Who We Are

This is the longer story of who I am. It’s just like a detailed introduction.

My name is Meriah.

I went through the windshield of  a car when I was 4 years old. My face is covered with scars, I sustained brain injury.

I am also deaf. Little “d” deaf, which means that while I can hear, it’s crunchy. Some sounds I can’t hear at all, others I can hear very well. I’m not a fluent signer. I am a fierce lip reader.

I was raised abroad as a missionary child. I left home to go to Japan when I was 15 – as an exchange student – and never really went back.

I bumbled along in my own way, trying to make sense of moving in and out of cultures, reconciling feelings about religion and “deep thoughts” on the nature of our existence. I was a depressed anorexic/bulimic chain smoking alcoholic Tokyo bar-dancing party girl for the better part of a decade.

And then a few things happened:

– I met the love of my life. I got pregnant. I quit the alcohol, partying, cigarettes –

Sobered on up, I was still trying to live up to some ideal of the “American dream” and what it means to be “solid” and “responsible” and all of those things. I was working hard and bending backwards at my job when the second big thing happened:

– my second child was diagnosed with diffuse fetal hydrops, given a chance like “0%” at living past birth. She was also diagnosed with Down syndrome and we were encouraged to abort her.

This challenged every one of my notions of what it means to be a disability advocate, of what it means to be deaf and proud. Of mothering.

We kept our daughter, we named her Moxie when she was born, against all the odds, a perfectly healthy and vital child with Down syndrome.

Stirred but not shaken, the third big thing happened to me:

Some placenta was left in me after Moxie’s homebirth. I was paralyzed by it a month later, and began a long, slow process of fully recovering.

I quit my job. My deep commitment to living life with moxie – to live as courageously, as authentically and as lovingly as possible was born.

This blog has been there the whole way and I’m glad to have you with me.

The other people in my family:

Mikey is my thrillingly handsome husband.


He thinks sometimes that I only love him for his stellar good looks, solid muscles and good head of hair but that’s not so.


I respect him. And his intelligence. And wit. And humor. And good nature. And the awesome father that he is. It just doesn’t HURT anything that he’s so easy on my eyes…


Like me, Mikey is a “third culture kid” – while American, he was also raised outside of the United States. He is a professional mechanic and a wanna-be chef – both very useful features to have in a husband.


He is obsessed with baseball and believes no-one needs more than one pair of Birkenstocks.


Micah, my firstborn. He who loves trains, firetrucks, MAC AND CHEESE, heavy earth-


moving equipment of any sort and tools. As the child of Trekkies, he also loves the starship Enterprise, Captain Jean Luc Picard and Mr. Spock. He calls his sister a “ferengi” when she steals his toys.


He also loves riding his bicycle, hot dogs with saurkraut, lacto-fermented soda and “helping”.


He also loves Superman. And Spiderman. And Green Lantern. And WonderWoman. And well… any super hero will do, really.


Moxie, my second-born. She who has an extra chromosome, trisomy of the 21st – more commonly known as Down syndrome.  She who can cause more trouble in 5 minutes than anyone I’ve ever seen in my life. She who loves music and dolls, popcorn and cereal.

She is over her love of putting everything in her mouth (thank God!) but remains obsessed with slides, climbing anything that will give me a heart attack and running after her big brother.

She also enjoys having us all as her loyal, loving, lavishly doting slaves.


MacQuinn, my third born. He was just born. I’m still getting to know him – so far what I do know is that he really likes staying up all night and has a thing for milk.



Nice to meet you.



Meriah Nichols is teacher and artist who lives in a yurt off the grid. She is deaf, has 3 kids (one with Down syndrome) and a lot of chickens. She writes about travel, disability, and getting dishes done. She likes her tea Earl Grey and hot.


#deaf mom, teacher & #disability activist, living in a yurt #offthegrid. 3 kids (1 with #downsyndrome), a camera and a lot of chickens. Never a dull moment
@Mediadisdat thanks! I hope they have #deaf stuff too! - 56 mins ago