Why October is Noah’s month

Noah

Noah is the hydration specialist for his high school football team.

October is Noah’s month. Actually, every month is Noah’s month! My son, Noah, is 17, a high school junior who loves football and a Green Bay Packers fan (his favorite person on the team is the equipment manager, Red, who has great energy and inspired Noah to help whenever there is something to do).

Noah is the big brother to two sisters. He calls our dog the other “guy” in the house to keep it even. He loves music and reruns of Full House. He uses his iPad to connect with friends and family on Facebook and Skype, does handstands underwater, sings like he’s underwater even when he’s not and happens to have Down syndrome. So it’s his month because October is national Down Syndrome Awareness Month.

Noah is exactly who he should be

If there is one thing we could say about living with Noah, it would be that he is exactly who he should be. He is content and loves people. He notices when you get a haircut or new car. Noah remembers your birthday and tells everyone your age. He loves roller coasters and scramblers. Noah doesn’t like hiking. He complains when it’s his turn to empty the dishwasher. He gets in your personal space and volunteers in the community. He’s sad on days he can’t go to school. He has friends and the prettiest homecoming date. He takes his time — it’s the only way he knows.

Noah never asks for Christmas or birthday presents because he already has everything he needs, and the only thing he wants — a party with people he loves — is already in the plan. He turns his head in the direction he needs to be able to hear you. Noah sees things as they are and isn’t afraid of things he hasn’t experienced yet. When his sister fell off a horse in front of him, he dismounted and asked me if I knew “you could fall off of these things?” He is funny.

We have been more aware of Down syndrome every month of the last 17 years of our lives. So have the people who live and work around us. We watch other people with Noah. Some notice first because he has Down syndrome, but they eventually see he is just as he should be.

Kara Van Vooren~ Kara Van Vooren, information and referral specialist, Northeast Regional Center for Children and Youth with Special Needs

The Northeast Regional Center for Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs is one of five centers throughout the state that offer training, support and resources to families that have children with disabilities or chronic physical, developmental, behavioral or emotional conditions. Learn more about the center’s programs and services at northeastregionalcenter.org.

Comments

Why October is Noah’s month — 35 Comments

  1. Noah is a great inspriation to many of us. His simple interpretation of situations always makes me smile. Like the day he asked to meet with me — about two months after his mom Kara started workign with me — so that he could ask me to “fire” her so that she could be home with him more and not at work. Thankfully he and I came to a great agreement on that one — that has kept his mom working full time providing support not only for her family – but also for all the families touched by the NE Regional Center.

  2. Anyone who has met Noah will never forget him! He touched my heart when I met him at church many years ago. I haven’t seen the VanVoorens for a while, but for some reason you’ve been on my mind lately. I was wanting an update on Noah! And you provided it. Thank you & God Bless!

  3. my son went to school with Noah when they were in k to 2nd grade. My son has not seen Noah since then and still talks about him. How he was so happy, caring and funny. So I agree… every month should be Noah’s month!

  4. How true this is! Noah is an exceptional and inspirational young man. I have had the the absolute honor of knowing Noah since he was a baby. His family has become an extended part of ours. This boy has taught me & inspired me more than he will ever know! He puts life in perspective from his sweet smile, hugs & humor, along with his compassion and honest nature. Kara, you said it perfectly, Noah is exactly who he should be! And I love him just that way!

  5. Noah… buddy! How can you be 17 years old? When did this happen? From the first time you walked into Sparks you have blessed my life. No on else calls me Miss Cwosdetto! You are exactly how God wants you to be and I love the way He made you. I miss your hugs and am so proud of the young man you are!
    Happy Month of Noah!
    Hugs to you!

  6. WOW! Chris, I had forgotten about that day…remember that the thing you said that mattered the most was that I was safe and you would take care of me while I was here!

  7. Hello long lost friend Rene! I would love to catch up with you as well…thanks for your kind words and I really do hope to see you soon.

