The Evolution of Rachel Coleman

I have this whole serious post ready for you about why we are not on public TV anymore, but I just can’t bring myself to post it and especially NOT today!

Because: (cue music) “Today is a special day a special day it’s true, we celebrate the happy day that I became me!”
Well the lyrics don’t work so well in the first person… which is exactly why I did not write that song with lyrics in the first person… See, I am quick like that!

Yes, 34 years ago today, October 9, 1974 – I was born: Rachel Lee de Azevedo. The fifth child of Lex and Linda de Azevedo.

The Evolution of Rachel Coleman
I doubt there was much fanfare, outside her own family. Her mother’s mother came to town and stayed with the family to help care for her daughter and this new granddaughter. Little did the world know what spirit had just been unleashed upon it. Little did her parents know.

This little girl, shy and quiet in the tumultuous chaos that would become a family of 9 siblings, was NOT the “squeaky wheel,” no. She was silent and observant. She didn’t ask for what she wanted because there were so many other children and she knew that many of them would ask.
She didn’t ask for the things she wanted and because she didn’t ask, she didn’t get them.

Little Rachel

All smiles

She didn’t find her voice until she was 17. She found her “angry voice” first. Like when Mrs. Potato Head packs her husband’s “angry eyes” in Toy Story II. Her family was shocked to hear this voice, shocked not only at the upset but also shocked at hearing a voice from someone who had up until that point refused to sing.

Rachel de Azevedo – We The Living: HEAVEN HELP ME

She found love, got married, becoming Rachel de Azevedo Coleman and had her first child, Leah. One year after her daughter’s birth she took a personal vow of musical silence, at age 24, upon discovering her daughter was deaf. Like all things, this silence lasted… until it ended.

The silence ended when she was 28. Her second daughter Lucy, then 2 years old, was wrapped in a blanket on the floor, Lucy’s physical disabilities, cerebral palsy and spina bifida, kept her trapped in her own silent world. The problem felt very familiar. The circumstances did not. There happened to be a guitar in the room. This time, she heard a voice of inspiration. It started with this simple phrase: “How are you doing little one? I’d like to know what’s on your mind” and ended with this plea: “Show me a sign!”

Rachel Coleman: SHOW ME A SIGN

She now had a story to tell.
She now had a message to deliver.

The message to children: “You are perfect, exactly how you are!”
The message to their parents: “You are not alone.”
The message to professionals: “Do not limit us with labels.”
The message to the world: “Communication does not delay communication.”

She discovered she had a powerful voice, a silly outfit, yet a powerful voice in the world and for the world. A voice that is a stand for children, children who may feel like they don’t fit in, maybe they are shy or quiet, maybe they feel lost in the noise. A voice for so many children who feel that they cannot have what they want and are too afraid to ask, or maybe they just don’t have a way to ask at all.

Then one day she turned 34. It was to be the best year of her life. No, everything was not perfect, but it was. There would be disappointments as well as wonderful surprises. There would be new friends and old. Best of all, after 17 years of music, there are still new songs.

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About Rachel Coleman

The opinions and late night musings published on this blog are Rachel de Azevedo Coleman's alone, and are not ever intended to represent the opinions and sentiments of any organization or product that Rachel is, was, or will be associated with. Rachel Coleman is the creator and Emmy-nominated host of Signing Time!, the children's American Sign Language vocabulary building series. She is also the creator and host of Baby Signing Time, Rachel & the TreeSchoolers, and Rachel & Me. Rachel now serves as the Executive Director of the American Society for Deaf Children, a 501c3 nonprofit established in 1967 by parents of deaf children. ASDC is the American Sign Language organization for families who are raising deaf children. Motivated by her child, Leah's deafness, Rachel has spent the last 18 years creating ASL products to help bridge the communication barrier between hearing and signing communities. In 2006 Rachel founded the Signing Time Foundation, a 501c3 non-profit dedicated to putting communication in the hands of all children of all abilities. In 2014, the Signing Time Foundation launched a 50-Lesson online ASL curriculum called "Sign It: ASL Made Easy" that is available free-of-charge to families with deaf or hard of hearing children ages 36 months and under. Apply at For those who do not qualify to receive Sign It ASL for free, they can find it for purchase at very reasonable rates on Rachel and her husband, Aaron, live in Salt Lake City Utah. They are parents to Leah who was born profoundly deaf, and is now a senior in college at NTID/RIT in Rochester, NY. They are also parents to Lucy who has spina bifida and cerebral palsy, and recently graduated high school. In 2010 the Colemans were joyfully reunited with Rachel's daughter Laura. Rachel is proud to be Laura's birth mom. Laura was placed for adoption as an infant in 1992 when Rachel was 17 years-old.

