Sofija Barac

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I'm Making a Stand to Make the Difference!

RIDBC develops and delivers innovative sensory services for children in their early years to ensure they reach their developmental goals, build independence and participate fully in all aspects of daily life.

Thanks to you, children with hearing loss might hear their name for the first time, or learn to say ‘I love you’ to their parents. Vision impaired children could learn braille and have access to a whole new world of storybooks and learning.

Every dollar I raise from my virtual lemonade stand will go towards RIDBC to help more children and families experience these moments of joy.

So, please buy a cup, jug, bucket or whole case of lemonade and help me help children in need today!

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My Lemonade Stand Updates

The first time I heard you...

Friday 5th Jun
Yesterday we celebrated five years since Natalija had her cochlears switched on. ************************************ With the coronavirus restrictions easing we decided to make it a special celebration by having the fam bam over. We haven’t been able to have a celebration with all of the family together since November last year. So it was a special day on so many accounts. To Natalija it was just another excuse to run around with Archie (our dog) and be silly with her brothers and cousins. To me it was a day to say thanks. Thank you to RIDBC for conducting all the research involved to ensure newborn screening tests were compulsory in Australia (so many years ago), to all the audiologists involved in picking up Natalija’s diagnoses early, to Sandy who was my support person since day one. To all the doctors at the RCH and the Cochlear Impant Clinic who manage Natalija hearing loss... and to Taralye and RIDBC for all their support, encouragement, professionalism and knowledge in helping us with Natalija’s development in learning to listen and speak. *********************************** Yesterday marked five years of many many appointments and lots of special moments but also a lot of trying ones. When I asked Natalija what we were celebrating she simply said “we’re celebrating the first time I heard you” ************************************* And that is also what we give thanks for 🙏 💖

When you need to let the rest of the world know your daughter is deaf

Monday 1st Jun
I shared this on my social pages in October 2014. 3 months after Natalija was born. 2 months after she was diagnosed with profound hearing loss. ************************************************************ PLEASE READ: You may or may not have noticed that our precious Natalija has been wearing some accessories on her ears. Our little lady has hearing aids. As our family and friends, we want you all to know what is going on and to help you understand. Natalija has been diagnosed with bilateral profound hearing loss (very severe hearing loss in both ears). All newborn babies in Australia have their hearing tested in the hospital. Like other babies... Natalija had her hearing tested, however she failed the first hearing test. We weren't worried as we were reassured that she was okay and it would most likely be fluid in her ears. The second time Natalija failed AGAIN. Once again they told us not to worry until we visited the audiologist to confirm exactly what was going on. After two tests with the audiologist Natalija's diagnosis was confirmed. She has profound hearing loss. She can hear the sound of a jet plane as a whisper. Currently, Natalija has been fitted with hearing aids. Although these allow Natalija to hear very minimal, they do however continue to stimulate the nerve in her ears to allow her to eventually develop language and speech. All in all, Natalija is growing and developing normally in every other area. We are hoping that Natalija will be eligible for a bilateral cochlear implants when she is between 6-12 months old. We are currently attending many appointments and assessments to find out if this can happen. The operation will allow Natalija to hear the sounds of the world. She will have to learn how to hear with her bio cochlear and with intensive early intervention we are optimistic that Natalija will be talking and communicating like any other child her age by the time she is in kindergarten. We endeavour to make each and every day as normal as possible. As she knows no different, it is important to us that she is happy. We don’t want to express sadness around her or to feel sorry for her, and we ask that you don’t either. She IS and will be fine. Natalija has the love and support of her parents, brothers, grandparents, aunties and uncles, cousins and extended family (those who are blood related and those who aren’t) and that is the most important thing for her and for us. She is the most perfect little girl. We know that we have all of your love and support and we thank you all. We are still trying to get our head around it all. Please don’t feel that you can’t talk to us about it or ask us questions, just understand that some days are easier than others and some days we might not be in the right headspace to discuss things. Hopefully this has answered some questions and will help with your understanding of where we are. It is really just one day at a time and one appointment at a time. We are trying not to think too far ahead. Thank you for all your kind words. It means a lot to know you are all there for our gorgeous little lady and us. She brings us so much joy and laughter each and everyday. She is our strength. xxx 4/10/14 💖💖

The kids are so excited!!

Monday 25th May
Thank you to all the lovely people who have donated so far! The kids are so excited you’re buying our virtual lemonade and supporting kids with hearing and vision loss by supporting RIDBC!!!!! ❤️ 🍋 ❤️ 🍋 ❤️ 🍋 ❤️ 🍋 ❤️ 🍋 ❤️ 🍋 ❤️ 🍋 ❤️ 🍋 The kids have made a fresh batch of lemonade, so there’s heaps more to purchase

When Natalija was diagnosed with profound hearing loss she was 4 weeks old.