  8. How can My good friend Noah be 17? I want everyone who reads this to know what a blessing Noah has been to our entire family. He is a great example to all of us for how life should be lived. His honesty and clear view of the world around him should be a lesson for us all. A much more famous Garth than I once said[some of God's greatest gifts are unanswered prayers]. We all want children to fit the mold that we have in our minds.God,in His wisdom and Grace blessed our family with Noah.

  9. Bobbi Jo and Bonnie, you have been with us at critical times in our lives, and we have not forgotten! You both certainly have accepted and loved Noah and our whole family in very meaningful ways. We wouldn’t be where we are without you and so many countless others.

  10. Once again, one of my big brothers, just like the week we found out Noah had DS, your words have brought me to tears. Your family has always been in our corner, without hesitation and sometimes from a distance. Thanks…a whole lot.

  11. Noah brings joy to the room just by being in it. His enthusiasm is contagious and he has taught me (and many others) so much. What a beautiful creation he is! :)

  12. I attend most LC High School games and all three of my kids attended LCHS. I watch Noah both on the field at football games and with the crowd at volleyball and basketball games. What a great kid! He not only inspires me, but he cracks me up, especially when he leads the “roller coaster” routine. You’re right – he certainly is who he should be and thank God for that.

  13. Hi Garth ~ Scott Franzke’s wife Dawn here. Noah got the biggest kick out of the fact that you & Scott were both in WA together at the same time. It has been 6mnths since Scott has been home and everyday he asks me “How is my uncle Garth”. :)
    Noah is polite, happy, SUPER funny and some days the only kid out of 500 that asks me how my day is!!! I love to see his smile everyday in the lunch room. He makes me smile!

  14. Throughtout my life I have had many positive influences and one of those who has greatly impacted my life has been Noah. I’ve learned so much from you just being the way you are. Thank you so much for being my nephew, but most of all thank you for being my friend. You know i will always be there for you. Karen and I love you lots. See you next time Bugs. Uncle Kraig

  15. OH how we love to hear noah’s storys. My favorite Kara told me of him learning about Aly Sanders the great(my daughter). She asked him again and he repeated it, Aly Sanders the great. Well we all know it should be Alexander The Great but, Noah understood it in his own way. Got to love that kid:)

  16. Wow…I can not believe that Noah is 17 already. I will never forget the day I meet him at Kathy and Garth’s house. What a happy smiling little guy he was. I just wanted to hug that little guy to pieces!!! No matter when I would see him, he was always happy and no matter what kind of day I was having he always would bring a smile to my face. I have not seen him in years. I kind of miss that beautiful smile of his! I

  17. Kara is certainly right Noah is exactly who and how he should be. I met Noah over 9 yrs ago when we moved into his neighborhood and he was an instant friend to our family. We now spend hours and hours together, no one can make a weekend of camping more fun than Noah. If you have not seen him do a handstand in a pool you are certainly missing out and of course his awesome singing voice, I love to hear what Noah “hears” are the words of songs. Noah is always happy to see you, always greets you with a smile and hug, is the most helpful kid I know and my family loves him to pieces. And Kara – Garth made me cry too! We are so blessed to have Noah and the rest of his family in our family. Love you Noah!

  18. Hey Noah! Happy month to you! It was so much fun seeing you & your sweet parents at Walmart this past summer! I love seeing you because I always get a hug! You are awesome & I’m glad we get to be friends!
    Love, Miss Vicki

  19. Noah says it like it is, and we love that, because what ‘it is’ from his point of view is always something good, valuable, and fun. He reminds us of what is important – faith, family, friends….people. We know he loves us, and we love him right back!! – Matt & Ash

  20. I loved this blog, I smiled the entire time I was reading it! I too got to meet Noah at Walmart. He emits such a fun-loving spirit!

