2 year old Noah was lost for a week in Pinson, TN. He was on a Nature Walk with his Grandma and sister, and like many rambunctious toddlers do, he took off running....He was out of sight in the moment it took for the Grandma to attend to the little girl. She turned around, and little Noah was gone.
All it takes is a second, as most parents know. Curious children often have no fear, and will go taking off any time they can. Usually, incidents like these don't end in tragedy. Sure, the adults have a mini-heart attack, but wandering kiddos are typically found rather quickly.
I am the mother of small children myself, so the thought of this tow-headed, blue-eyed boy being cold, alone, and hungry was too painful to bear. I sat glued to the computer hoping for updates, and I shed countless tears each night as I tucked my children into their warm, soft beds. Noah didn't have any warmth out there in the woods, and knowing this tore me apart. It hurt me to the core. I wanted nothing more than to see him home safe and in his terrified Mother's arms.
After a long, emotional week full of endless searching by law enforcement and volunteers from all over the nation, Noah's tiny body was found in a clearing, very close to where he was last seen.
All week long, countless men and women braved the treacherous terrain and freezing temperatures, searching for this little boy in thousands of acres of woods. Countless sinkholes, icy conditions, and the bitter cold didn't matter. Finding Noah was all that mattered, and this little boy united people in a way that can only be described as inspiring.
People came together from all over the country to search for what equated to be a needle in a haystack. One 25lb little boy, lost in a huge expanse of western Tennessee woodlands.
Noah's parents searched, too, and the accounts of their involvement were truly heart-wrenching. Can you picture a frantic mother, out in the woods, screaming for her child until her voice became hoarse? A father, helplessly looking in tree stumps and sinkholes, simply to come up empty? This has been the reality for Noah's family this past week.
And now, this poor, beautiful baby is gone. They just couldn't get to him in time. Noah's little body simply couldn't endure the cold, and he died out there in those woods. Alone. I just pray that he didn't suffer, and that he simply went to sleep.
There's loads of speculation going on right now surrounding Noah's disappearance and passing. Many people are placing blame, and there's even talk about some grand cover-up.
Please. This is not the time to point fingers. Yes, there are things that don't add up. There are questions that have not been answered. I will be the first to admit that over the past week, things have seemed a bit fishy on more than one occasion. I admit, I found myself wondering if someone had harmed this child.
None of that matters now. All of these questions will be answered in time.
Right now, there's a mother who will never hold her baby again... A father who won't have his little helper anymore...A sister, who at only 4 years old, has lost her partner in crime and probably doesn't understand why....And of course, a grandmother who is no doubt consumed with guilt because she turned her back for a moment, and lost sight of little Noah.
Their lives have been altered forever. No one can bring their baby back.
I cannot even begin to imagine the unspeakable pain the Chamberlin family must be feeling right now. I look at my own kids, and try to imagine being in their shoes. I try to imagine their panic, their heartbreak, and how they will learn to live their lives every day missing their precious son. It's a living nightmare, and not a place I'd wish on anyone.
I understand that a lot of people are heartbroken and angry about this tragic outcome. I understand there are countless "what-ifs". I understand that certain aspects of Noah's case left people scratching their heads in doubt and disbelief.
Before jumping on the Rumor Bandwagon, please consider the feelings of those who knew and loved this little boy. All questions will be answered in time. An autopsy is mandatory when a child dies under these circumstances in Tennessee. If there was foul play, it WILL come to light.
Law Enforcement including the TBI, FBI, and local authorities in Pinson, TN say they do not suspect anything sinister, and are calling this a tragic accident. Until proven otherwise, it's not our job to judge. Whether it was a horrible, freak accident or something else....This will all come out in time.
Now is the time for compassion. Time for mourning. Little Noah was surely a light in his family's life, but over the past week, he became special to people all over the world. He became America's Baby Boy, and his passing has broken many hearts.
So for now, let's focus our energy on offering peace and comfort to Noah's family as they are faced with their "new normal". Let's remember a boy who was lost too soon, but whose passing united a nation in hope. Let's remember America's Baby Boy for the beautiful child that he was.
Rest in peace, Noah Israel Chamberlin. Now you're not afraid. You're not hungry, cold, or alone. Because of you, parents all over are hugging their babies a little bit tighter today. You will not be forgotten.