Falling onto the Road

Mike and I went to our daycare provider’s preliminary hearing yesterday, and while I can’t and won’t say any more about the event or the legal proceedings, I thought I’d share with you the emotional rollercoaster that I have felt since then.

I had expected her to look more like a criminal, more like someone who confessed to shaking my baby. I thought she’d be ugly. I thought, I think, that she’d somehow embody evil. But she looked the same, even though she has forever changed the landscape of my life by nearly killing my son.

It’s a complicated thing to look at someone who always smiled at you, to know that your baby loved her, and to know that because of her, you struggle each day to adapt to a new sense of reality. This reality entails so much: it is seeing a two-year-old at the mall and wondering what your son will be like at two, it is crying in the middle of the night because you need sleep so desperately, but you dare not allow yourself to think what your nights might be like should your baby no longer be here, and it is watching the world you used to be a part of continue without you – not because the world doesn’t feel like you belong, but because YOU can’t imagine life feeling as simple as it once did.

Since seeing her, I have relived every emotion I felt a month ago, emotions I thought I’d moved beyond. I was in denial. I was angry. I shrank into myself and just wanted it all to go away. In the hospital, with a family and medical staff there to pick up the pieces, I could fall apart. But now it’s not an option. I crawled out of my dark little hole I had dug with my own two hands and I loved on my baby, kissing him right near the ear, his favorite spot. I fed him bananas and oatmeal. I rocked him to sleep. But, in the very few hours that I slept, I dreamt about her.

Yesterday was a reminder that we have only just fallen onto the road. The woman who pushed us off our curb sits in jail. I wish I could say that makes it all easier, but it doesn’t. Not when the road ahead remains long and uncertain.

From Mike

I can only add it was a day I will never forget, the rage and anger, the love and compassion; God on one shoulder and the devil on the other as I sat 7 feet away from the woman who caused this. I want her to understand the devastation and turmoil she has caused but I could tell she has no idea. I pray one day she might grasp the magnitude of her actions and come to terms with what she has done to our child. PLEASE remember, this website has a name for a reason: our son’s journey will not be short, it will not be over in a month or a year, our son’s journey will shape our lives. We love you all and wish you all a great night’s sleep. As for my wife and I, we will be awake, loving our son.

32 Responses to “Falling onto the Road”

  1. lisavnah says:

    God bless you and your family! I couldn’t imagine the emotions you must be feeling at this difficult time. Please know you are in my family’s thoughts and prayers.

  2. Steve says:

    Mike and Erin

    I wish that I had your strength and faith, for your actions in being able to write about this tragedy without rancor is truly amazing.

    I remember in my days as an assistant commonwealth’s attorney how angry I would get after dealing with a case of abuse and how I would want to personally punish the offender.

    I have been reporting Noah’s progress to my men’s small group bible study and to our large group (of 150 men) and we are praying for Noah and for you.

    Since Noah was released from the hospital, I have not been as diligent in going to your website as I was before his release, but every time I do visit, I am amazed by your courage in the face of this devastating challenge.

    I would not have been able to deal with it as you have. When my two sons, now 30 and 21, were in daycare and were hurt, as boys always seem to be, my initial reaction was always how could the daycare providers allow this to happen? When I calmed down, I realized that they both got hurt when I was looking after them, too, so how could I expect a daycare provider to provide better care than I could.

    Thankfully, I never had to face any situation as serious as Noah’s, and for that I am truly thankful.

    When I read your blogs about your experiences, I am again truly thankful that Noah has such loving and outstanding parents. You two are truly heroes to me and I wanted you to know that.

    You are and will continue to be in our prayers.

    Steve

  3. murielcollison says:

    I have been following your blog for a while now and I can’t imagine what you are going through. I came to your blog from the Safe Haven blog. Please do not take this in the wrong way but have you talked to a civil attorney? There may be insurance coverage to cover some of Noah’s lifelong expenses and needs. As an attorney who practices this kind of law, I hope you talk to a civil attorney to make sure you explore everything.

    You are in my thoughts and prayers. I hope that the criminal trial proceeds and some peace comes from the process for both of you.

    -Muriel
    murielcollison@hotmail.com

  4. lindacrayton says:

    Thank you for sharing in your journey and letting me put my love out to you and your family. I had a dream of Noah the other night, and he is doing well. I wish you so much peace and health… LInda

  5. beth.parmer says:

    Thank you for updating – I have your header on my blog sidebar (for easy access for me, but also so others can visit)! I hope the daycare provider does one day realize the turmoil her actions have caused. I am thinking and praying for Noah and for you all!