59 thoughts on “The Evolution of Rachel Coleman

  1. Happy Birthday! From a sweet little girl to an amazing woman! Thank your parents from us for the gift of YOU!!! And thank your family for sharing you with the world! Have a beautiful day!

  2. Rachel, did I not ask that you warn me I should grab tissues before reading? Seriously, I am bawling here.

    Happy Birthday dear friend. I feel so blessed to have you in my life, and grateful that I have been given many opportunities to thank you face to face. I look at William and know that so much of what he has been able to accomplish is thanks to you. I look at how much I’ve been able to shine these past few years and I know that I have you to thank for that too. You helped me expand my wings.

    I love you dearly. My entire family and I wish you the happiest of birthdays.

  3. Happy, happy birthday! You’ve brought so much joy and hope into our home — we’re thankful you’ve come down this path in life!

  4. Happy birthday. I hope this year is the best yet. Thank you for not remaining silent. Thank you for finding the joy. Thank you for using your voice to make such an important impact in the world.

  5. I can’t get over how much you look like your mom in that first picture! I thought at first it was a picture of you! Happy 34th birthday and many, many more!

  6. Happy Birthday, Rachel! You are truly a beacon of light for many of us who are learning to communicate with our deaf children, making learning ASL so much fun! Enjoy your day! (Are you really going to SF for dinner?) Judy

  7. Happy Birthday! We’re the same age and this year has been the best year of my life too. Especially since I have a smiling/signing/talking two year old who is an angel! She’s been able to communicate with us since she she was 9 months old. You’ve helped make our life better, I wish you all the success in the world!

  8. feliz aniversario! compleanos feliz! 34.. wow, remember when we were kids & used to think 34 was old? how weird it is to reallize it’s not, huh? anyway, enjoy & relax (for once :)!

    p.s. while i was reading your post, my 2 year old son, Javen (who, since June, started talking, signing, and now reading hundreds of words because of ST) walked by and completely TACKLED me yelling “SIGH TIME!!!!” He saw the pic of you singing in your ST sweater. I swear you’re his 2nd mom. Every morning AND every nap time, when he wakes up, 1st thing from his mouth (and hands) is “sigh time??” Been wanting to tell you that for awhile. Happy birthday girl! -Emily Johnson (Grand Rapids, MI)

  9. Happy birthday, Rachel!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. I love that you are human just like the rest of us, and can share the not so great parts of your life.

    I know that I have struggled adapting to our whole new “normal” in our family, and it’s good to know that we aren’t alone. That even you struggled in those early years.

    I also love that you have used your beautiful voice to reach out to those of us who need it, and those that just want another way to communicate. The world became a better place on this day back in 1974, it’s just that no one knew it yet!!

    I know that I have told you before what an inspiration you our to our family, and how much we love you, not just as “Rachel Coleman”, but as Rachel Coleman. You have gone out of your way as a person, for our family. You didn’t have to be there the day of Rhett’s Wish Party, we would have been just super happy to get the ST! DVD’s. You went above and beyond anything that we could have ever imagined.

    The best part, is that since I have taken the time to get to “know” you more….(totally not a creepy stalker like BPD though!!)….the more I am thankful for all that you have done. You are super fun to be around, and tell Aaron, Leah, and Lucy thank you for sharing their wife and mommy, not just with our family, but the whole world.

    I hope you have a wonderful 34th Birthday, and we wish you many more. I won’t sing to you since I already did that on Twitter, but know that we are thinking of you on your special day, and I hope it was a great one, with many more to come.

