Wednesday, March 5, 2008

How Can You Allow Your Deaf Child to HOPE in the REALITY that is the Hearing World?

Aidan probably thinks I'm a total lunatic (NB. she ain't the only one), every time she writes a blog, I have a problem with a word...but as we have already discussed, words are powerful and how we perceive each word is directly based on our life experiences. I'm still in the bronchitis dazed and confused, sweating, chilled mode, so just bear with me..although, I did take Sofia to school this morning and I even put some make-up on, wouldn't want to scare anyone. Anyway, in my blog from yesterday, I objected to the word "hopeful" used in Aidan's blog:
"The Deaf community strongly believes in collaborating with others in order to raise a happy, healthy and hopeful Deaf child."In response, I wrote, "I don't want my son to be "hopeful," I want him to conquer the world."

Aidan left a couple of comments:
hope·ful /ˈhoʊpfəl/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[hohp-fuhl] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation –adjective

1. full of hope; expressing hope: His hopeful words stimulated optimism.

2. exciting hope; promising advantage or success: a hopeful prospect.

3. a person who shows promise or aspires to success: the Democratic presidential hopeful.

I am here to clarify the definition of Hopeful. Trust me, I know my stuff. :o)

I wonder if anyone notice that some people have a pattern that they keep on twisting these words into negative such as "Militant", "Hopeful", and many words? What's up with this? Is this a part of fetish thing? ;o)


"Jodi, it amazes me that you still do not understand this definition. I am not talking about gambling on a child. I am talking about something that is guaranteed. "Hopeful" means guaranteed in this respect."

When I think of a "Hopeful" deaf child I see this image in my head
and then I imagine this... because a hopeful child is a trusting child and how many people can you truly trust in this world? God, the idea of leaving my child in a position to hope for something that never comes, that sets him up in the position to be smashed by life is so beyond unacceptable. I can place myself in that position, I can allow myself to be completely vulnerable and yes, hope and dream, set MYSELF up to be crushed, but not my deaf child.
So, I arm him with tools necessary to function in the world, like his hearing aids and now, his cochlear implant, and not because his cochlear implant represents success. His cochlear implant takes him from here -
Would Jordan be able to be "hopeful" in the Deaf Community? I have no doubt that he would once he learned the language, but realistically speaking, we live in a hearing world. If the possibility exists that my son can hear and function AND take advantage of both worlds, I will give him both worlds. Because, based on my life experience, being "hopeful" sucks. Trusting other people to make your dreams a reality only sets you up to be disappointed and deluded. Trusting yourself, knowing your strengths and weaknesses and using both to your advantage, actually, identifying your weaknesses as strengths makes you a truly strong individual. I will be doing a lot of this with Jordan... along his journey of self-discovery and growth...and he is growing up to be a good person. You know, now that I'm thinking about it, he rarely ever uses the word "hope." I've never heard him say, "I hope that he will invite me to his party" or "I hope that I get an A on my test." He gets invited to parties and instead of hoping he gets an "A" he studies the best he can and gets whatever grade he merits.


Aidan, when you say, "I am not talking about gambling on a child. I am talking about something that is guaranteed. "Hopeful" means guaranteed in this respect." I will concede this:

I read about all that your mother gave you, and she sounds like a remarkable and beautiful woman. I come from the bitter school of thought that "Nothing in life is guaranteed." I have transmitted this concept with as much love as possible to my son.
Jordan has used the word "hope" before, when it comes to falling in love. After asking a girl to the movies, he said, "Mamma, I hope she says yes!" I may be cynical in regard to all this "hopeful" stuff in regard to deafness, but when it comes to love, I will allow him and help him to hope.


Valerie said...

Your words are magic! I am so glad my mom was not just hopeful for my future, she armed me with hearing aids, strong will, determination, stubborness, and the knowledge that I can be successful. Now I arm myself with cochlear implants to continue.

For my wonderful child, I arm her with the same. It does not matter if the child is deaf, hard of hearing, or hearing. All families have to arm or prepare their children to be successful not just hopeful they will be.

thank you Jodi, for being openminded, but never forgetting the reason you are blogging - your children.

P.S. sinus infection and respirtory infection - feel like crap, but have to go to school it is testing week.

Unknown said...

I really, truly feel for you, sinus infections are the worst, I'm a big believer in saline nasal spray when necessary lol. Thank you for your comment, and I know that your mom is a strong woman...just like you. Now, go teach those kids! Jodi

Karen Mayes said...

