I want to take a moment to share a little about the latest
developments with our daughter Jessica. Jessica received an N22 in
9/96, almost three years ago. At the time, she had a vocabulary of less
than 30 words. Now, 3 years later, her vocabulary is age-appropriate
(3000 or so) and she speaks in sentences - pretty long sentences. In
fact, she speaks so much that we shake our head in amazement and
frustration in trying to teach her to let someone else have a turn to
Jessica started kindergarten 10 days ago, in the school of our choice,
with hearing peers, and no on-site hearing impaired resource support.
It was a huge step of faith for us, but not for Jessica. She has
done very, very well. Her teacher and I are communicating each day
by notebook, and Jessica is learning in a group!! The second day of
school, she came home having learned three new vocabulary words that I did
not teach her (in a group, from an unfamiliar voice). The third day,
she came home with three more new vocabulary words, and taught me
something in the process (did you know that a butterfly's cocoon is
actually a chrysalis?). She stood in front of the class and did
"show and tell", and the teacher understood every word. We
are thrilled with her adaptation to this transition, and feel blessed
beyond measure at the realization of a goal, a dream for our daughter.
Every step of this journey has had its element of faith, and this is no
exception. We have seen answered prayer after answered prayer.
We asked to do an inservice for the classroom teacher, the principal, and
one other...and got the entire elementary faculty. We asked to teach
the kindergarten classes a little about hearing loss and cochlear
implants...and got the entire elementary student body. God has
connected us with person after person to guide us, help us, and assist us
in this journey, and we are both amazed and thankful at how things really
do come together for good.
One of the wonderful people God connected us to in this journey shared a
story recently about one of Jessica's classmates at school. I've
been encouraged to share it. In it I find both humor and reality...
>>" It's funny what kids hear us adults say
>> Last night at bedtime we were talking about different people we
>> need to remember in our prayers, and Evan mentioned a girl
>> about whom they had apparently made an announcement at
>> school. A girl in kindergarten who was "born
death," he said.
>> Near as we could figure, he meant someone in kindergarten
>> had had a stillborn sibling. No, it was the kindergartner
>> who was "born death" and she was "still
death." We were so
>> puzzled! Then he explained, "But to help her not be
>> they put eggplants in her ears."
The humor comes for us adults in the way children interpret the world
around them and the things we tell them. The reality for me is that
learning that Jessica was deaf, now 5 years ago, left me feeling like
someone had died. God has been faithful in this journey with her (and also
with Jared, our son), to take that "death" and bring life from it.
The cochlear implant has been part of His miracle in our lives...and the
other part of the miracle is how changed we have all been by these
experiences. I wouldn't trade this journey for anything...for in it,
there is treasure beyond measure. I am so, so thankful for these
wonderful eggplants...I mean, implants!!
Read more about this family in The Hill's Story.