Monday, January 7, 2008

CHOSEN

I remember as if it were yesterday giving birth to Jordan. There were about fifteen family members and close friends in the delivery room with me, no secrets in this family:)It all happened so quickly, but I remember the first words out of my mouth when they handed Jordan to me, "I'm so sorry I brought you into this difficult world." What the hell was I thinking? I mean how pathetic is that? Yet, how true. I believe in fate, destiny all that spiritual, mystical stuff, because there just has to be a deeper level to all that goes on here other than all that is superficial in our lives.
Jen's Blog really touched me yesterday, she wrote, quite passionately:
I read on one of my CI blogs today that a woman wanting a baby from China turned down a referral for a child because it was deaf. I have been thinking about that all day long. I know that most parents don't get to pick if their child will be hearing or deaf...or have anything else wrong with them, for that matter. International adoption often gives you that option.
We don't pick. We are chosen.
This reminded me of a very touching thread that was on the Pediatric Cochlear Implant Circle on June 6th, 2007 called PREMONITION that a mom named EVA started. So many moms responded and added their own PREMONITION. I did not ask permission to post this one, but I hope the moms understand why it is important to share this with anyone who wants to listen...

... Hi All,
I, too have a story to share. When we were getting our son baptized it wasn't our usual priest, but a substitute because our priest was in the hospital. Well, anyway...at the time we knew that our son had failed the newborn screening but we hadn't gone for the ABR yet, that was scheduled for the following Friday. The priest put his hand over our son to bless him and said, "May the blind see may the deaf hear"....we all looked at each other because we have never heard that blessing at a
baptism. Of course on Friday we did get the news that my son was deaf, so I went to church Sunday and spoke with Father after. I told him that I had never heard that blessing before at a baptism and he said that that morning it came to him to say that....then when I told him that we just found out that my child was deaf, he smiled as if he already knew. I have to say that I had such a feeling of peace at that moment and through all of our struggles to get our child to listen and use his hearing down deep I knew it would happen...


...I would like to add my story as well. When I was about 8 months pregnant with my daughter, I met a really nice women at the gym. She and I began a friendship on side by side elyptical machines. Later when she was born I started expressing my concerns, and finally received a definitive diagnosis. I told my friend and she said
she had someone she wanted me to meet. To make a long story short,her friend of 20 years+ has two children who are profoundly deaf and have Usher (unfortunately my daughter is also at high risk). She led me to all the specialists for my daughter. If fate hadn't intervened and put us two exercise buddies together we would have been truly lost.
God works in mysterious ways...


...Before I had my son,(I'm thinking it was either before my daughter was born or right after)I saw on GMA the story of the mom and daughter that were both getting
implants at the same time and I was entranced with it. The father was deaf also but not getting the implant. I remember thinking I hope they show that surgery before I have to leave, which is why I'm thinking it was before my daughter was even born (when I had a job). Anyway I watched and heard the surgeon and was just amazed that
someone would be able to hear. After I had my daughter, I hired someone to come and clean my house every other week and her son was deaf. When they told me my son was deaf she was one of the first people I called. She knew exactly everything I was feeling. I guess it's God's way of preparing us...


These are only a couple of examples...Here's what I wrote:

I got the chills reading this, because a similar thing happened to me. When I was 16 years old and working in a fast food restaurant,a really good looking guy my same age came up to the counter to order some food. He was wearing hearing aids. I have no idea why but I suddenly felt strange, went immediately on break and proceeded
to cry for the next half hour. I have never had a reaction like that to anything in my life, but the thought of that guy wearing hearing aids deeply affected me.
I am 100% certain that it was my fate to have a deaf child.When Jordan was about six months old a friend of mine had a psychic over her house for dinner, I'm talking the real deal psychic. I had a picture of Jordan with me and I handed it to her. She touched the picture, looked at me and said, "Your son has music in his ears." I
can't tell everyone how much this comment helped me when I received the news that Jordan was deaf. It allowed me to perceive deafness in an entirely different way...
Another ironic thing is that during my entire pregnancy the sound of music on the radio bothered me and the only thing I could listen to was John Miller doing the Oriole games on the radio...

Jen commented today on her thoughts of yesterday by saying,
I have slept a bit and thought things through a bit and my thoughts on the deaf child mentioned in last night's post are a little calmer today. Whether or not I'd do the same thing, that child wasn't meant for those parents...for the good of the child AND the parents.
So true...and those parents will never know what they missed...

4 comments:

anna s said...

Hands waving! Another awesome blog! Thank you so much for sharing and it takes bravery for you to post on DeafRead.

anna s
deaf mom to a CI boy

Paula said...

I also caught Jen's post about the parents who turned down adopting a Chinese child because she was deaf. Being the trained lawyer that I am, I always look at both sides of the issue. Here's what I wrote in defense of the parents, though it's not to say that I would've done the same thing. Then again, I'm a deaf person, so I know that there are no limits for kids with hearing loss!

My comments to Jen:

The adoption issue you blogged about here saddens me too. But to be fair to the prospective parents, I do understand that they would be fearful and reluctant to take on a child with hearing loss. The majority of parents who have children with a hearing loss have normal hearing themselves. The beginning of the hearing loss journey is often fraught with anger, denial, guilt but most of all, lack of knowledge. Parents have much to learn about hearing aids, cochlear implants, communication modes, education, therapy and more. Thus, adoptive parents with no history or experience with hearing loss start from scratch much like many of the birth parents. The only difference is, they have a choice whether to adopt or not. I wouldn't judge them too harshly, but I do think more needs to be done to educate prospective adoptive parents about what deaf and hard of hearing child can accomplish. Otherwise, these kids are going to languish in the orphanages rather than have the wonderful life they deserve.

Jennifer said...

Jodi, thank you for listening to my thoughts and sharing them. I think where it affected me the most was that it brought out some of my old inadequacies...the feeling of not being good enough somehow. My parents were always encouraging...but the kids at school made me feel stupid, and as an adult I have had several run ins with other adults that have made me feel the same way. I firmly believe that I'm as intelligent as the next girl, and can do whatever I want to do with the proper determination and education, but occasionally I'll still feel that old pain of just not being good enough flare up. I am not sure it ever goes away :). I hate it for the little one who has been rejected, first at birth and now by adoptive parents...but it's for the best...I hope he or she finds parents that will push for the very best for their child and encourage them to follow their dreams.
I love your blog, Jodi...it's such an inspiration to so many people! :)

Karen said...

Jodi,
I always enjoy reading your blog and the thought-provoking articles you post.

Like Paula, my heart goes out to both the parents and the little child that won't be connected with them. If more adoptive parents knew what deaf and hard of hearing kids were capable of, perhaps there would be more hearts open to adopting them.