    Lots of (((HUGS))) from the whole Flock of Birds!!

  11. Have a very happy birthday, Rachel!!! Thank you for everything you do to help my son and all of the other children find their voice and communicate! Best wishes and lots of hugs!

  12. Happy Birthday Rachel! We’re so thankful for Signing Time, for all that you and your family have brought into our lives. Thank you for continuing to share with us, pieces of who you are.

  13. I feel so blessed that you are a part of my families lives. My kids love you and I love you for helping them know sign language and making it fun for them! You have lit up so many peoples’ life and I can’t imagine not knowing about you or your family or the fabulous work you have created for this world. You are one of the most caring people I have ever met.

    Happy Birthday!

  14. Dear Rachel, So happy to have been there for you on your birthday, our middle child, such a sweetheart and a cuddler, such a child full of promise. Little did I know then what an extraordinary life you would be leading today! I am in awe of your strengths, talents and resilience. Your vision for yourself, for Aaron, Leah, Lucy and the world is amazing. Loving you on your birthday and on every other day as well. Love, Mom

  15. Have the best Birthday EVER!!! You absolutly deserve it!! From the bottom of my heart Rachel, Happy Happy Birthday 🙂
    P.S. Just got the music cd in the mail. Out went Pink and in went ST Songs. Brook loves it 🙂 You are a good singer. Thank You for everything!!
    Jennifer and Brook

  16. Rachel…

    Thank you so much for all that you do. (I know that sounds cliche now, but I really do mean it) You are more meaningful to me than the celebirty idols of my high school peers, because you are a real human being. You aren’t fake. You don’t try to be someone you’re not. You’re just Rachel, pure and simple. When you blogged about me in May of last year, I screamed “MOM, come in here! Rachel blogged about me!” My brother was the first one in the computer room.

    “Let me see. Are you serious?”


    I still have that letter. The ink has been smudged, but I still have it. I miss you in chat. I was so bummed the day you guys put that new rule out. Chatting with you on the ST! chat has been added to my list of things I can’t do right now- vote, drive, you get the idea. I followed every single Ghana blog entry. I know about your cheesecake obsession. But I’m not a stalker, even though I send you messages on Myspace a lot. LOL.

    Anyway, I just want you to know that you are an inspiration. Thank you for sharing with us tidbits about your life. Thank you for sharing your family.



    (PS- Are you coming to KY anytime soon? I really would love to meet you.)

  17. From the first time I saw Signing Time (ABCs), I knew you had an amazing voice. Because I did not know your story at the time, I wondered how public television could score such a wonderful singer as yourself. I am so glad that you got rid of your angry voice for one that communicates important values and lessons to kids and adults across the country. Thank you; and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!

  18. Happy Birthday! I am so glad that you found your voice. It is such a beautiful voice…telling a beautiful story. It is amazing to me that we grow up imagining a life so different from our future reality. I think most of us would freak out if we knew what our story would one day be…scared and unprepared. Thankfully once we get to where we are going it all falls into place BEAUTIFULLY. There is nothing easy about your story, but it is beautiful. Rachel, you SHINE!

  19. Rachel.. What can I say that everyone else has not said? You have opened our eyes to a whole new world. We are thankful for you coming out of your cacoon and spreading your wings for the whole world to embrace. One of our favorite songs is “Caterpillar Dreams”. I have a son who didn’t speak until he was 4. He continues to have speach issues but is coming along. I think of the years of frustration for him and all of us. Now with my 18mth old follow in my other sons foot steps of silence… its only a temp thing. He speaks to us.. through his hands.. and his love! Its because of you and your family. God has given you a gift.. We thank you for sharing that gift with us… So this is for you Rachel… its your day… HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! I am so glad i have had this opportunity to get to “know” you.


  20. Wow, that is cool. My little Eva loves you. She doesn’t watch TV unless she is watching Signing Time, or her monkey, which is George. She has learned all the signs I/ You have taught her. I would do well to learn more. I would like to become fluent, and would like that for her also. Incase she doesn’t find a voice, she will have language. Thank you for doing for others. Thank you for doing for us. Happy Birthday.