  21. I believe a big part of Noah’s awesomeness is a direct reflection of his amazing family! All of you Van Voorens are generous,loving, compassionate,courageous people! No wonder God blessed you with the gift of Noah – He knew that the impact Noah would make on this world combined with the impact your family would make on this world would result in one incredible light shining to remind us of God’s goodness and joy. Thank you for the example of loving relationship and unconditional acceptance you all provide to our community.

  22. Kara, What a treat to read this blog! (Thank you, Gayle, for posting the link on Facebook.) It’s very clear that not only is Noah exactly who he should be; he’s in exactly the right family, too!

  23. Our family is grateful for the comments here and so many others that have come our way. It’s funny-maybe a little sad- how we go about our days and don’t talk about the way we really feel about people. It has been a blast reading these with Noah and talking about how many people have shared the link…he has impacted so many lives in a consistent way-with laughter and love. Thanks for not only appreciating Down Syndrome Awareness MOnth, but moreso Noah today!

  24. I cannot believe that Noah is 17! I remember babysitting him and Jill pulling them around in the little red wagon :) Noah was always someone to brighten my day due to him always saying hi and asking how I was doing that day. You have raised a remarkable young man Kara!

  25. Oh Molly! It’s people like you who have contributed to Noah’s acceptance and all of our family’s lives…thanks for touching base with us, it means so much. Hope you and your family are well!

  26. I love this Kara. I have reread this article so many times since yesterday, it just warms my heart. I keep on replaying ‘Noah moments’ in my head and cracking up… he is the greatest!

  27. You have never experienced a hug until you’ve received a Noah hug! Nothing makes my heart smile more! Thank you Van Voorens for sharing Noah with the whole community – we are ALL blessed by having him in our lives! Happy 17th Birthday Noah – the Olson’s love you!

  28. Thanks for letting us “see” Noah again after all these years. I loved to hear him sing the Sparks song and still think of him when I sing it week after week on Wed. night. Miss NanC misses him and remembers to pray for him and his life to bring glory to the one who created him just as he should be. God bless him!

  29. Great to see the update on Noah. I too remember when he was born, prayer for the surgeries but what a happy young man he was. Nice to see him “all grown up”. Just read an article by John Franklin Stephens to Ann Coulter on the Special Olympics site. Impressive young man who is well spoken as well.

  30. What an amazing and uplifting story! You seem like an amazing mother, and inspiration in stating “Noah is exactly who he should be.” I work for a occupational therapist company, and most of my boss’ clients are mothers in the birth to three range. Therefore, they are new to game and have tons of questions about their children’s special needs! This is a blog I need to refer them to because you are right… Each of them are who they need to be :))

  31. I cannot believe Noah is 17 already. Haven’t seen you all for a while, but I will never forget Noah….never forgets anyone, allways has a smile and is so friendly. I haven’t forgotten his part of Adams ordination. Kara the way you and Todd have melded this family is magnificent. Not only is Noah just what he should be…God saw to it he has just the”right” family. God Bless

  32. Hi Tracy!
    Thanks for your encouraging words! I had to take a step back and try to remember what kind of mom I was when Noah was in early intervention. Noah was a long awaited first child at our house, and we had what we call a ‘grace period’…he wasn’t diagnosed with DS until he was 2 months old. We loved him unconditionally and were so proud of him…so when we realized he was the same kid we had for 2 months and only our thoughts and fears changed when we got the call, it was a very different experience than others had. Our hopes and expectations had already taken root and we didn’t see a need to change them. So we took our time, learned about risks and health needs/risks, and then we just moved forward. We had another great gift, an unbelieveable support network of family (they lived in WI and we were in New York until Noah was 2) and friends, childcare and of course, early intervention staff who quickly became our extended family. Thanks for all you do for families!

  33. Thanks Barb for reminding me of Adam’s ordination! Adam and Noah stay in touch through facetime! Just another example of how much support we have had from our family and from people who didn’t ‘have to love’ Noah, but just do. Your sweet memory of Noah has blessed me today! Take care and give my love your family!

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