is this:the majority of this world we live in is filled with kind and loving people.Filled with those people that make a daily concerted effort to give to and give back to their fellow man.The human spirit is an amazing thing and we have once more been touched and changed by it.Thank you is inadequate but it is all I have at the moment.Where do we go from here?I suppose forward.I will continue do the only thing I know how to do when it comes to this blog and that is to write and share as openly and honestly as any one wants to hear.It is what people will decide to listen to that will matter in the the end.What I hope people hear is just that:HOPE.Hope in the form of a tiny baby who has surpassed the seemingly insurmountable and along the way became the greatest teacher to her family and all who love her.Zoey has so much more teaching to do.I have so much more learning to do.I am flawed and I am so very far from perfect.I do not hold all the answers but I do hold the unwavering belief that there is so much more to come for my family on this journey beside this magical girl.We would love for you to come along for the ride.But in choosing to do so know that this family,my immediate family, is the single most important thing here.Not this blog.In many ways,these days that lie ahead of us could quite possibly be the most enlightening.Maybe it is here we will all see what God has been leading us to all along.We have long said that Zoey has been what we have been waiting for all of our lives.That she,with her indomitable will to survive, will give to us our "a- ha" moment and we will finally see, with crystal clarity, what God has been leading us to all along.

48 comments:

tonia said...

Thankyou for keeping your blog public. When ever I come onto the computer the first thing I do is read your blog and Pablo's. You write so beautifully and honestly and in a sense I feel like I know you and your family. I love seeing the photos of Zoey that you put up if I'm feeling a bit down her beautiful smile makes me warm and fuzzy, shes so lovely.

Tonia

Angi said...

Decided to check in on little Zoey early this a.m. (5:30am east coast time)I have been up all night with my very fussy 6 month old, thought I was in for a horrible day...you have brought tears to my eyes once again. I am so very happy we can follow your journey for another day. Your little Zoey and your family bring inspiration to me every day:)

Anonymous said...

BRAVO!!!! Look past the ugly and see the beauty - Zoey's purpose in life..such a wonderful gift from God above.

Robyn from Otisco

ABandCsMom said...

I'm happy to hear you are not going private. I would have missed reading up on Zoey and of course Charlie too!

You know, I can't figure out why people leave nasty comments, but yet feel the need to keep coming back and reading more. You have obviously captured their curiosity. If they're really so down on you and your family. Why on earth don't they just click that X in the right hand corner and NOT come back??

I have yet to experience anything like this. I'm sure I would be just as upset as you are. Our blogs are just that. Our blogs. Like it, or leave it. Seriously. Sheesh, people!

Anyway, happy to wake up this morning and see that you are staying public.

stephanie said...

Thank You!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hope said...

It's 8:16 am and I'm already teary. You have a gift! ((Hugs))

Jamie said...

I have not followed long but long enough to know that your family is just so GREAT! I had a friend the other day tell me I was their hero..Hero?? I said that Madie is my life and seizures are a part of it..and we deal with her delays and her slow but steady development...usually brushing off any sort of compliments..not seeing myself as a hero by no means but a TIRED mama who thru hell and high water will get her baby thru this..a mama who crys for her child with fears of the unknown and keeping the faith that she will walk someday and learn the world around her.!
Madies seizures are doing extreamly well and at nearly 3 has finally been able to push to a sit!!
I dunno what I am really trying to say...its early and madie is full of energy...lol with already two head bonks from sitting!Just sending a hug I suppose. :)
IF you do decide to go private than so be it..no one needs attacks on their families! BUT promise us this...ONE post once in awhile to let us see that sweet lil chubster Zoey. ;) Oh and to let me steal cool quotes...LOL

blogzilly said...

Good call... :)

FinlaysonFamily said...

I am so happy to hear that you are not going private - I am so looking forward to continuing to keep you and your family in specific prayers! God Bless! ~ Angie

The VW's said...

Zoey has a great purpose in life and she definitely has a lot to teach all of us! I read a quote before that children like Zoey and Gavin are "not put on this earth to learn, but to teach." This is so true! We have so much to learn from these precious children!

I pray that others will see this! Keep up the great job of sharing Zoey's amazing gift with this world! Prayers for her and your family will continue! HUGS!!!

Just Another Ordinary Miracle said...

