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Saturday, June 7, 2014

Kissed by Noa...

....It's been just about a year since our last update. Back in May of 2013, we were about 2 weeks away from moving back to the Central Coast of California, back "home". When given the option of going back, it brought a ray of sunshine to a cloudy day, so it was an easy decision to make. To be back to what's familiar and free from the heaviness that we felt every time we passed the hospital where Noa was born. I will say that I had mixed emotions about leaving Spokane or even Portland. Almost like Stockholm Syndrome, I was a prisoner to my sadness but didn't want to leave that little piece of Noa behind.
We've been back now for a year and I still look at the blog almost every day. To see if people are still looking at it or if new people are finding it and maybe leaving comments. The idea of this blog was to tell anyone who was interested about the whole journey. The ups and the downs, good and bad, the easy and the hard, to be transparent, real... We knew that it wouldn't be just for us, but for people who might be going through the same thing. Noa's story touched a lot of people while she was alive and we know that it's still going to. We wanted to give another update to let you know how we're doing and whats new with our family because something amazing happened 6 months ago.

Meet Moselle Grace Rose...


I remember asking Heidi months ago, "Which do you think will be harder... Noa's birthday (Oct 23rd) or Dec 8th? I think we both agreed that Dec 8th would be. Moselle was born Dec 3rd, just 5 days before the anniversary of Noa's death. Through God's grace we had a hope and excitement of new life (a baby to hold) that would be here during what we knew would be hard days for us. We weren't trying to get pregnant (preventing actually). Nothing will ever fill that hole left in our hearts from losing Noa, having Moselle just made our hearts bigger, more full of love. We like to think that Moselle got to meet Noa and was kissed on her head to remind us...

                                       ...God's plan alway ends with redemption.

If anyone has questions or wants to talk about our journey, we're here.

Thank you,

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

It's been so long
and winter has given way to spring

When we were in week 2 of Portland, my girlfriend Corrie came from Bellingham, WA to be with Ruby, Noa and I while Justin and Emmaus took my sister back for her flight in Spokane. It was God's gracious timing. Now I look back at all the friends/family that were able to meet Noa and its very sweet to share that with them. 
When Corrie returned home, she wrote a song in memory of that time that she calls, "O For Grace". She posted it on UTube for me to see and here's the link if you'd like to listen: Click Here .

I don't know why I've broken this long silence with Corrie's song. Because I love it. It can stir my heart when I feel far removed from those days.

In Portland for 'Remembrance'
I've been thinking and keeping notes on what to say if I ever decided to update the blog. I have been impressed with so many moms out there that have continued to open their hearts and lives in their blogs during the grieving process. And its actually been helpful to me to read them at different times (especially this one: click here to see her blog).

So- on to the update! 
4 years old...her birthday spanned a week!
Since January...Emmaus and Ruby have both celebrated birthdays! In February Emmaus turned '2' and in April, Ruby turned '4'. They are so so cute and definetely living up to all the claims that those ages hold. Ruby is vivacious and animated and curious. She has lots of energy and is matched perfectly by Emmaus who loves to run and wrestle and... pester Ruby! 
Emmaus is so funny and independent, yet super timid at other times. He still isn't much of a talker (calls Ruby, "Raa!") but very strong and stable on his feet. He just started climbing the monkey bars at the park, and he regularly has skinned knees (and at the moment, a skinned up face)! Emmaus is mischevious in a way Ruby never was. Twice yesterday he unlocked the door and the deadbolt and went out front without my knowledge. Thank God for mother's intuition he wasn't out there too long! I have to keep an eye on him. He'll color on the wall and all over himself in seconds. 
Ruby is finishing up preschool at Southside Christian. It has been a perfect experience for her... and I love that some foundational truths have been reinforced there ("...hear the Word of God and obey it..." are words to a song she's learned there). 

Birthday bike
Spring and Summer finally came. It felt like the grey and cold would never end...and you hear that from even the long time locals. It's just part of living in Spokane! But when the weather does break, it's like healing to your soul that the winter wounded. Within weeks the trees are green and flowers are blooming and all the windows in the house are open. Its been nice to fill up the kiddy pool in the back and sit in the sun. 