  6. Sally says:

    Dear Mike, Erin and beautiful boy Noah.

    Firstly my love and prayers are being sent across an ocean. I came across Noahs Road about 2 weeks ago and have been praying since. I wish there was something more I could do to take away your pain and help your little man – but with our prayers we will have to leave it between the big man upstairs and Noah. I have 2 boys, my youngest Hamish was born on the 28th November 2008 and now each time I reach into his cot or play with him on the floor I think of Noah and so hope that his recovery goes ahead in leaps and bounds – but he has already shown he is a little fighter.

    Mike and Erin – your strength through this is unbelievable, how you sat there in that court room is beyond me, it just shows how strong you both are and what positive energy you are putting out for baby Noah. And he is picking up on that!!

    I hope the court matter is swift and that justice is done. I check regularly for update and read with anticipation to see how Noah is going. I wish you both strength and the energy to stay positive and maybe sneak some sleep in so you are rearing to go.

    Love and Prayers
    Sally, Stephen, Lachlan and Hamish Ware
    Brisbane, Australia.

  7. EnzaLilley says:

    How i wish I had eloquent words to write to you and the words that would make it all better but i don’t. I do though know that I will continue to pray for your precious Noah. We pray every night for Noah and the long road he has ahead of him! We pray always for His peace and comfort to surround you and keep you in His loving grip!

    Enza Lilley
    Abingdon, MD

  8. molly says:

    I feel sick to my stomach knowing you and Mike had to face her. i have a lot to say to her, but this is NOAHSROAD! Sweet baby Noah, beautiful blue eyes, listen to God. So many people have been praying for you, handsome. Listen closely, sweet boy… you have so many people on your side! Keep progressing, keep fighting, and most importantly, keep smiling! Your smile makes me remember that there IS good in the world. I think of you morning, noon and night. FIGHT, baby Noah, FIGHT! Love, molly

  9. ewentz says:

    I remember that same day in our lives. Well, actually, I didn’t have enough guts to go to any of the preliminary hearings (my husband and family went), but I went to the sentencing. Awful, horrible feeling day. And then to see her…..words cannot describe it, although you did a great job. I happened to be seated so there was a pillar between me and her, probably the best for my mental health. And then every asks….”didn’t you just want to kill her?” I couldn’t agree more with what you wrote. Doesn’t seem like the same person does it? I wouldn’t leave my child with a monster. I don’t know the person that did it. She may be standing in front of me, but I don’t know her. Just wanted to let you know that your feelings are not out there alone, there are lots of us here that have been in your shoes before. We are with you in spirit, you are in our hearts. We know how you feel. Just remember the best justice (because nothing they do to her will change what has happened to you or Noah) is working your tail off to make sure he overcomes every obstacle thrown in the road. And Noah will work hard to make sure that you do the same.
    Thoughts and prayers,
    Emily Wentz
    http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/laurenwentz

  10. myboogiewoogie says:

    I cannot imagine what you both must be feeling. How you can somewhat contain yourselves with her so close to you. Your family is in my prayers.

  11. pumpkinjelly says:

    Oh! Forgot to mention…maybe what could help you during all the nights when you relive things, court system, hospital, etc. and you lay there wishing you had said, done, acted this or that…keep a journal. Just a simple little notebook and a pen beside you. Get it all out of your system and head. Hope it helps you fall back to sleep.

  12. pumpkinjelly says:

    Hi you strong, courageous family! I can’t even begin to imagine what it must have been like for you both during the meeting. Just know we are all here with you. You can and will get through this.
    Both your posts are wonderful to read. (Mike, there is nothing wrong with your posts, stop apologizing – okay?) Thank you for keeping us up to date. Still in our thoughts and prayers! And still hugging my boys a wee bit extra hard thanks to Noah’s Road.

  13. BrownBird says:

    Dear Mike & Erin,

    I was heartbroken to read about your precious little Noah. I cannot imagine what you two are going through. I cannot fathom how an adult could do something so deplorable to a helpless baby. After reading your story and some of the wonderful comments left by others there is really nothing more I can add that has not already been said. That being said, I would like to offer you all some words of wisdom. It is sort of a hobby of mine to find inspirational quotes by famous and unknown authors and public figures. I hope these encouraging words will strike a chord in your heavy hearts and play you all an uplifting and reassuring tune of faith and hope.