I have read the past several posts and cried with you. I don't know about your comments, but you are not alone. Some people will NEVER be able to grasp the true WONDER of our girls' lives. Period. Maybe if they were to meet them face-to-face, they might 'get it', but probably not. Mainly out of their own fears. People like that can never see past the tip of their own noses, to afraid to love someone more than they do themselves, to afraid to put themselves dead last almost every second of everyday, to afraid to love unconditionally despite the pain that occompanies so much love, to afraid that in the end a battle will be won - and all battles include casualties. Just know that those people are fewer in number than all the rest overflowing with compassion and the want to understand the lives' of our small girls. Girls who have touched more hearts and brought more people to life, to God, than any one of us combined, and they do it all with a touch, nothing more! Oh,we get those seldom comments too, even from those sitting right here in our own backyard. I refuse to let that one apple ruin the entire bushel. Zoey is one of those miracles, an ordinary miracle, just like Ivey - they were sent here to minister to others - don't let any one change that!!! You are loved all the way from Georgia!!!!!!!! \
Love one of your kindred friends,
Gwen

Cammie Heflin said...

Yeah!

Sandy said...

Thank you for making me happy by continuing your blog! I have been following you for a couple of months and enjoy readying about Zoey and her friends! Will keep you in my prayers.

Dana Janowicz said...

Here I am with my coffee:). YAY. Well said Heather...Amen.

Michelle said...

Beautifully and perfectly said. May God continue to bless the journey of your family.
Kindest Regards,
Michelle Drollinger

Edith said...

I'm so glad you are not closing the blog...I've not commented before but have been following Zoey's story for several months now.

Cheri said...

I for one say...HIP, HIP, HOORAY!!! :)

Dee said...

Im so happy you aren't going private on your blog. For no other reason but to not let those nasty people win! I am a silent reader who comments once in a while. Your blog, your sweet Zoey, is an inspiration to my family and I cannot tell you how much she has affected our lives. Not being able to read your blog would be terrible!! I find myself checking in everyday on one of my very favorite families. I have become very involved (as much as one could in blogland) with all of you and I feel priveledged to be able to share in your lives. Keep going and try not to let anyone bring you down with your words. For every nasty comment I would say you probably have 100 positive comments to help wash that one away. My family sends love and support!!
Dee
♥♥♥

Lacey said...

I'm so glad that you didn't let some a-- hole ruin your beautiful blog. And can I just say that the pics of Zoey below, she looks so old, my gosh, has she grown that much since I saw her?

Mareesa said...

I am so happy to hear that your blog is going to stay open, I check in on Zoey and your family every morning. I've told so many of my friends and family about your amazing family and the strength you have. Zoey is beautiful in every way, I just love her smile. She has been through so much but she doesn't let it show, she's just so happy and beautiful.

I do not often post comments but I do look forward to reading your blog everyday and seeing what Zoey and your family is up to.

Charlie is just a precious little girl, so beautiful. Congrats on becoming a Mimi.

Mareesa

Anonymous said...

I am so glad to hear that you have decided to keep your blog public. I so enjoy reading about your family and especially little Zoey who has that beautiful twinkle in her eye! I have a son with DS and autism and you inspire me through your words and actions. Keep it up. You are an amazing family.

sincerely,
Colleen Hanafin

sheree said...

I am so thankful that you didn't let those few little bumps in the bloggy road lead you off course.

I am forever grateful.

Rhea said...

Thank you!!! Continuing to pray everyday for your awesome family.

kerry Gordon said...

I am so very happy to read of your decision to continue with your blog. There is indeed more beauty than ugly in this world. The beauty is just not as
"loud". thank you for reminding reminding us of the beauty.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you're staying. You and your family are WONDERFUL people. If I didn't live in San Jose, I'd bake you a fresh strawberry pie to cheer you up and make you forget about the mean people. I think they probably are coming from a place of fear and rigidness -- they live in their own private hell, and hopefully someday they will experience grace and their hearts will soften -- but they'll have some serious bad karma to overcome in the meantime. Sad.

Remember the words of Teresa of Avila..."All shall be well." I truly believe that all things work together for good.

Jenefer (Jeff C.'s friend)

Anonymous said...

Phew! I was so wishing this would be the "family decision". This aunt, great aunt, great, great auntie is so "over the moon" at the moment. When I read all those posts from everyone and especially those who have been following and so many with their special needs children I was blown, blown away!

Awesome decision Needham family and all prayers have been answered. I felt I would have been One of the "chosen", but I just want EVERYONE WHO HAS COME TO KNOW, LOVE and to learn of and about Miss Zoey to read the journey to follow. (and ofcourse anyone else you mention (family) Heather)

I am smiling now - for sure!!!!!

Love & hugs to everyone

Bluebelle/Loraine

Kele said...