My fingerprint with Noa's name
A couple of months ago, I started going to GriefShare classes (which are ran out of local churches all over the US. I highly recommend it!). I decided to go because I felt like life was going on as normal but I knew everything wasn't normal. It may have been because I spend a majority of my time at home with the kids and there wasn't the 'emotional room' to grieve everyday and also care for the kids. I wasn't able to be available (or present) to I decided I needed to set aside time for Noa, and thus, the classes. It has been so good. It's help put parameters on what I'm experiencing and how it might be different in the light of our situation. It also has given some makers of growth and typical areas people might get 'stuck'. And they just do a good job of covering many areas a grieving person will encounter. The first class I went to dealt with how family members grieve differently...and it brought deeper assurance that Justin not attending the class with me was ok...even good. And honestly....more than anything, that has been the theme of these classes. I leave each session absolutely convinced again that God has been holding our hands in this whole journey. I think at different times, Justin and I have been almost guilty for how well we're doing.  We are grieving...but we're also ok.
It wasn't too long after Noa's death I was reading the Bible and I felt so strong that God was encouraging me that Psalm 139 was for her, especially verses 14-16 where it says that we are fearfully and wonderfully made, that God sees us being formed in our mothers womb...he sees our 'unformed substance', and in His book are written all the days that were formed for us, even before we are born. And I knew that God was not surprised by her CDH or any day that she lived from conception to death. He had a just takes time for our hearts and minds to trust ourselves to that...even if we don't understand why.
Awesome nurses we got to see while in Portland

Last month we returned to Portland to attend a 'Remembrance Service' for all the babies/children that had been cared for at Emanuel Children's Hospital and passed away. Justin and I both didn't know what to expect at the service, or even what we wanted from our time...but we didn't want to go just to say, "goodbye" or to try and receive closure to move on. 

It took me a little while to process it, but I finally realized that, as Christians, we have hope still! And that's what we were feeling. Our grieving doesn't look like the 'worlds' and this life isn't the end. We will see Noa again. God is good and loving and wonderful and has good reasons for what happens to all of us for whatever length of time we are here (apply Psalm 139!). And Noa's life wasn't a tragedy (though it feels like it) or a mistake... it truly was God's gift to us, a privilege to be her mom and dad...our little bird. I still miss her and want her. Anyone who's lost someone they love knows how that feels. 

SOOOO, That is most of it, but not all... just 13 days we hit our 2 year mark of when we left California for Washington. 
What a roller-coaster it has been!!! Wow, I have learned so much. It has honestly been one of the toughest seasons of my life...and I am sitting here crying because I am positive God has so many beautiful lessons woven in the numerous struggles I've walked through. Some I am still unaware of. From high pressure comes beautiful things like diamonds and pearls...worship. And I wouldn't trade it in for anything less. And in a way, I feel a sense of relief coming and an end to season because... just 15 days, we will be moving back to California.
I am so looking forward to smelling the ocean, hiking my favorite mountains with Justin and my babes (and smelling like sage) and being near my mom and sisters and brother in laws...neicies and nephews. It feels like a gift...I think it really is. Thank you Jesus. Justin and I didn't push hard to make it happen. It really unfolded before us and we are pleased to return. It isn't a bitter departure from Spokane...just a sweet return to home. 

Montana de' Oro...a favorite hike
Hills of gold

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Hello Friends and Family-

To those of you who weren't on our texting list or we haven't been able to catch up with...I wanted to share some of what's been happening the last couple of weeks.
Our wooden box 

It took us awhile to figure out the timing, but we finally made the trip back to Portland to pick up Noa. We also made an effort to connect with some of the hospital staff that we never had a chance to say goodbye to. 

I was surprised when I called to make reservations (at the same hotel where both of our mothers had stayed) and the man on the phone knew Noa by name. My heart went right to my throat. He was sorry to hear she had not made it. I was nervous about seeing the people that knew us through that time...where do we go from here? What do I say? In the end, I realized I just wanted to thank them and say goodbye.