    “When we put our cares in His hands, He puts His peace in our hearts.”~Unknown

    “Peace is not the absence of affliction, but the presence of God.”~Unknown

    “Never give up, for that is just the place and time the tide will turn.”~Harriett Beecher Stowe

    “Let God’s promises shine on your problems.”~Corrie Ten Boom

    “When we can’t piece together our own lives, remember the best view is from above. Let Him help put you together.”~Amethyst Snow-River

    “God’s promises are like the stars; the darker the night the brighter they shine.”~David Nicholas

    “Before me, even behind, God is, and all is well.”~John Greenleaf Whittier

    My heart and prayers are with you and your sweet son. I admire your strength and courage to tell your painful story to inform and inspire hope in others going through similar experiences.

    May God Bless your family and Heal your little Noah : )

  14. laurenmom says:

    Mike, Erin & Precious Noah,
    I was so busy at work today but something told me to go check the website. I was so upset that I couldn’t sit and read your post. I am finally home from school and had time to sit and read what is going on…. (You know, I usually am on your site 50 times a day…kindergarten is almost over and is getting very busy. :/ ) I am so very sorry that you are having to relive all the hard emotions again. I know it must have been so difficult to be there and go through all of that. You are so strong and doing such a good job! You both are such positive people! That needs to continue to be your focus… staying positive and strong for Noah. He has the best parents in the world! I mean that!!! :) The two of you just amaze me and you need to know that Noah will be so proud to have you as his parents when he grows up!! Please keep those chins up… get some rest…eat… take care of yourselves! Noah needs you and loves you very much! Remember, we are going to be here as long as you need/want us to be here cheering you & Noah on and praying for you all. We all love your family like you are our family. Like I have said before…when you are sad, we are sad…when you are happy, we are happy! We are on this journey with you and will be here with you while Noah is recovering. He is a fighter and we have to know how he is doing. All of you have a permanent place in our hearts!!
    Noah- sweet baby Noah, keep fighting buddy! Keep smiling at mommy & daddy and working hard at PT & OT! Take your medicine good for mommy & daddy!! Your friend, Lauren (my daughter) never likes taking medicine .. I hope you do a better job than she does. We all love you buddy and are saying lots of prayers for you!!! GO NOAH GO!!! :) (((HUGS!!!)))
    Lots of love & ((HUGS!!!)),
    Stephanie
    Culpeper, VA

  15. vickiesmith360 says:

    I commented a week or so ago. I’m the mother of a child who was also shaken by his sitter at 9 mths old. I just want you to know that my son, Will, & I pray for Noah every night and then I personally pray for the 2 of you. I read your post this morning and so many feelings came rushing back to me. I understand every emotion that you’re feeling right now. I know how tired you both are both mentally and physically. I have also sat and cried in the dark from pure exhaustion while holding my son because he could no longer sleep. I have been in the very dark place that you described. I want to tell you that it will get better. I’m a different person than I was before my son was shaken, but I’m a stronger person than I ever thought possible. You will find your new comfortable and you’ll figure it all out. You’re going to have a lot of ups and downs, but every milestone that Noah reaches will be a cause for celebration. In some way I’ve been blessed because unlike most parents I never take one breath that my son takes for granted. Every day with him is a gift and a day to be treasured. You will learn so many things from Noah. I know how uncertain you are right now and the fear of the unknown. I couldn’t help but to wander what Will’s life would be like. In the hopes of giving you some encouragement, let me describe him to you today. He’s happy. He’s healthy. Outside of a little scar tissue, his last CAT Scan done 3 mths ago looks almost like that of a child who’s never been shaken. He laughs all the time. He runs. He jumps. His vision and hearing is perfect. He learns something new every day. He was just tested by our local school system and his scores came back w/in the normal range cognitively. His receptive language is w/in normal limits. He eats normal foods again. He was hemiplegic on his right side when it first happened, but now he uses his right side again. He’s learning to use a fork and spoon to feed himself. We’re woking on potty training and he’s had 1 success every day since we began a week ago….he’s not 3 just yet. Yes, he has delays. Yes, his fine and gross motor skills are delayed. Yes, he has PT/OT/ST 6 times/week and he has to work hard, but he’s SO AWESOME! He’s strong. He’s brave. He is a survivor and SO IS NOAH AND SO ARE THE TWO OF YOU!
    Your life will has new meaning and yes you are on a journey that will not end next week, but you can make it. I know that 99% of your time will be dedicated to Noah, but please take time for yourself. Make yourself go to dinner or to a movie. Allow your family and friends to help you. When you’re so exhausted that you’re not sure you can make it another night w/out sleep, let someone keep Noah overnight or let them come to you to help w/in your own home. That was the hardest thing for me because I felt guilty when I wasn’t with him. I finally learned that I couldn’t do it alone. I learned that I had to take care of myself both physcially and emotionally in order to be able to care for my son.
    You’ll be in my prayers daily. I will lift all 3 of you up knowing God’s healing power and believing that he will give Noah the strength and courage that he needs to keep moving forward. Hang in there. I promise it’ll get easier.