I smiled wryly at the banter between you and Aidan. I know that Aidan could come as passionate and emotional and also you do. But you have experiences as a mother and Aidan doesn't and that is where the discussion ends for me... so your words weigh more in experience and wisdom, even as a hearing mother.

I enjoy your blogs as usual...

Unknown said...

Thank you for your comment, as always. You's blog was the first time that same thought crossed my mind...hugs, Jodi

Anonymous said...

Hopeful does not help your wishes.

Having a faith and believe in yourself are what you are doing with Jordan and his accomplishments. That is what it counts.

Getting him a CI is your wish, and then, it came true. It's from a tinkerbell. Providing him some literacy and academic standards are the most purposefulness. I know it is a huge responsibility for you ensuring Jordan to obtain the academic.

Being a hopeful person for your son's future is not the best answer. Having a faith and believe in yourself are the better answer for yourself, Jordan and the future.

Let Jordan to decide his hope and wish. Make sure to encourage and support him and his wishes and hopes. Especially, his dream.

Aidan does not have any children. She does not foresee her children's wishes *UNTIL* she gets her own.

I'm dreadful that I got the sinus infection all week. Crap!

White Ghost

Anonymous said...

"You may say that I'm a dreamer....
but I'm not the only one."


gnarlydorkette said...

Just because Aidan doesn't have kids doesn't mean she doesn't know anything-- SHE WAS A KID HERSELF. Everybody here was a kid once in their lifetime.


Jodi, I want to ask if you ever meet any Deaf person-- as a role model? You seem to make it out that if a Deaf child chooses to not hear, they are a hopeless cause.

Jodi, if you think you got rooms for new friendships, I will be glad to talk with you-- I am really curious about your viewpoint and show you mine and HOPE that you will learn from it.

But back to your post--
Why is it a bad thing for Deaf children to experience the REAL WORLD? Why should we have to be stay sheltered? It is a dog-eat-dog world regardless you being Deaf, Hearing, HoH, White, Black, Arab, and so on.

If they don't know how it feels like-- their dreams dashed, their hearts broken, then they won't be able to conquer the world.
So that is what "hopeful" is all about-- hopeful that we can change the world, even though there are some stupid people that hurt us, but we can see the big picture-- that we are making an impact and everybody knows about us, the Deaf people, and our language, American Sign Language. We are leaving a piece of us on everybody we encounter in real world or online. We are making an imprint for the majority to become aware and hopefully be more kind to a deaf person they might encounter again in their future.

Have you ever thought about it? If you have survived the real world, then your Deaf child can do too and will SURVIVE if you support them just like your parents or peers support you.

Unknown said...

White Ghost,
Thank you for your comment, as always. It's difficult to break away from what has been your experience and your way of thinking based on how you have lived the world...that's what Drolz was trying to say, I think, in his post about considering the cochlear implant.
I'm just thinking about what hopefulness means to me for my own child. Thanks, Jodi

Unknown said...

Thank you for comment number 2, I would have posted it, but I wasn't sure that you wanted me to do so. You are not the first to have made such a comment about having children and I admire you and your wife for your journey. Hugs, Jodi

Unknown said...

I would LOVE to be your friend, your photo kills me *smile* email me whenever you want No, I have no deaf role models nor have I ever, just the incredible people I have been meeting through this blog and I'm making progress.
What you wrote is so interesting and thought-provoking and I agree that the experience as a child is fundamental.
My childhood experience and Aidan's are very different and we will be different mothers, I'm just sharing my experience, not trying to dictate how anyone else's should be.
You wrote:
Why is it a bad thing for Deaf children to experience the REAL WORLD? Why should we have to be stay sheltered? It is a dog-eat-dog world regardless you being Deaf, Hearing, HoH, White, Black, Arab, and so on.
And you are right. I guess it's just the maternal instinct kicking in to try to absorb and avoid as much of that suffering as possible. He will encounter the real world, he's already had more than his fair share of it. hugs, Jodi

Karen Mayes said...

Ahhh... being a kid and being a parent are two different things. Kids usually have decisions made for them by parents and being parents usually means having to make the best decisions and NOT really knowing if the decisions made are right or wrong until later and at the same time wanting the happiness of the children.

Being parents take a lot of work and commitment and patience... something that many people who don't have a child or children don't really understand.


Anonymous said...


You might not realize it, but what you are doing is twisting my message. I never doubt that ASL is the way to go. My blog is not about debating whether or not ASL will be successful. But that's the way you perceive my blog. I am telling you that it WILL be successful without doubt.