Nurse who was with Noa that night
Wonderful staff 

We had breakfast our first morning with 3 dear ladies that had cared for Noa...very bright & kind women. They dispeled any apprehension I had, as did everyone else we saw that day.  We were able to remember, ask questions and share our sadness with them. And, we got to thank them for all their care. We visited the RMH (which the kids totally cookies and a choo-choo that does loops around the dining room ceiling) and then walked to the hospital and visited the  Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), and the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU).
We laughed and cried with the nurses and it felt so good to see that some of them still carried our family in their hearts. It was such an awesome trip. So hard to go to the mortuary and gather the little wooden box that holds Noa, but a sweet type of closure that its done. I felt so much of God's grace during the trip. It was good to say goodbye to some and solidify bonds with others.
Justin shoveling!!

Rest of our daily life...

little unhappy guy
The snow has been fun and magical, though cold. Ruby is a trooper and can play outside happily but Emmaus gets cold and unhappy pretty quick. I try to get them out anyways. I'm one of those people that feel like we need 'fresh air' everyday! But the cold is unfriendly.

I was able to complete the process for milk donation. It felt significant to me because it was one of the few 'parenting' things I was doing for Noa. The finalization of that was good and sad. It will benefit another baby in need, but its another hope lost.

Captain of the Storm
I joined a bible study that meets every week. It's a new group of ladies...and while I don't feel like emotionally investing with them yet, I am excited to have some structure to keep me in 'the word' on a regular basis. Already I feel encouraged by some hope in my heart. God is kind and it is good for me to hear that and see it in others lives. 

Today is 6 weeks since she passed away. Our little one. I can't believe it. Still feels like a bad dream. We continue to get cards and letters and it helps so much to know that people are still thinking of us. It's like they are carrying some of the helps us to reconnect and grieve...while 'everyday life' doesn't.

Love you all

Precious ones

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Providence! Not Coincidence

'Overcoming CDH' (the title of the blog)... originally we thought that it pertained to Noa surviving. Seems now that it's about Heidi and I, and how we will "overcome" our loss (present and future). I can say that it's by the grace of God that we're able to stay positive. One thing that we didn't want to be told was that, "God won't give you more than you can handle". This really is too much. But maybe it's our faith or the trust we put in Him that gives us hope through this.

Here are some examples of how He's definitely letting us know that He's in it with us:
-I painted this in 07 for Heidi while we were dating. Cool thing about it is that there are three birds in the tree... (Ruby, Emmaus and Noa). Two are flying and one has landed.

9Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: 10If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.
                                         Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

It's hard to explain how true this verse is and at the same time how hard it is to see it out. Realistically, when Heidi is overcome with sadness, all that I can do is hold her and be in it with her. Sometimes the only words that come out are, "I know" (if any words come out at all).

-I got in the habit of playing Josh Garrels on my iphone for Noa during my nightly visits. I wanted her to hear the music that moves and inspires me. It just so happens that he lives in Portland. The night after Noa passed away, Heidi and I took the kids out to eat (HUB) and in the booth next to us was his wife and kids. I was able to tell her (through my tears) that our baby had gone to be with Jesus and that I played his music for her. It's not like me to be so bold, but it meant a lot to me to tell her.

-We went looking for a box/case to protect and display a plaster cast of Noa's hand and foot. We didn't see anything in the store even close to what we were looking for. On a clearance table on the back wall of the store, among random other items, Heidi found this treasure box.

I didn't even know what to say. Just one of those moments where the hair on the back of your neck stands up. We knew we had to get it... it was meant for us. The name isn't on the actual box itself, but its still hard for me to think that it's just a coincidence. (If you can't read the small print....the name on the box is 'Noa'!

-Some friends of our here in Spokane had dinner with a family from Colorado and they started sharing our story with them and they said that their church had heard about us and had been praying for us.

-Heidi had a follow up appointment with Dr. Hilton (our OB).We debated if we should even keep it, if it was necessary. We both had a fear of the emotions that would arise from being back in the office that we had so many appointments in. We shared hugs and tears with the Nurses and Dr's that were a part of our journey. On the way out while saying our goodbyes, the stenographer (Rita) who initially found Noa's CDH walked past us in the hall. No words, just a smile. It put bookends to our story there.

Really, there are so many stories of people who don't know us and might not ever get to meet us who supported us through prayer and giving. It's been a learning experience in so many ways for our family, mainly about receiving. There are too many people to thank and those are only the one we know of. All we can do is thank God and pray he blesses you like he did (and still does) for us.

