The Starfish Story


Each year S.E.A.S. will choose an individual in need to support through various reliable and approved strategies to raise funds specifically for the individual's needs. This year S.E.A.S. is honored to choose the very first person.



Noah Deal, The Starfish Story Recipient, 2016


Noah's Life Story


Noah’s birth mother had a  history of drug and alcohol use with resulting serious cardiac issues. He was six months old when she voluntarily placed him in temporary foster care.  

Until the age of 5, Noah transitioned from foster homes to living with his mother when she finally relinquished her parental rights, telling him that she would see him again.  He understood that he could at least find her when he turned 18. She died when he was 10.  


A young couple who fostered him, got married and adopted him shortly after that.  When he 

was almost 8, they relinquished their parental rights placing him back into foster care. They assured him that they would bring him home again later. They did not and that was Noah's first psychiatric breakdown when he was hospitalized.


Once leaving the hospital, he went to live with a foster mom that he knew from before. He stayed with her until he was 15 years old.  His foster mom was quite regimented with Noah and he had limited interaction with other kids, TV, computer, and phone. Noah remembers times when she would discipline him by removing his books and he would have to sit in his room alone.


At 13 he was again admitted to a psych hospital as she felt his behavior was not manageable. Within a couple of years it was decided that he should be removed and placed in another foster home. Noah never got to say "good bye" to his foster mom of 7 years and to this day believes he did something wrong to cause the parent/child relationship to end.


Noah's foster care organization comprised of a small gated community where foster children lived in different houses. Noah would respite with other foster parents at times and knew 

everyone there. To this day he can tell you the name of everyone and their story. It is 

unclear as to why he didn’t get adopted during that time. There were plenty of other  children that he saw come and go, those with many behavioral and physical issues, and  many who lived with him. There were some who were adopted by social workers and other foster parents. He was by far the oldest foster child and everyone found a home, but Noah. 


At age 15 Noah spent the weekend with a couple whom he had hoped would adopt him. They took him back feeling he was cognitively impaired. His parting statement was, 

"I'll try harder", as he knew he was being rejected again.


It was not much longer after that his adopted mother, Sheddy, came into his life. He was a 

tall, thin boy whose personality was frozen in fear, but she assured Noah he was going to 

stay with her. The beginning years were what anyone would expect, full of difficulty and 

trials. In time, they bonded and Sheddy learned the truth that raising a child with unique 

needs is  difficult. Public school offered limited support and because  Noah was capable of learning, allbeit at a slower pace, he did not quite fit into a particular program. He 

struggled with learning and fitting in socially. Sheddy knew she needed assistance to fulfill

her commitment to Noah.


Once Noah graduated from public school, Sheddy enrolled Noah at Monarch Institute, a 

private school offering an innovative, therapeutic program. Noah began in the fall of 2014 

and has begun to flourish. The faculty recognize he is quite capable of learning and 

becoming a contributing member of his community. The cost for Monarch's program exceeds Sheddy's ability to pay for him to continue. S.E.A.S. knows that having Noah leave a safe and nurturing environment is not an option. 


Noah exemplifies strength and perseverance in spite of all obstacles. He is not a failure. He isa young man in need of support. He is S.E.A.S. opportunity to "make a difference to that one".


Noah,

we willingly choose you as S.E.A.S. first

The Starfish Story Recipient,

2016


Once upon a time, there was an old man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach every morning before he began his work. Early one morning, he was walking along the shore after a big storm had passed and found the vast beach littered with starfish as far as the eye could see, stretching in both directions.


Off in the distance, the old man noticed a small boy approaching.  As the boy walked, he paused every so often and as he grew closer, the man could see that he was occasionally bending down to pick up an object and throw it into the sea.. 

The boy came closer still and the man called out, “Good morning!  May I ask what it is that you are doing?” The young boy paused, looked up, and replied “Throwing starfish into the ocean. The tide has washed them up onto the beach and they can’t return to the sea by themselves,” the youth replied.. “When the sun gets high, they will die, unless I throw them back into the water.” The old man replied, “But there must be tens of thousands of starfish on this beach. I’m afraid you won’t really be able to make much of a difference.”

The boy bent down, picked up yet another starfish and threw it as far as he could into the ocean. Then he turned, smiled and said, “It made a difference to that one!”

adapted from The Star Thrower, by Loren Eiseley (1907 – 1977)