They are heroes. Real heroes, not the military and first responder kind of heroes, but heroes never-the-less. They are also kin.

They live about a day’s drive from here.

Stefanie is my wife’s brother’s daughter. Therefore, i’m kin. Eric Johnson is Stefanie’s husband. Therefore, he is my kin. Stefan is Stefanie’s son. Therefore, he is my kin. Naomi is their daughter. Therefore, she is my kin. They are all heroes because one, Naomi, is a super girl.

Naomi almost died during her birth. She has had difficulties to overcome since then. She has special needs. And you know what? She has overcome the obstacles. She will have to deal with them for most of her life, but her parents and her brother will help. And there is no doubt in my mind, Naomi will succeed. i have never known a couple and their son being so dedicated to the uniter, the hero. They are.

Eric is the most loving father i have ever met. His care for his wife, his son, and his daughter seems to have no bounds, and he uses that love for kind and caring discipline as well as affection to give the two young ones a better chance at succeeding. They have and they will.

Stefanie is equally loving and supportive of her family. Her love for Eric is palatable. They are a team, a good team, dedicated to their family. Stephanie is a rock. Naomi also inspired her Stefanie to write two books, I See You Little Naomi, and I See You  LIttle Andrew.The book is for helping children to understand how to relate to other children with special needs (they help the adults as well). i have written of Stefanie’s books  here before.

i don’t see them enough. That is my fault and my loss. Every time i am around them, i feel inspired, happy, awed like i should being amongst family heroes.

i didn’t forget Stefan. Can’t say i’ve seen a finer young man. Good student. Good athlete. Ready for college. Still remembers the Padre game i took him and Eric to a long time ago. But that is just the beginning. Stefan is a hero too. He, like his mother, can write. He wrote an article about his family and his feelings about his sister.  It was published today in the December Alive Magazine, a monthly publication in the East Bay (San  Francisco Bay). It made me smile, it made me weep a bit. It made me proud. After all, i’m kin to a hero. Several of them.

Special Needs Inclusion: It Takes A Village

My heroes at our home during a 2011 visit.

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