This is the problem. You think maybe that some Deaf children might be successful with ASL and some might not be. That's a flawed perception on your part. We don't say that about children growing up who speak French.

This means that you are taking the pathological view of deafness. You are unable to understand why using ASL is not pathological.

You view ASL as being merely one option from a variety of options, and all supposedly have a chance to be successful or failed methods. That's the problem. ASL is not a method. It is a language. It seems that you are being gullible and you are perceiving the situation according to the propaganda you have been exposed to.

I feel as though I am not welcome on your blog, because you are continually twisting my words. Best wishes with your son. I truly hope you will LEARN Lingua Italiana dei Segri and/or American Sign language and take courses relating to Deaf culture and history.

Excuse my tone, but I need to remind some of your comment makers that there are thousands and thousands of parents who are unfit and there are thousands and thousands who do not have children are a great providers to children. :o)


Unknown said...

Why do you not understand what I continually tell you? I understand what your blog is about and what you believe in and I am trying to take some of your philosophy and incorporate it in what I have taught my son.
The point of this blog was not to debate you, it was just that something you said struck me in a particular way and made me think about my motives for opting for the ci.
You don't agree with my choices, but I don't feel unwelcome on your blog. If I don't understand something, you define it and explain it and create dialogue, that is what I am doing.
I compliment you, I put your blog on my blog, I write about you and maybe, maybe other parents who have made my same decisions but who still have not taught their kids ASL will visit yours and see how passionate you are about ASL. Maybe they will understand the message you are transmitting and make it their own.
You are not debating whether ASL will be successful or not I AM having this debate between me, myself and I(emphasizing not yelling)that is why I continue to read your blog, "hoping" for more insight, despite the fact that you will never see my side.
Why do I still have to spell this out for you after all this time? I get your message and I like it, otherwise I wouldn't waste my time expanding on it.
Peace and a smile,

Anonymous said...

Gnarlydorkette ..

You said, "Just because Aidan doesn't have kids doesn't mean she doesn't know anything-- SHE WAS A KID HERSELF. Everybody here was a kid once in their lifetime."

Just because Aidan doesn't have kids doesn't mean she knows anything about being a parent - SHE IS NOT A PARENT.

Just because a person sucks at math doesn't mean they don't know how to compute equations in calculus. But it sure helps to know how to do basic math before you got to the calculus, yes?

I kinda think that was kinda the point that White Ghost was kinda makin' .. ya feel me?

*boogies on the way out*

"Well, you can tell by the way I use my walk,
I'm a woman's man: no time to talk.
Music loud and women warm, I've been kicked around
since I was born.
And now it's all right. It's OK.
And you may look the other way.
We can try to understand
the New York Time's effect on man.

Whether you're a brother or whether you're a mother,
you're stayin' alive, stayin' alive.
Feel the city breakin' and everybody shakin',
and we're stayin' alive, stayin' alive.
Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin' alive, stayin' alive.
Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin' aliiiiiiiiiive."



Unknown said...

Hey Paotie,
I can do disco, and the idea of snoopy in a white suit kinda works for, Jodi

Anonymous said...



I *want* an Uno, the show champ beagle dog, Snoopy!

The 15-inches dog and more to love!

White Ghost

Anonymous said...


It's not a "hearing world," it's a "human world."

It's far better to allow Deaf people to be themselves and be the best people they can be visually (equal to hearing people) than forcing them to function as handicapped people by relying on partial hearing.

Unknown said...

You wear your name well...if only it were that simple. Thank you for your comment, Jodi

gnarlydorkette said...

Paotie-- I "feel" you even though I really don't want to cop a feel...
However I think just because somebody is not something doesn't mean they should NOT contribute their thoughts.
After all, the men kept making decisions about women's bodies (legalizing or banning abortions, legal birth control, et cetera) yet it is not THEM getting pregnant...
Feel me?

Kim said...

Jodi--Great post--AGAIN. My pediatrician always used to say he valued a mother's intuition above all else. With good reason.

What I'm saying is, YOU know Jordan and you knew what was right for him. His very behavior changed dramatically after he got the CI. You don't need anyone to validate that you did right by him, and are STILL doing the right thing.

This isn't Aidan's life. It's yours and Jordan's.

Even when she does have children of her own, her child won't be your child. She will make different choices from you because her children will be different. We all have our own lives to live.

mishkazena said...

Some people will never understand why you got the c.i. for your son. You did what you, as a mom, felt was the best choice. According to you, Jordan is doing exceptionally well. So your instincts turned out to be right.