  16. llester says:

    Mike and Erin,
    I too have been following your blog and have not commented yet. I cannot imagine the road that you are now on and pray that God will give you the strength to continue to put one foot in front of the other on this road while never taking your eyes off of Him.

    I can’t even imagine what it would be like to come face to face with someone who hurt my child ( I have three). I can’t even imagine.

    But, I would like to plead to the other people who are reading and/or commenting on your blog…

    Keep your comments focused Mike, Erin, and sweet sweet baby Noah.

    Comments left explaining anger or contempt or any other unkind thought about the caregiver will only hurt this family. Pray to God about your own anger/contempt/unkind thought regarding this person. Pray that when ever a thought of this kind enter into this family’s hearts and mind that they too would be able to capture it and turn it over to God. Satan is so powerful in the way he can take the scattered seeds of doubt, confusion, anger, and anguish and sow them deceptively in and around our feet until we are looking down to not trip along the road instead of up at Christ who guides our steps.

    Pray, pray pray for this family…as it appears so many people are doing. Pray the caregiver. Only God knows the path that her life is now on. Only He knows why the paths intermixed and now are heading different directions. Only He holds us all in the palm of his hands and from only Him do we get our strength.

  17. SDmom says:

    Mike, Erin and sweet Noah,

    Everyday I come to Noah’s Road to check in on him. I look at that precious little face at the top of the page and cannot believe someone could hurt one hair on his tiny, adorable head. You are amazing parents…to put your anger and rage aside and just concentrate on loving your beautiful baby son. I don’t know you…I live in San Diego, CA with my husband and 3 sons. I just have been drawn to your story…you both are amazing, heartfelt writers. Noah is so blessed to have such strong parents fighting for him. I know you don’t always feel strong, but know that you are 2 of the strongest people I’ve ever heard of. I feel a strong pull to make sure people know about this story and this abuse your son suffered at the hands of someone who should have only loved him. I’m praying for all three of you every day. Get some rest on this 3 day weekend, and just keeping hanging on to each other. Kiss Noah on the cheek from all of us who are holding him in our hearts.

  18. akiely says:

    While I cannot relate to the pain of someone physically harming one of my children I can say that I relate to the pain of knowing that my children’s lives changed forever at the hands of someone else. Ten years ago my three children and I were put on a path that I could not have imagined, and I often wonder what their lives would be like now if that day had never happened. From the beginning I knew that God was at work in our lives, and while at the time I could not understand his purpose I trusted him. Many nights I cried myself to sleep and was angry at the person who did this to my family. I wanted this person to understand the hurt and the pain that we were feeling. Only in time was I able to let that anger go.

    Sitting in that preliminary hearing must have been very traumatic. I can only imagine the raw emotions that you must have been feeling. Be comforted in knowing that God is at work. Punch that punching bag until your hands bleed, but use that anger to make you stronger. Noah has two parents that are going to fight for him and his recovery, and I am confident that God has big plans for that precious baby with the blueberry eyes.

    While you may not be able to see us walking beside you on this road we are here. Our family’s are praying for you, and while you lay awake loving on your beautiful son we are here lifting you up in prayer. Thank you so much for sharing your story, and I hope ten years from now you’re still writing about your very special boy. We’re praying for you Noah!!!! STAY STRONG

  19. RPerkins726 says:

    Your words of anguish are so potent! And through it all your love for Noah shines through–our hearts are torn apart for your family, but at the same time the unbelievable HOPE and LOVE that characterizes the steps you are taking with Noah down his road leave an imprint of strength, responsiblity and fortitude. As so many have said, you don’t have to have the strength or the wisdom for what lies ahead–God’s strength and comfort have been there with you as Noah’s parents, and will be with you and with Noah every day of your lives. We pray for Noah’s recovery knowing that it will be long, slow and day by day. We pray for you, Mike and Erin, for peace and a Godly comfort for each breath you take. May your sleep become sweet and peaceful, may Noah gain strength and healing each day.