Thank you everyone.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Our New Marathon
Jan 5th 2013

Justin and I keep saying we want to update the blog with what's been happening in our lives since Noa passed away. But time is surreal and gets away from me. Its hard to believe that was just 4 weeks ago. Some days I just float along.

It seems like we were just in Portland engaged in our daily routine. It engulfed us. If I close my eyes and think of it, I remember what it felt like. Spokane and life here feels so removed from what our reality was for so long (even though it was a short 47 days we 'had' her). All of the thoughts and feelings are jumbled most of the time, waiting to be processed. My girlfriend wisely said, "'s a new marathon."

Honestly, I've avoided the computer and looking at my email. I realized I am just prolonging what is inevitable...moving forward and all0wing grief to have its place. I'm sad that I'm not sitting down to write about how Noa is still fighting and the kids are 'hanging in there'. And I'm not pouring over tests and feedback from all of you about how you're praying and hopeful with us (and I know you are still praying). Now we are just sorry and so sad.

Sometimes it feels like I'm in a bad dream. I keep waiting for the relief that comes from waking from that bad dream...but the heaviness remains. And I imagine it will for a long time. Noa took a part of our heart with her. 

I've been looking at a couple of books about this process and they have been helpful. And God has clearly been guiding me and continues to carry our family. Even though God doesn't remove the grief, he is surely embracing us in it. I know He is with us. 

So...Here are a few highlights of our life lately:
Getting a ride

~ We returned to our house that had been uninhabited for 46 days but it didn't feel like it. Our friends had cleaned and freshened our house, went grocery shopping, put up a Christmas tree with lights, and topped it off with holiday  'lawn art'! We felt surrounded even though we were given some space.
mom and sisters 

~ Two days after returning to WA, our family and community in CA got together and bought us plane tickets, a hotel, and took care of all the details to be able to spend a week with them there. It was such a wonderful visit and we were blown away (again) by the support and love we were given. It was so so appreciated. Thank you.

~ Shortly after leaving Portland, the director of the Ronald McDonald House for Oregon, Tom Soma, decided to make Ruby and our family the subject of his weekly blog. We are so impressed and humbled by the Ronald McDonald House Charities. We don't know what we would've done without it. (I remember roaming the halls when we first arrived and looking at photos of people who were contributors and just cried with gratitude). It is well worth anyones donation of time or money. Anyways,  we thought it was really neat that our family left an impression on Tom. Here's the link to his blog: Tom's Musings
aahh, beach!
~ Ruby started back to preschool. It gives me some peace to be able to have that for her. And to have a couple hours alone with Emmaus.

~ We made it through my birthday and holidays...barely. Lots of tears in there. We really had planned on bringing her home. And initially I scolded myself for the confidence I saw when we returned home...diapers, clothes, plants, etc. But then I remember that during the whole pregnancy we thought of Noa's situation as "best case scenario" and "not a candidate for ECMO". It wasn't until I had her that we were shocked with how severe her CDH was and then it was 100 miles an hour till the end. YOU know...those who journeyed with us.

~ Justin returned to work. I miss him.

We Love and appreciate you still...thank you for continuing to pray and for sending encouragements to us. And all of you whom we've never met that have sent us letters or cards. Thank you

Monday, December 10, 2012

  Noa Grace Rose
Oct 23rd 2012 - Dec 8th 2012

How can we measure or express to you the size of this void left in our hearts? Pain you can't imagine or prepare for, even with 20 weeks of pregnancy and 46 days of living with the reality and seriousness of how sick Noa really was.
We want so badly to hold her tightly to our chest so that she would disappear back into us, away from the relentless sound of the ventilator or tightening of her blood pressure cuff... or all the memories of the medical care that we tried to help her with. The storm has been subsided, and if she's not in Heaven yet, she's sailing there on calm seas in the arms of "The Captain of the Storm"- Jesus. The comfort we find in truly knowing and believing this bring a smile to our face, but it doesn't take the heartache away. Haunted by what could have been and what we hoped for.
                                                                                                                         - Our Lament 

Friday and Saturday
Dec 7th and 8th
leading up to Noa's death

On Friday morning when I went in to see Noa, she seemed the same. Justin and I both knew that the time was approaching when we would need to discuss the "next steps" with Noa's doctor in the event her kidney's didn't wake up. I sat down with the nurse before I even said hello to Noa and we did a little review of her night (meds, stats, behavior, etc). During our talk, Noa's doctor came in and sat down with me to chat about the plan for the day, but more importantly...what her thoughts were about the near future for N. 