  21. McMama: Thanks! (again) That is just a slice of my story though, hardly even a chapter.

    STlindsey: Me? Silent? You would never have believed it – would you.

    Matilda: Well it looks like my mom actually commented tonight “LindaJan” so you got to thank her yourself!

    gizmaud: Thanks, I learned to Shine from Lucy… but I guess maybe Lucy learned it form me?

    meverling: Thanks for inviting us in your life! And you are welcome!

    Kei: Honestly I did NOT see this one as a “cry-er” I would have warned you I promise!

    Frances17033: YAY glad to be bringing joy!

    simply_lori: I do it for the little people

    mdbeau: The resemblance is shocking eh? I was surprised when I went digging through the pictures. Found another one that shows her on the way to the hospital with her hair all done cute standing by a station wagon. Good thing she curled her hair!

    bingcherry: Nah, no SF this year. I wish. Just stuck around the house doing “mom” things.

    ark: I love smiling/signing/talking angels! Congrats on yours~

    javensmom: Well I always thought I would have more than 2 children, but it looks like I am done. I love the thought of being your child’s second mom.

    emschwar: Yes it was

    mom2rhett: “The world became a better place on this day back in 1974, it’s just that no one knew it yet!!” Wow, that is really sweet. I just adore you crazy birds!

    tardis_mom: I did. Thank you. AND you are welcome:)

    SallyAnn: pieces, pieces, pieces of me

    cathybarra: Thanks sist-ah – you rock

    Amazon: crazy, I am reading your words and wondering, is she really talking about me? Thank you for sharing that.

    LindaJan: Hey Mom! Look at you all tech savvy! Commenting on blogs, you! Everyone thinks you look HAWT in that 1974 photo. You think I’m extraordinary? Well back at you, you made me and put up with me 🙂 Thanks

    Googsmom: Jennifer, thank you and I have a question, THE music CD? Which one LOL we have about 15

    hhtheoneandonly: Ash, I miss you too! You are an inspiration to me and I am glad you are in my life. No plans to come to KY. I go to NC this weekend and OR after that, then I the holiday lull, sorry.

    Joeymom: Thank you, it was a happy one.

    Kestillo: Aaron might disagree that my “angry voice” is entirely gone LOL

    leapnlizzie: no kidding, I think it is a good thing I never saw it coming. Is there a benefit to being blind-sided over and over and over? LOL I say YES!

    Salisbury8: I am just glad to know that what we have created is making a difference… a true difference for those who need it

    coolwhip: Love the name Eva! I don’t know that you can become fluent through ST! but you can acquire one serious vocabulary.

    kathryndevlin: Oh, good!

    5dunns: See? I LOVE that! I am in your family 🙂

  22. Wow! For as spellbinding and emotive as your blogs read, your book is going to be compelling!!! Your mom looks radiant in that picture of the two of you. I imagine she smiles that same smile with each of your joys, and prays that your heartaches leave no scars.
    Happy Birthday Rachel:) Hope you celebrated with the zeal of child-like innocence.
    P.S. HEAVEN HELP ME–Wicked awesome acoustic guitar intro; I’ll bet the harmonies sound SWEET!
    MY HOUSE–I knew the bridge would be my favorite part even before I heard it.
    SHOW ME A SIGN–Wow! Just WOW!

  23. Okay, slightly delayed over here it appears, but what’s new? Blame it on the dial up. I hope your birthday over there was as fun as it was over here all those hours before! How CUTE is that turnip hair baby photo???!!!! That is Rachel. Haha! I can’t get over how adorable that is. And how sweet is the photo of your mum/ mom holding her little teeny baby #5, Rachel!! And how lovely is it that your mum/ mom read your blog and commented?! That part I suppose could call for tissues if you’re a bawly kind of person (not mentioning any names.. cough…Kei!) What a sweet little child, and how special the world is because you’re in it. Hope your birthday brought you all the happiness you deserve. We love you!!
    From all the way across the seas,
    Thanking you for all you do,
    Jackie and the Boys xxx