    My love and prayers to you,
    Rebekah Perkins

  20. kmsmas says:

    Mike & Erin,
    I cannot imagine the feelings right now but please know, as I think you do, you are not on this road alone. Everyone is praying and everyone is angry for you. Hold your head up and be strong. This will be a long road but you have much support.
    The words you guys write always bring me to tears. Mike, although you say you are not your wife, your words are just as powerful. I know you are strong and will get through this like you have many other challenges. This, I am sure is your most difficult but you will get through. Though I have never met Erin, I feel like I know her. She is a strong wonderful woman and little Noah is lucky to have such strong and wonderful parents.
    We are all still praying and spreading the word.

    Krystal & Mike

  21. michelle202 says:

    Thank you for updating your blog – like many others, I check it daily to know in what direction to steer my prayers. I cannot imagine how hard it would have been to be so close to the person who harmed your son. But you guys are doing a great job of converting your negative energy into love for Noah. As Mike said, you have a long road ahead. Take care of yourselves too, as you’ll need all your strength for this.

  22. aydens mommy says:

    I have been following noahs story for a few weeks. I have wanted to leave a comment so many times but I struggled with what to say to the both of you. As a mother a a 17-month old son (he is my whole world) I can’t begin to imagine the pain, anger, and hurt the both of you must feel. God has given you guys the most precious gift in the world and someone tried to take Gods gift from you.
    When I first read the story I hoped that you guys would mention the day care provider more and show your anger towards her. But I begin to understand why you guys did not. This website is about Noah and his road to recovery. She doesn’t deserve to be mentioned or thought of. I hope that when people read about what happened to Noah and how he is doing that they never think of her. God has his own plan for her and Noah will get justice for what was done to him.

    God is on your side. He is holding your son and he is helping him fight. And when Noah was too weak to fight God fought for him. And just as God is with your son he is with you guys too. And he will see you through. You guys are great parents. I can tell just by reading your posts how much love you have for your son.

    We are all angry for you! So you guys don’t have to be. We will take that emotion for you. Enjoy your son. He is home now, the three of you have a long road ahead but God will be right there to pick you up when you fall, to hold your hand when you are scared, to bring out the sun after it rains. Keep the faith and know that you don’t have to be strong 100% of the time. We are all here to be strong for you. Try to sleep I know its hard but Noah needs you guys to be in good health and to have a clear mind for him. Noah is alive and it will only get better. You guys have been through the worst part of the storm already and you made it through together as a family.

    Mike as a dad I know you feel like the protector, but its okay. You protected your wife and son. Don’t ever feel like you didn’t. You are a great father and a great husband. Any kid would be lucky to have u as a dad.

    We all love you guys and our prayers are with you daily.

  23. MorningGloryMinis says:

    This is not an easy road. And you have just learned the hardest part about it, it never goes away. We are now 10 1/2 years into it, and still any reminder, and challenge, and EVERY anniversary, brings it ALL back. Counseling, family, church, and friends are what helps. Ultimately it is in our Heavenly Father, and in each other, that you will find peace. We continue to pray for you each day. Please know that we are always thinking of you.

    I really know that darkness… I pray that you can stay away from it.

    Please, at least for yourselves, document everything.. in pictures, in writing… so you can look back and see the progress Noah is making… it is also very therapeutic. The more you write, the more you repeat your story, the less it burns.

    (((sending Noah BIG hugs)))
    Heidi, Noah, Shianne, and Kaitlynn

  24. ginabaynham says:

    As a nurse I look after adults in a rehabilitation unit. Some of the people I look after have been involved in road traffic accidents, as a driver, as a passenger or as a pedestrian. They have been changed forever, physically and emotionally and face a different tomorrow than they expected to.

    I often wish I could get the person responsible for their injuries, make them visit and watch these brave people as they do their physio, as I change their dressings on their wounds, watch them with tears in their eyes as they wait for the painkillers to take the edge off their pain.

