April 24, 2011

LIfe for the Better!!

When we found out our daughter was deaf our lives changed forever. Not for the worse, maybe just for the different. But, because she is deaf, the captioning is always on, we know two languages, we drive 20 min further to church even though there is a building 5 minutes away. We can talk to each other across a crowded gym without raising our voice. I know way more about the ear than I ever thought possible. We go through more light bulbs than most families, I hear a few laughs at that one,  and we laugh every time someone says "Your house must be real quiet having a deaf child." Hahahah, little do they know, she is my loudest one. 

But there are other things, more significant things, that make life....... BETTER, having a deaf child. I now have a greater appreciation for those looking out for the needs of others.  An appreciation for a Scout leader who, with limited sign language, always makes sure my daughter is included in her brothers pack meetings. I have been  introduced to a community I love and never knew existed. Appreciate the love of a grandpa who struggles to wrap his aged, arthritic, fingers around a steering wheel, develop a bond with a little girl that is unbreakable. A family that supports and loves a little girl that, for the most part, they can not communicate with and a church that supports my decision in raising my child DEAF. 

I love the life my daughter has introduced me to. So while our lives have changed dramatically, it has been a wonderful, welcomed, roller coaster of a ride with all the ups and downs you can imagine, and I wouldn't change it for anything!

April 11, 2011


Our children's "Firsts" are so exciting to experience!  Their first bite of food, their first steps, first tooth, first word, first..........   As parents we all experience those firsts.  Then we have those "other" firsts. You know, the ones that mean something only to us. The ones no one else understands and maybe even think are little bit silly.  Today was one of those "other" firsts.  And for us, this first was important and will go down in history forever. 

A couple weeks ago on Saturday morning our family prepared for General conference. This is a semi-annual event in our home. We stay home and through the wonderful advances of technology, we listen to, or watch, the leaders of our church offer guidance, encouragement, and inspiration. We had been talking about it for a few days, reminding the children that church was at home for the weekend. That morning, the children woke up, had their breakfast, gathered their homework given to them in primary the week before and went down stairs. All of them but, our 6 year old. She headed up stairs. My husband and  I figured she would be down momentarily and we followed the others to the family room. Sure enough, a few minutes later she came down the stairs, her arms full, with daddy's laptop. He asked her what she was doing with his laptop, and started to explain why we don't touch daddy's laptop. Without waiting for him to finish and with a very serious expression on her face, she responded, "We are watching conference. I need the interpreter! I don't understand them, they are talking. I need that (laptop) to watch the interpreter for church!

We were in awe! She is 6 years old. Typically we do everything to in our power to ensure her participation in things. We leave the captioning on, attend church with a deaf congregation, interpret for her when needed or hire interpreters. She attends a deaf school and has play dates as often as she wants with her school peers. We also attend as many deaf community events as we can.

On this particular day, knowing her 6 year old self would not pay a lot of attention, we decided to let the interpreter go, and just watch with the caption. We will never take that attitude again! This is one of those firsts.  The ones that make us sit back and smile.  She is advocating for herself, and it was wonderful!

April 1, 2011

My Dream is to be a Mom.

A readers comment prompted this post.

I grew up in a strong religious family. My dream was to be a mom. Maybe a teacher one day. But mostly a mom. It is what I saw and what I knew. It is what the women in my "culture" did.
Many communities or cultures have young ones that grow up this way. Becoming the examples they see.  For the most part there is nothing wrong with following these paths. But if you aspire to be more, and you don't know what the "more" is, how do you know to go for it. My concerns are for more than my child. My concern is for all deaf children who want to be something more than they see. They all deserve the same opportunities as anyone else. A friend shared a conversation with me that took place between her and her son. I hope she doesn't mind my relaying it. She was trying to encourage him in his school studies, and he said something like "Why does it matter, if I am only ever going to work in the back room at TARGET". If the only examples our deaf children have for work are hidden back rooms, why would they strive for more. I would love to see more deaf professional reach out and mentor our young deaf. Tell them to keep reaching and never stop fighting. They can achieve anything with the right support and encouragement!