I really wasn't planning on blogging today, I think I need a rest after yesterday's activities, that and a very long,cold shower:) But, I visited a woman's blog, a hearing parent of a newly diagnosed deaf baby who currently wears hearing aids. I am giving you this glimpse of what we process in our minds before choosing the cochlear implant to help you understand that we are not trying to take away our child's deaf identity, we are just trying to help him/her have other identities, possibilities and opportunities. Parents are reaching out to the Deaf community, we need to be made to feel welcome.Take it away, Christina...
So, this blog is for everyone who thinks that I have "IT" together. On the outside, I totally do. Thank you notes are written, the house is pseudo-clean, I volunteer, and I put Cheerios in Waterford. I wouldn't call all this having "IT" together. I would just categorize all of that as ways I deal with not having "IT" together at all! It's like that MTV True Life show...except instead of True Life: I'm a Beauty Queen or True Life: Engaged and Underage (MY FAVORITE!!) my show would be called:
TRUE LIFE: I'm a Mom of a Deaf Baby Who Has No Idea What the Heck She is Doing
I was talking to my good friend on the phone yesterday. Our husbands were childhood friends, and I am lucky enough to call her my friend. We're both Mommys (she has 3 with one on the way...I call her my "Guru"), and we both are OBSESSIVE when it comes to scrapbooking. We were chatting about our journey with Christian, and she said "You and Chuck have had to make so many difficult choices in Christian's first year. We really admire you".
After we shared some laughs about our kids and families, we said our good-byes, and I got to thinking....we have had to make difficult choices, and I wonder everyday if I am doing the best thing for my kid.
I am having an INCREDIBLY hard time trying to figure out how and where my kid will fit into the "Deaf Community". I will be the first to admit that I KNOW NOTHING ABOUT THE DEAF COMMUNITY. I've been lurking on many DC websites, trying to learn more about my son's culture. I'm learning that there is alot of debate about being "Deaf Enough", especially when it comes to CIs and whether a family choses to use ASL in the home. I'm terrified of my kid getting rejected should we chose to get a CI. Sure, our plan right now is to mainstream him into our public schools. But what if he wants to go to a Deaf School? Will he be able to relate to the kids there? Will he be "Deaf Enough"?
Our family game plan has always included ASL. To me, it's a part of who Christian is. And that's just me. But, our family game plan has always included the hope for him to be oral and use spoken English as his first language. I've always seen this as a way for him to have a piece of both of his worlds. ..or is it? In all honesty, I am completely freaked out that the choices I am making today will impact his adult identity too. I would give anything to walk in Christian's shoes. Everyday I wish that I was Deaf so I could understand where he is coming from. It, for lack of a better word, SUCKS that I haven't got a clue about his community or his language. I'm the one who is supposed to be TEACHING him.
I know that you don't have to be a hearing Mom to a Deaf baby to have these freak out moments. And don't get me wrong, I just don't freak out over him being Deaf. I freak out over making sure I raise a strong, yet sensitive man. I freak out because I wish I would've paid more attention in gym class when we talked about the rules of soccer and football(I was a figure skater. If it didn't have sequins or glitter, I wasn't interested).
I know that all parents have difficult choices to make. And I know that there are a million and one families who would give anything to ONLY have to deal with the choices that I make everyday. I try to keep that in perspective. I try to make it a point to thank God everyday for my miracle baby. I also try to take a step back, and know that I'm doing the best I can. But, it's hard. I guess that's why they call Motherhood the toughest job on earth.