So happy to hear it!
I must admit, and I know you can take this without offense, but I was so disappointed that the person, and or personS, who left the comments, was given the attention of a another full on post. They don't deserve it, and in my opinion, them coming back and seeing all that was written, and knowing they caused so much commotion, only validated them in their own sick minds! So I am all for hitting the delete button on the moderation and moving on without any disruption in, or recognition on, this beautiful blog! That is my 2 cents!
Love to ya all!

Lori from PA said...

Thank you for continuing to be an inspiration to so many people. I'm sure it is hard to have your families information "out there" for people to critize - Part of the problem I believe comes from - people feel like they know you because they get some of the insight to your daily life (I know some of the kids I check in on every day, I feel like they are family) reality is - most of the people don't know you at all. Hopefully, if any other "nasty" messages come in, you can, after the first sentence or so just delete it and not read any further. I see a lot of love on your blog and as days go on that will just continue to grow and grow. Thank you for continuing on this journey. Thank you for sharing your family with us. Your family gives hope to people who might have given up a long time ago. God bless all of you.

The Lane Family said...

Thank you for keeping your blog public. I know it must be a hard decision but I am so grateful that we get the oppurtunity to watch your family and recieve the inspiration that they bring to our family.

Wendi

The Hearnes said...

Oh Heather,

I have goosebumps!! I am so very happy to read your most recent post!

I said a prayer to Thomas last night that you find peace in making the right decision... a decision that could only be made by you and your family.

Thank you for continuing to share your gifts with us!!

We love you,
The Hearnes

Proud Grandma said...

I am so glad that you decided to keep the blog public - I love reading about your family and hearing about your lives as parents of a child with special needs - we have been foster parents to a special needs child for the past 11 years and also now the new path your lives have taken as grandparents - we have 10 grandchildren and we love being grandparents and I am sure you will find great joy in your little granddaughter Charlie - Caitlin & Danny are lucky to have you as role models. Don't let the one bad apple spoil it all!!! Take care .

Sophia said...

Thanks for the comment. I'm glad you visited my blog!

dmphilips said...

This is so stinky when something like this happens. I am the mother of four children and my youngest has Down Syndrome (and I am from the same hometown as Michelle and little Preslie--but our Gracie is a few months older.....). I have been reading your blog forever and love the pictures of Miss Zoe

Two of my children are also adopted (and african american--and we are white). EVERY time I write something about adoption I get an earful..either someone things that it is wrong to adopt black children, or we don't do enough for their birth moms, etc, etc... you really can't win. I started my blog to help out in the area of adoption and transracial families..then we got our Gracie Girl and it extended to T21 stuff as well... and we have had, what i hope, is a positive impact on other people and their decisions... but when I get those hateful comments I question it.

Now I just erase them and forget it..I hardly bother to read them. My blog is named Ignore the Crazy.. and sometimes I have to remind myself about this phrase, it is what my dad would say to me when I was frustrated about another person.

Glad your granddaughter is doing well and I am so happy to hear that your daughter and her fiance are doing well too. As an adoptive mamma (who is pretty conservative) it is often assumed that I always think that adoption is the right answer, but I can tell you from the bottom of my heart that I know it ISN"T. Age and marriage don't define ability and to parent, family support, circumstance and perspective have an awful lot to do with it. We are still friendly with a few expectant mothers who decided to parent in the end and I celebrate their victories and know they made a good choice. Just as I know that for the two children we are lucky enough to raise (and share) with their other mom's, they were placed with us, not because their parents were young or unmarried, but for other reasons....

That was a long winded way of saying Bravo. Be a duck and just let the crazy roll right off you. It is all you can do, right?

Melissa said...

Thank you so much for continuing to inspire me! I absolutely love the way you write & express yourself!! You're amazing:)

I adore the latest pictures of Zoey & I'm so HAPPY that she's doing so well!!
God Bless you & your wonderful Family!!
{{HUGS}}

Judy said...

Heather, just think of all of your blog supporters as a big circle of love around your family!
Zoey has already given everyone such a gift of hope and inspiration!
So glad you are moving forward and taking us all along for the ride :) We love you all!

Melina said...

Thank you so much for keeping it public! I knew I wouldn't be able to continue to keep up after that and Zoey is someone I daily check on. I don't know why, having no DS child myself or even know of one in real life, but for some reason I feel led by God to Down's children and any and all info regarding them. Honestly, I am feeling led to adoption, but my husband is not on the same page unfortunately. Anyway, thank you so much for keeping it public! You have a beautiful family!

just jean said...