  24. Rachel, I hope you had the best best birthday! Like so many others, I cant’ begin to thank you enough for the precious gift you’ve given my family!!! I don’t really remember when/how I stumbled upon “Baby Sign Language” but I talked about it early on with my husband before we ever knew our little guy would have such a speech delay. He was born with a rare craniofacial disorder called Apert syndrome. Not all the kids with this syndrome seem to have the level of speech delay he has. At 3 1/2, he is really just starting to speak to us verbally but he’s been communicating with us for years. Because of Signing Time, we were able to rapidly increase our vocabulary in a fun way. He still recognizes way more signs than he does but he sure tries. You should see him waving his hands around during the ABC video. He was born with his fingers fused together and although we’ve had them seperated, he is missing some joints so his fingers don’t bend to make all the signs and he has not quite figured out how to make his individual fingers do exactly as he wants yet. Because you showed us how well we could communicate without spoken words you have made so much possible with my young son. Unfortunately, there are people in this world that cannot appreciate that a child who does not speak can be so knowledgable. People have misjudged his intellect because he does not yet speak but then they get to know him and they see him sign and suddenly we hear, “He is so smart!” Thank you Rachel for opening the world to my son. Because of Signing Time there are more people out there who recognize sign language.

    Thank you thank you thank you thank you! I just can’t say thank you enough!

  25. WOW! Thanks for posting this instead of the “why you are not on PBS anymore”. Although I still want to know why, but by posting this I learned yet some more about your life. Your mother is soooooooooooo beautiful in that photo. I can totally see you in her. You have an amazing voice. God knew exactly what He was doing when He created you 34 years ago. Thanks for sharing your gift with all of us. Although Joey is totally nonvocal his face lights up when he “sees” you on TV or pictures. Our lives are so much better since you’ve “been in it”. You’ve given Joey a way to communicate. One of Joey’s siblings who met you in real life says he is thankful for Joey having Down syndrome or we would have never met you. LOL.

    Happy 34th Birthday Rachel…and many many more to come.

    North Dakota’s BIGGEST ST! fans.

  26. I forgot to tell you something- in that one photo of you as a little girl, I thought there were two “Leah’s.” (Leah at age 3, and then you.) I can see the resemblence!

    I really want to know why you aren’t on PBS anymore, though. But I am glad you posted this!

  27. Oh silly me. I should of known. Vol 1-3 songs. Now I better get the rest too 🙂 Brook is scared of the dark but if ST is playing she just sits there and dances. No more fit’s in the car at night time. THX 🙂

  28. Happy Belated Birthday Rachel and many wonderful blessings to you and your family. My b’day is the 8th. I feel like your a part of my family even though we’ve never met. From the first time I stumbled upon this show I and my then 16 month old have been hooked. I started teaching him signs out of a book a few months before. Anyway, Nicolas loves you, Alex and Leah and signs Signing Time whenever we turn on the TV. We love the way that you engage the children, the smile on your face, and the soulful down home way you sing your songs. My whole family watches your show and recently my husband has taken it upon himself to learn the signs since Nicolas uses them a lot. At first, he just watched with a big smile until the show was over. Then about two months ago he started doing all the signs on every show. The only other show he will watch is Sesame Street, but Signing Times is his absolute favorite. He’s almost two and doesn’t say very many words, but knows lots of signs. I’ve read everything about your program, your children and all the work you do to give all children a voice. You are a remarkable and extraordinary woman, even if you don’t take credit. You must touch numerous children and families all over the world by making them feel special and inviting them in to the wonderful world of signing. I’ve never felt compelled to write on a blog until I noticed we couldn’t watch the show on the regularly scheduled days. I thought it was a mistake, and tried desperately to find the show or get some info from PBS to no avail, but I guess I’ll find out more when you’re ready to tell us. Sorry this is so long, I don’t get out much. Don’t lose hope, you’ve been given a wonderful outreach and when one door closes another opens. I told my husband that even though times are tough we’re going to have to invest in the DVD’s one at a time. Thank you again for teaching my son Nicolas 23 mos., Kyle 11, Cameron 13 and my husband and I sign language and for teaching the world that all children are special! Your family will be in our prayers! Tosha

  29. Happy Birthday Rachel! That’s so neat that I share my birthday with you. Usually everyone is born on the 8th and 10th 🙂 Hope you had a great day~ I turned the big 3-0 this year… but hey, it’s just a number! I hope you can come back to Salem next year for the Buddy walk, and maybe you won’t have to be rushing off to a delivery…hee hee. It was great to get to know you while you were here (I was your seller for CD/DVD’s) Have a super weekend!

