Monday, August 24, 2015

The Noah Mobile

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A year ago we were forced to find a way to take on a very large and difficult loan to obtain a handicapped accessible vehicle for Noah.  We were unable to find any help - donations and fundraisers were unsuccessful. But we were at a point where we couldn't get any of Noah's equipment in a vehicle and he is almost 7 and getting heavy to lift in and out of a car seat.  We were falling with him getting out of the car injuring him and ourselves, and maneuvering spastic stiff legs and arms out of a small car seat, and trying to get Noah to duck his head in and out each time was just proving to be too much for us.   It's just a fact of life that all families face when you have a child or family in a wheelchair.  You only have a little window of time to figure out transportation difficulties.

We purchased a used Dodge Grand Caravan with a manual ramp, and a jumper seat since Luke is still in a car seat.  The manual ramp and high miles knocked down the price a tad, but not enough to get it under $40,000.  It was the best we could do under the circumstances.  We decided to work through a car broker to assist us with the process as dealing with car dealerships directly is its own challenging process.  And I found myself with little patience for the sticker price tag game.  And dealerships are great about showing you things and making you fall in love with them and then slamming you with a purchase price that you can't reach.  Using a broker was just easier for me to negotiate the terms - and in helping us find a lender which was no easy feat.   When you have a child like Noah your debt to income ratio - is a joke.   But these are our truths, and I'm not ashamed to talk about them.   It's as honest, and real as I can be about it.  This is the reality for most families in the same position we are.   There were far more lenders that turned us down and only one that was willing to extend us a loan - and in which case there are conditions like higher interest rates and long-term loans.  And our monthly payment is like paying half of a mortgage.

But by the grace of God, we found a way to drive it home.  A year later the ripple effects of such a financial purchase still is proving to be difficult.  It has meant at times that we've had to seek help with groceries and necessities and that we've had to quit many of Noah's out of pocket therapies that we can no longer financially afford.  When you are between a rock and a hard place you just do what you have to do.  It's not a perfect solution by any means.  But we just keep putting one foot in front of the other.

I had a sweet lady at a store tell me the other day that she feels that she's become a better person for knowing me and me sharing Noah's story a little bit each time that I come in.  That I've changed her and that I've given her inspiration through my positivity in light of the continual hardships that this journey throws my way.  And that in itself was a gift, to know that you can shine this bright light for others and be as happy as one can be despite the struggles.  I suppose that's all that I can hope for is that I can be an example of how to keep on going - no matter what life throws my way.   My mother must feel the same way as she shares the story of Job with me often likely as a reminder for me not to lose my faith during this hard journey.

For those of you who aren't familiar with Job in the Bible:
"Job is presented as a good and prosperous family man who is beset with horrendous disasters that take away all that he holds dear, including his offspring, his health, and his property. He struggles to understand his situation and begins a search for the answers to his difficulties. Despite his difficult circumstances, he did not curse God, but rather cursed the day of his birth. And although he anguished over his plight, he stopped short of accusing God of injustice."

We decided it was time to fully celebrate Noah's ride.  We had a lovely lady named Melissa that we met this summer who made magnets for Noah's vehicle, and the back has two magnet signs so first responders can recognize that we have a child with special needs in the vehicle in the event of an emergency.  We are grateful and humbly blessed that we were able to be able to obtain this vehicle for Noah - no matter how difficult it is.

He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed
, miracles that cannot be counted. Job 5:9


Noah's Miracle by Stacy Warden is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.