The goal for the day was to go up on her fluids, continue to keep a higher blood pressure and give her a strong dose of Lasix. They also had started giving her an albuterol nebulizer to loosen some lung secretion, and made some adjustments to her ventilator (up on oxygen) to help with her lungs. There had been some swings in Noa's blood pressure which the nurse couldn't understand, but the doctor said could be because of any number of things, i.e. lack of kidney function, brain damage.

Other than the plan for the day, she wanted to have a talk with us about the time frame we were working with in Noa's care (and later I had the same discussion with Noa's nephrologist). She felt that by the end of the weekend, if we hadn't seen any change with the kidney function we needed to let the medical staff know what direction we wanted to head in.  There were 2 choices:

1) Discontinue intensive care.

2) Move towards surgery to repair Noa's CDH and continue with dialysis towards possible transplant. Although we haven't gone into detail on the blog about what dialysis would look like after CDH surgery (assuming she could even go through surgery), Justin and I felt that it wasn't a road that was recommended by the medical staff, nor any medical resource they had pulled from. There would be layers of complexities on top of what Noa would already be facing as a CDH child. The likelihood of 'quality of life', none the less survival was unheard of.

When I saw the nephrologist that morning, she told me that she felt Noa's kidney function would not return. And If by some chance, the kidneys did provide some urine, she felt they were damaged enough to need treatment at some point in her life. Either way, we asked Noa's doctor if we could get one more ultrasound of Noa's kidneys...just to confirm. 

Justin and I were heavy hearted all day on Friday. We didn't want to give up hope or believe what the doctors were saying, but it felt like without a miracle...Noa's road was narrowing. 

Justin was able to take his friends Dave and Ian to meet Noa on Friday night, to read scripture and pray for her- it was a very special time. 

When I went in to see Noa on Saturday morning, everything seemed to change. They had stopped giving Noa fluids because she wasn't tolerating it and in the end, the results of the ultrasound showed Noa's kidneys had shrunk significantly and the blood flow was also low- confirming failure. Dr Baxter felt that Noa was a little 'different' that day and at this point wasn't strong enough to make it through surgery. They both agreed that Noa's 'reserves' were running out.

They said they weren't in a hurry to get an answer from us, but they wanted to know if they should continue intensive care or decrease it. We left without giving them an answer...knowing that we had to actually sit down and have a discussion about Noa's future.

We came back to the RMH, put the kids down for naps, had our talk and prayed. We didn't want to make this type of decision...all the questions and 'ifs'. So many things to consider, so many unknowns. We wanted God to take this from us if he could. And even though we felt like cowards for feeling this way, we couldn't imagine living with any decision we had to make. But we knew.

We went to visit Noa that night, so grieved. Was our sadness a lack of faith? hope? She looked smaller than I had seen her in a while. They had taken alot of fluid off of her to get her comfortable. They were no longer pushing her kidneys since they expected no results...and discontinued the Lasix. We both spent time loving on her and then headed back to the Ronald McDonald House, so numb and sad. We sat in the entry area with the kids, just zoning out when I got a call to come back to the hospital right away....they had lost Noa's heart rate and couldn't get it back. 

When I rushed into the room holding Ruby in my was a scene I was familiar with. Instead of entering a dark and peaceful room...all the lights were bright, with nurses running around and medical supplies strewn about...but what was different was the nurse at Noa's side performing chest compressions. It was over. I knew it by looking at my baby's face. I told them to stop and let her go. We waited as they unhooked Noa from all her life support. Then they handed Noa to us... to hold our precious child for the first time. So wrong....

Our family had time alone with Noa and we will always treasure that. Oh God, we wanted her...we love her, we will always long for our daughter and look forward to finally hearing her voice and seeing her whole when we ourselves go to be with Jesus- our Wonderful Maker. We can't wait.

Thank you and bless you for loving our family and walking with us on this road. We didn't know what to expect or how it would turn out and we are honestly surprised. We had hope till the end. 