  30. Happy Birthday Rachel! I never thought I’d see you again after that summer at Oakcrest (at least I’m pretty sure you were my counselor, but I won’t know for sure until you can confirm it… hint, hint… you made us guess your name AND how to spell it. We failed, lol.), but having a daughter with Auditory Processing Delay brought us “together” again. And I couldn’t be more grateful. Even if just for the fact that she and her two younger sisters can communicate as she learns to overcome her challenges (and thriving, on a sidenote).

    I hope you had a fantastic day!

  31. Happy Birthday Rachel! If that post could sing, dang it would sing out loud for all the world to hear! Your post was truly inspirational and gave us a look into the life of Rachel Coleman! When is the Rachel Coleman autobiography coming out? I hope your birthday was amazing, and you keep singing loud for all the world to hear. You are truly inspirational!

    Lots of love!

  32. Happy B-Day Rachel. I love being able to keep up with you through you show and your blog. Your girls are beautiful. Its Me Janna Williams, do you remember me and Griffin. He called Lucy “soopie”. I hope you had a wonderful day. October 11th is Griffin’s day. I have shared Signing time with all my family and they love it. I am getting better at signing too. I still speak baby talk. I got to practice alot because I taught preschool last year and had twin boys who had a hard time talking. They picked up on sign language so fast it was amazing. Thank you for introducing me to sign language. Give the girls extra love for me. I am touched when i watch your DVD’s . I am very blessed to have meet your family

  33. Ella: I met with the write last week. We had lunch. I told her I was totally confronted by the thought of telling my story. Her response was, “That is GOOD!” I told her I want to do it right, which to means means telling the truth. As we ate I kept talking, telling her about this experience and that. Her eyes kept filling with tears and she repeated… “This is going to be a great book!” – I hope so. I will let you know how it is going.

    Jackile: Thanks Jackie, I am sure you got this post a day after my b-day, since you are always a day ahead of us there in Australia. How is tomorrow looking? 😉

    JacksMommy: Marie after 7 years of ST! there are so few syndromes I am unaware of:) But Apert is one I had not heard of yet. I will file that away, because it is likely to come up again. My very best to you and yours.

    Joeysmom: Yeah, I have a HAWT mom 🙂
    “One of Joey’s siblings who met you in real life says he is thankful for Joey having Down syndrome or we would have never met you.” <------- So sweet! hhtheoneandonly: No one EVER says the girls look like me. Seriously. No one. Ever. Googsmom: Oh good that CD has Show Me A Sign on it. virtue94: I am glad that you found us! I will post soon about PBS, you are not the only one wondering. peasley25: I am hoping to return to OR next year. I will be in Klamath Falls over Halloween, but I think that is far from you. waterbaby: Sorry h2O Baby, but that was not me 🙁 Never been a counselor, had a few though LOL Tiffany: The book should be out in about a year. We are aiming for Fall. jannaewilliams: Janna - good to hear from you! I hope you guys are doing well. Yes, "Soopie!" LOL I will have to tell Lucy that she will get a kick out of it for sure. Thanks for being such a good friend and helping us out so much while we were in Los Angeles. Amanda: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. You are welcome 🙂

  34. Thank you for the Beautiful Blog written on such a special day, Happy Birthday!
    You are an amazing woman, honest and sincere. Thank you for sharing such an intimate part of your evolution with the Signing Time world.
    This year we found out that my son, 2, has hearing loss. My daughter,5, and I dove into your collection of Signing Time DVD’s, heart and soul. We loved them! Now not only are we communicating with my little guy better, my daughter and I use it when needed. She considers it our secret way of communicating! LOL
    You have given me such strength to want to know more on how to communicate with him and an understanding that I am not alone.
    Thank you, Thank you, and yes, I had tears also reading the blog especially when I played SHOW ME A SIGN! It gave it all new meaning.
    GOD BLESS YOU on your special day!


