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.