    Would it help? Would it make them regret their actions? Would it make life any easier for the injured person? God teaches us to be compassionate and to forgive. You are going through such a difficult time. Seeing the woman responsible for changing your lives, Noahs life, trying to forgive her but wanting her to know what she has done. Wanting her to learn from her mistakes. To acknowledge the permanant devestation that she has done to your beautiful son.

    All we can do is pray for you. Pray that you continue to have the strength to take each day as it comes. Strength to support each other through this uncertain future you are walking towards. You are doing a fantastic job. You should be so proud of yourselves. I wish peace in your hearts over the coming weeks, months, years. Silently in the background we are all walking with you, reaching out with hands you cannot see, holding you up when you are tired and whispering prayers in your ear when tears fill your eyes.

    Here is a small Irish prayer that seems appropriate for where you are right now,

    May God give you…
    For every storm, a rainbow,
    For every tear, a smile,
    For every care, a promise,
    And a blessing in each trial.
    For every problem life sends,
    A faithful friend to share,
    For every sigh, a sweet song,
    And an answer for each prayer.

  25. wifeandmommy says:

    I continue to pray for you and your entire family. I pray for peace as you journey on this road.

  26. crzynluv says:

    Mike & Erin,

    I’ve never been such a religious person, as I like to say, I’m still discovering Him. I think I’ve been angry and puzzled with Him many more years than I’ve been discovering Him. Its hard to admit but I’m not perfect and thats the truth. But I can remember my first long prayers, real prayers when we had our daughter. She was premature more than 5 weeks and although I knew she was healthy above all, I just knew I had to pray for her. I prayed for her health before the birth. I prayed for her survival during and after birth when we learned of her health status. I prayed the NICU nurses would take good care of her while I slept or ate or took a quick break from sleeping on the couch, waiting for permission to nurse her or take her out of the “Rocket” as I liked to call it. I prayed for strength the day I came home from the hospital without her…as my knees colapsed beneath me, as I prayed and begged my husband to take me back to her. I cried more than I think I’ve ever cried in my life. I prayed the day I came home with her that I would wake if there was a single missed breath or skip of a heart beat. I was petrified I would miss it because I was so unbelievably exhausted that I couldn’t think straight. It’s amazing what you can do when someone else’s life depends on it. I prayed I would be a good mother, a patient mother, a protector and provider.

    And she was one of the lucky ones, a fighter. We seen many babies much worse off in those 17 long days in the NICU. But I never felt fortunate. I never wanted to be so selfish to think my child deserved to live more than someone elses. I just wanted to be thankful that she was as healthy as she was, b/c I knew it could have been much worse. I struggled with the anger… being angry with doctors, God, myself – did I do something wrong, should I have taken better care of myself and my unborn child? A picture perfect pregnancy and now this? There had to be someone, something to blame. So many thoughts, I could write a book.

    Actually I have a journal I’ve kept for both my kids, but especially my little girl. I know she will appreciate it one day. Its been good for me to keep this journal. I wrote about so many raw emotions in those early days and although I don’t write in it as frequently as I would like, I jot down as many special thoughts as I can, always from the heart, honest and directly to my children as though they are standing in front of me (often they are!). Anytime I feel short tempered in the least, when I feel less of a mom than I should be. I dig this book out of my office drawer and I read to myself. I read to my daughter aloud anytime she thinks I’m being unfair and tells me she doesn’t like me anymore (a sword right thru the heart!). We go to our special place just down the road where there is a little waterfall and we read together. Although she is 8 now and she’s just embarrassed by the outpouring of my soul. But it helps me remember and it keeps us close thru tough times. I have a picture of me kissing her cheek with the tubes coming out of her nose sitting in our living room and it helps me remember what could have been and how thankful I am to have my healthy little girl and now my spoiled rotten little boy. Those moments I will always have and I owe them to God and to people just like you and people just like your “Noah Cheer Squad”, to my husband, my parents, friends and to my children. My husband was phenomenol and remains so to this day. I’ve loved him from day one, don’t get me wrong, but we had a whole new level of respect and love for each other as we fumbled our way thru our trials. My kids are my world. I want there to still be good in this world for them and so I want them not to remember the “bad” so much but to learn from the good that came from it.