  35. Your story brought tears to my eyes. I love that you found your way back to music through your children. They are truly a gift!

    Thank you for touching so many of us and helping those who can’t, speak.

    Happy Birthday, to a beautiful person, both inside and out!

  36. Happy Birthday! Thank you so much for sharing your gift with everyone! You are an inspiration! You have taught my son that he has a way to communicate. We have been buying ST since the first 3 VHS tapes came out. Now he is 9 and knows all the signs but won’t initiate signs or words so I will “sign prompt” him to get his voice out! Our favorite song right now is “Dreams”. We sing/sign it every night!

    I’m not a stalker but my 3 year old daughter, Chloe might be! She loves ST and says that Leah is her sister and Alex is her brother! I am not kidding! She is also saving all things purple to give to Leah, because it is Leah’s favorite color, (she thinks) because Leah wears a purple shirt and skirt! She is always asking me when they and you will come out of the TV to play with her. I am running out of excuses, lol … do you ever come to Arizona?

  37. Rachel I feel like you are a personal friend. My 3 boys have always loved watching your DVDs. I never taught them Spanish (my mom is NOT happy about that) but we communicate through signing. If only you made DVDs in Spanish my mom would be thrilled!! Thanks for making signing fun. I’ve learned more from one DVD than from all the ASL classes I have taken years ago. Happy Birthday to a woman who knows how to multi-task and make it look easy. What I love most about the series is that I can see you and Leah and Alex grow and become more confident. Also, the videos are so personal the songs so full of emotion, hope and love. You rock!! LindaJan…have your uterus bronzed!!! Better yet, platinum!! Happy Birthday Rachel!

  38. Happy Birthday Rachel!
    My sister is a huge music fan. Just the other day she was asking me who I liked to listen to, and as I thought, I said, “Rachel!” “Who is Rachel?” she asked, “Well, I will show you” and we watched a video.
    Now I tell everyone I do have a music idol.
    I loved the Baby Signing Times when we had our first daughter. I truly believe signing made her such an early talker. Then my second daughter was born with Down syndrome. We sign all the time, thanks to you (and your girls).
    I love the song “Shine” I actually get emotional every time I hear it.
    And…my husband laughs at me because I am getting so good. He thinks I need to partner with you and do the Spanish! ( I can impersonate you pretty well….okay, my signs are NOT even close to yours). But I can make silly faces too! 🙂
    Thank you, for helping us with children with special needs, and for sharing a powerful message of love and acceptance.

  39. Sorry we’re a day or two late on your birthday wish, but we wish you a Happy One anyway. It was nice to hear a little more of your background story. And I enjoyed hearing the song, “Heaven Help Me.” “We The Living” was the name of the group you played/sang in, right? I couldn’t remember. It was touching to hear you talk about your “angry” years. We feel like we share a kinship with you, in some way (we’ve mentioned it before), but nobody would know. It reminds me of the first song you wrote.
    Our two adopted siblings are wonderful together. Angel and Anvil were truly meant to be together. And at just over 1 year, Anvil signs several words, and tries to sign a bunch–we just can’t tell what they are yet. Today he went around the floor picking up his large, colored, soft alphabet letters, one by one, holding them up to me so that I could tell him what its name was, and sign. Aside from speaking “mama” and “dadda,” “ghee” and “bee” are his only verbal “words.” But his signing is taking off marvelously. He also loves to watch your DVDs, and to listen to your music.
    Angel’s vocabulary at 2 1/2 (almost 3) is really incredible. People comment to me that she can talk exremely well and understandable for her age. We attribute it partly to signing with her. We don’t doubt that something equally amazing could happen with our son. People still ask us if they are deaf, when they see us signing. And we always explain that, no, we are signing with our hearing children to be able to communicate with them at an early age. We just hope to keep their environment as stimulating as they grow as it has been so far (with your help). Any reconsideration on that college professor idea?
    Have a great (next, next) day, and another great year!!!
    Angels_Pop and family

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