We've been wrapping up details here in Portland. I will donate the milk I've pumped, and we will work towards setteling Ruby and Emmaus back into a routine when we get  home. This is going to take some time...and we will probably always carry this hole in our hearts. Please keep praying for us and feel free to get in contact with us if you have any questions or just want to grieve with helps.

Love Justin, Heidi, Ruby, Emmaus and Noa Rose.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Dec 5th & 6th

Beautiful Noa
The circuit change went very smooth with no issues at all. Justin and I were both able to be there (thanks to a lovely nurse who volunteered to watch the kids). The whole process was more formal than any previous time (we learned our lesson!) and it paid off. I think  I was able to pick up on everyones nervous 'twitches' more than ever before as well! We were all rooting and praying for no problems, and in the end, there was a collective sigh...and on we go.

I was able to hold Noa's little hand during the circuit change (and I am thankful for the philosophy of modern medicine that allows and values that connection between family members). I was studying her face during the hook up of the new machine and looking for signs of distress or discomfort. And more than once when I was watching her, I'd get this image of her peacefully sleeping in Jesus' arms in a boat on a stormy sea. Just like him, she was undisturbed by the threatening storm (see last blog entry). I think I will try and see myself there in his arms too. 

Noa's primary doctor and cardiologist decided that it might be helpful to try a new med to increase her cardiac output and hopefully improve the blood flow to her kidneys. It seems that its been helping. The other important factor is having enough fluid in her inner vascular system that wants to go through her kidneys. So, the plan is to get her 'fluid positive' (and see her get swollen again), and wait till the kidneys kick in! When I went to see her this morning, that plan was underway.
The tangle of meds!

Noa's doctor (and the nephrologist) feel like we should see something within the next 4-5 days if we are going to. After that, we will begin discussing the next plan, assuming that her kidneys are in a state of failure. It seems that time lines can be flexed a little, depending on what is happening with Noa. But if all the circumstances are optimized for her to make pee but doesn't, then there has to be an end point somewhere.

The preliminary results on Noa's blood culture has come back negative for an infection...whew! And her doctor has continued to wean her off steroids as well as remove her from phenobarbital (a sedative). That means they will be adjusting her other sedation for the next day or so. Noa is back down to 25 parts oxygen on the vent (21 is 'room air'), and is down on the dopamine.

Her stats look good and she has had a couple good days of being cared for by the nursing/medical staff. This morning the surgery team came in and put some extra bandaging on Noa's neck where the ECMO cannula were. The sutures were starting to open up due to her skin swelling with the edema. They said it was 'ugly', but it would heal fine.

Some Encouragement

During all of this, there has been some incredibly loving nurses that have made an effort to bring in the nurturing part of parenting that I've missed out on since Noa's been born. Last week, one nurse had the insight to give me some alone time with her. I had never been alone with Noa since she's been born, and I didn't realize I missed it until I got it. They were right outside the door, but it was still nice to have a tiny bit of that freely talk to her. Another nurse last night asked for my 'help' in inspecting Noa's back for any breakdown in the skin. So she tilted Noa on her side and I got to see her back...rub it a little. That was nice too. 

We have been feeling 'washed over' by lots of generously loving people. Here are a few examples...

~ A man we've never met decided to generously make t-shirts and sweatshirts to raise prayer and support for Noa and to help us financially with the medical bills that are already coming in. He has also displayed God's fatherly heart by rallying others to be aware of and pray for Noa.

~ We have become friends with some of the medical staff that are rooting for Noa and our family. They have offered love and assistance to us far beyond their 'jobs', and have connected us with other families with CDH babies.

~ Our friends and family have continued to care for us though letters and cards, financial support, texts, emails and phone calls...always asking what they can do. Thank you for your endurance!

~ And so many of you that we've never met have donated money on paypal, encouraged us with comments on the blog, prayed and have supported those who support us! Thank you. We love hearing stories about people praying for Noa.

~ Lastly, just folks we meet when we are out and about have been openly kind and loving. Justin and I were at a park with the kids and met a nanny that we shared nothing with except where we were staying, and she offered to babysit for us so we could have a date. Another couple we briefly met at a pizza/pub we like (it has a great kids play area too), bought us a gift card after they discovered a little about Noa

There are so many ways God is showing his support and love to us and it's been unconditional. 
Thank you so much

My goodness those kids are CUTE!!!