I've been reading all the supportive blog comments from the last posts. Wow! You have touched so many people and left a handprint on their hearts. (from Wicked) I, too, want to add my gratefulness for the decision to continue sharing this journey with so many known and unknown friends. Zoey has helped us remain centered in what is important in our lives.

You have always been so open about sharing your heart and life. Now we can give back to you our complete support!
Prayers always for Zoey and
Charlie!

Amy said...

Heather,
Thank you (and your family) for having the courage to keep your blog open so that others will be inspired and encouraged. I couldn't agree more with all the posted comments (especially just another ordinary miracle). I have two beautiful miracles myself. Abby who was born with a congenital heart defect and other undiagnosed health problems that she struggles with on a daily basis(she is 7) and Emma who struggles with PDD-NOS along with developmental delay and sensory issues(she is 4). While out in public we get all the stares, judgements and comments too. I have come home hurt and mad that we should have to endure such ignorance. Then I think about my beautiful girls and the fact that God BLESSED me with these girls. I think about how HE CHOSE ME and HE BELIEVES IN ME and HE TRUSTS ME to raise His children. I think about my Heavenly Father and what he went through because he loves me more that I can even begin to imagine. My heart softens and then after a deep breath I feel like I can take on another day. Looking forward to being able to continue on your journey with your amazing and beautiful Zoey.

Amy

Gracesmommy said...

I'm so glad that you have decided to keep the blog public, and not to let those few nasty people slow down what this blog has brought to so many people. I for one am excited that we will be able to continue to pray for your beautiful family and sweet little Zoey. Something about her is magical! She captured my heart from the moment I found your blog, and I'm not sure if it's her adorable smile or the fact that she reminds me of my little girl. Either way she is a blessing and I count myself lucky to have found your page. What an amazing family!

Bek said...

Ok..just so you know that I am not crazy.. I posted the last comment as DMPHILLIPS and didn't realize that my visiting sister had used the computer last... if you click on her name, you will see two adorable children (not four) and none have T21... whoops!! This is my real blog ( duh).

But the same feelings apply--I just didn't want to see like a crazy person!

Jeana said...

I along with everyone else am absolutely thrilled that I get to continue along through your beautiful, inspiring journey with that miracle girl Zoey. Thank you.

Peter Olson said...

Yes! Thank God!
That's another answered prayer. :-)
I will continue to pray for you, Zoey and the rest of your family.
This blog is a great reminder for me to do that. I suffer from chemo-brain at times.
Keep up the great work!
You are doing a fantastic job!
Encouragement - encouragement!
Peter J. Olson

Anonymous said...

Another thank you for keeping your blog public. Your Zoey is an inspiration. My 4 year old daughter is fighing leukemia, and it is so healing to rea about your triumphs over this monster of a disease.
All the best to your beautiful family!
Nancy in NJ

Nickel said...

Please remember satan comes in many forms and tries to undo the good things people such as yourselves do. You have been an inspiration to many people all over the world. How amazing is it that you touch thousands and thousands of people in a possitive way each and everyday? Sadly, satan is alive and tries his best to spread evil and sadness. He uses many different vehicles to accomplish his goals. Unfortunately you have been the victim of some of his work through ignorant people. Please know we love what you do and think your family is amazing. Thank you for sharing your journey with the world. I don't know what I would do if I couldn't check up on your sweet family everyday. Thank you for continuing to allow us to be apart of your journey.

Jennifer Faneuff said...

I am so sorry that such ugliness and hatred shoved its way into your beautiful, graceful space that you have so generously shared with the world. Zoey - and her loving family - are valuable lessons to us all on what love, grace, tenderness and mercy are all about. God bless and keep you all.

scrappy quilter said...

I am so glad you didn't give in to some ugliness, however have followed Zoey's example and gone with the flow. She is an inspiration and will continue to reach many. Just look at her, how can we not love her for who she is. A little angel that is touching many and I firmly believe will touch the heart of any who take time to know this precious little one. In getting to know Zoey, we get to know her precious family. I for one am so happy I found this blog...you'll never know how much it has meant to me.

Stephanie said...

I'm so excited that you have made the decision to allow us the contiued sharing of your lives.
Thank you and God Bless.

Michelle said...

I'm so sorry that you are experiencing the nasty side of the blogging world. But I truly believe that there are far more supporters then haters out there.

I'm very glad that you have decided to keep your blog public but would totally understand if one you day I come to catch up on your beautiful family and find it has been changed to private.

I would be sad but know you did it protect your loved ones - the people that truly matter in this world.

Stay strong and may god bless you all !!

Michelle
Calgary, AB