    So raw emotions and “bad” feelings or memories are not the easiest to deal with, but I do believe they have a purpose. A strong purpose that we will only later be able to truly reflect upon and fully appreciate. Perhaps it will be your relationship with each other, that will only become stronger. Or your relationship with God. Or your relationship with people and the way you look at the world in a whole different way.

    Its strange to feel so much on your behalf, so much anger, so much love. Although, then again I wouldn’t say its strange, I’ve heard some heartbreakers in my 30 years but I guess you don’t expect yourself to feel so much towards people, people you once barely knew. And now, you’ve let us in. You’ve let us feel your burdens, your hope, your love, your fears. Now, I pray for my children, and I pray for Noah every day like I do my own children – every morning, every night and in my now daily talks with God. My husband comes home and we talk about our day, watch the kids play and he asks if there are any updates on baby Noah. My husband, a very private, subdued kind of guy who doesn’t like to be “nosey” and search out others personal trials. But he sees how much you’ve touched my life and his heart is also warmed by the kindness and emotions you both have expressed and it brings us back to our own experience. We still relive it. Sometimes, just to point out how far we’ve come as a family.

    You’ve become such a big part of everyones family in so many ways. Thank you for sharing yourselves and your lives and your Noah with all of us. Its a very special gift and I just wanted to say, in a very long kind of way, we are here for the long haul, right along with you.

    Blessed night to the three of you.
    Cindy
    crzyn_luv@yahoo.com

  27. epearson says:

    I am so sorry that you have to go through this. I pray for you and for your precious boy every night. Thank you for keeping us updated as you all go through this difficult time. I have told all of my friends and family about your story and about your site and they are all praying for you too.

    May God bless you all!

  28. kparks says:

    It’s quite unfair, this emotional roller coaster you’re on. All I can say is I pray that you continue to find comfort in knowing just how many people you’ve got with you, along for the ride.

    I sure do love that baby and his parents too! xoxo

  29. Tami Nantz says:

    I can’t even begin to imagine what I would feel, the thoughts that would go through my head if I were you guys having to face this woman. Hard as it is, try to remember that she, through her own actions, has altered the course of her life–no matter what the future holds for her, she will have to live with the reality that she harmed this precious little boy and altered the course of his life, and that of his family, because of her anger. What a lesson for us all! God will deal with her. The Bible says that we reap what we sow. She will, make no mistake about it. I wouldn’t want to walk a step in her shoes.

    Thank you both so much for the time you take to write here for those of us who are thinking of you daily and praying for you many times daily. It helps us to know how to pray for your family, to rejoice with you when you have good days, to pray harder for and encourage you when the days aren’t so sunny.

    Our love to baby Noah and to both of you…may tonight be a night of sweet rest and tomorrow a wonderful day. :-)

    In His Ever Abiding Grace,
    Tami

  30. rvnutt says:

    Erin and Mike,

    I am sorry that you have to experience these emotions over again. I am lifting you both and sweet Noah in prayer. You are both stronger than you know. Noah is a fighter and it is an inherited trait. In the wee hours of the night, remember that you have an army of friends lifting you up in prayer. Have courage, lean on God and love on that sweet baby boy. He is very special, but I don’t have to tell you two that.

    All my love and continued prayers,

    Roseva

  31. eabdeb8176 says:

    I am so sorry another family is going through this. My sister’s adopted daughter “D” was shaken by her birth mother when she was 5 weeks old. A week after this happened her birth father (who is my sister’s brother in law) took her to the doctor. He was never home and had two jobs to support his family. The only time he was home was to sleep. The mom had a history of shaken baby although this information was not known until after “D” was shaken. The brother in law went to prison for what his wife did. She married for a third time and now has another daughter. My sister adopted “D” but only after a $25,000 legal bill. It wasn’t the birth family that fought it but rather a cousin (who thought by getting “D” they’d get money out of it) her first foster mom, and another family.

    Now “D” is a happy healthy 5 year old. They’ve started adoption processes for a teen and a 2 year old.

    I’ve been praying for Noah since I heard of your story. It makes my heart grieve knowing there are people out there that would do this to a child, especially since my husband and I have been trying for 3 years to have a baby (including a failed adoption) and there are people who shake their own children or children intrusted to them in day cares or to a baby sitter.

    Praying for Noah

    E.

  32. adasilva05 says:

    I am so sorry you’re having to go through all this. I think about you and little Noah all the time. I hope this nightmare ends soon. Please keep updating; I check your page daily, and I am praying so hard for your family.

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