Wednesday 20th May
Soon after her diagnosis I was given this essay to read. The first time I read it I cried. I cried so much. I've always wanted to go to Italy and never planned to go to Holland. 5 years later and I would not change a thing. I love Holland. I love my beautiful girl. I love the wonderful support network within our village. A village filled with friends, family, RIDBC staff and community. We have met such wonderful people along this journey and the most important thing.... we absolutely love the windmills and tulips that Holland has given us.💖 We never mourn not going to Italy… Holland is so special We love you Natalija 💟 ************************************ WELCOME TO HOLLAND by Emily Perl Kingsley. I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this......When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guidebooks and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting. After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland. "Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy. But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay. The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place. So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met. It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around.... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills....and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts. But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned. And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away... because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss. But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things ... about Holland

Happy Anniversary Natalija!

Tuesday 19th May
Today marks five years since Natalija had her cochlear implant operation. This day was the most nerve racking day of our lives. We had a very happy, loving girl that just couldn't hear us. Were we making the right decision? There's always risks involved with every surgery. Will she like her new "special ears"? There is always the chance that she won't like the "hearing world" and could reject her special ears. We had no idea what the outcome would be. But with the support of the community and staff at RIDBC we were hopeful that Natalija would flourish with her special ears. Only time would tell. Below are a couple of posts from the day Natalija had her surgery. ******************************************************* 19/05/2015 Well today's the day. Thank you to everyone who has messaged and called us. Your support is wonderful. I know all our hearts and prayers are with our gorgeous girl today. We know she will be fine. This is history in the making. A major milestone in her life that we will forever be grateful for.Xxxx Natalija has gone into surgery. She was in good spirits this morning and didn't complain much about not having lunch. She had a little nap at 12noon and then I took her into theatre at 1.40pm. They sent her off to sleep with some gas. Once I left the theatre room it was time for the anaesthetist and surgeon to do their thing. The surgery will take about 3 hours (or slightly longer). We have been waiting for this day for so long and now the next few hours seem like eternity. Sweet dreams precious girl xxx ************************************************************** Every day I thank RIDBC for their support, for their wonderful staff and the wonderful community that we're a part of. And everyday I know that Doug and I made the right decision. Natalija loves her ears and loves her friends and the staff at RIDBC. Please help by purchasing lemonade, to ensure more children (just like Natalija) flourish with the support from RIDBC.

Yay!! We’ve reached our target!

Saturday 16th May
Thank you so much to everyone who helped us reach our target!! We’ve just made some more lemonade to sell (virtually of course!!) so we’ve increased our target to ensure there’s enough lemonade for everyone!! Yay!!!

We had the best time!

Thursday 14th May
Building our lemonade stand and making special memories with the kids was so much fun.  We all had such a great time.  

We even made lemonade scones!

Don't forget to buy a cup, jug, bucket or case of lemonade and support children like Natalija access early intervention services from RIDBC.  RIDBC support so many families and children with hearing and vision loss.

Thank you for helping me Make a Stand!


Elise Toomey-brown

Xxxx love the Toomey-Browns of Wembley Primary


Xenia Buman


Carol Navarro

We love seeing your smiley face around school - Jasmine and Carol



Lee-anne Stanford


Mila Eden & Carter Thomas


Natasha Shannon

From Olivia, Harry & Ben xx


Wendy Haskett


Fiorella Fabian

Good on you guys. Beautiful stand.


Rowan Boreham


Dina Becvinovski


Maya S

I love this initiative! Amazing work to you and the fams Sof. Sending lots of love x



Keep embracing who you are Natalija, you are one of a kind ❤


Josie Penna

Thankyou for sharing your world with us and opening up our eyes to the challenges faced everyday by children with hearing impairment.



Dear Sofija, Wishing you a speedy recovery darling. Warmest regards, Jackie Ward


Annalisa Ierardo

Well done Sofi, the work you do is amazing for this cause - you are inspirational and so is Natalija 🙌🏼😍


Stephanie Speedie


Ksenija Marinkovic

So proud of you my love as an amazing parent and soooo over the moon for the little princess 👸 and her progress. Love you.


Lisa, Phoebe & Henry

Love this! Well done!


Doug Mladenovic

This lemonade is the best lemonade ever!! It's Delicious!! You've worked so hard on your stand. Well done kids! And Natalija you've put in so much effort working on your speech and listening. I'm so proud of you!! Love you!!


Deda Mal & Baba Bina Mladenovic

We love you soooo much Natalija and are proud of you ....


Vera And Nikola Barac

We're so proud of you! Baba and Deda can't wait to share some real lemonade with you soon.



Hi Sofi U have one adorable little girl! Suzie


Maryrose Grima


Ivan Wadsworth

Well done!


Suzana Mihajlovic


Bojana Mladenovic

You guys are awesome ❤️😘


Jim Gacovski


Ian Jones

You are awesome and have a wonderful, blessed future to enjoy while you learn new things. May joy be your character


Lili Keenan

Love the adventures you are having Natalija !! Love how full of life and joy you are !!! You so make me smile Love you lots xxx


Cassandra Jankovic

So proud of you Natalija! Love you always little cuz! xx


Andria Lambri


Jankovic Family

Keep up the great work xz


Paula Marino

Love from Isabella Marino


Sasa Vasiljkovic

Well done Sofi, great work.


Sofija Barac

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