Monday, February 6, 2012

Our son is deaf and that is okay.

Yes, Sammy is profoundly deaf, but he is not broken and certainly does not need to be fixed.   He is fearfully and wonderfully made by an awesome creator who does not make mistakes.  God knew what he was doing when he placed Sammy in our family.  Not only did He put amazing people in our paths to educate us about ASL and Deaf Culture, He also gave us a year to research raising a deaf child.  Sammy being deaf is not a mistake and neither is God's plan for him to be a part of our family.

We knew Sammy had a profound hearing loss in November 2010 when we chose to inquire about adopting him.  We knew this when we signed the papers promising to love him as our own.  We knew this as we flew half way around the world to bring him home.  Having an official diagnosis changes nothing!  We never expected him to come home and miraculously be able to hear.  He is our son and we love him.  Having a deaf son has done nothing but bring joy to our lives.  We are learning a beautiful new language and have met the most incredible people along the way.

 We had a year to research all our options.  We spent that year in constant prayer, exploring every option available for hearing amplification and language development.   We also took that time to explore Deaf Culture and start learning American Sign Language.   We have chosen to let Sammy decide when and if any interventions will be put in place to amplify his hearing.  His first language will be ASL.

Sammy didn't choose us, we chose him.  It is our responsibility to bend to his needs not him to ours.  He needs us to effectively communicate with him.  ASL is the easiest, most gentle, way for communication to progress rapidly.  He has had way too many changes in his short little life for us to try and force him into our hearing world.  That just isn't fair.   The few tests he's had done have brought on major regression.  We will not be pursuing  anything further until we are fully able to communicate what is happening to him.  Right now needs to be a time of healing and bonding.  A time to learn what it is like to be part of a family, to be loved, and to love in return.  That is what our focus has been and will continue to be until Sammy has attached to us.

I have spent the past month being raked over the coals for our decision not to intervene to make our deaf son "hearing."  For the record there is nothing that can or will ever make my deaf son hearing.  Cochlear Implants will give him sound and along with YEARS of intense therapy he MAY speak and hear well enough  function in the hearing world.  Hearing aides may be able to amplify what little residual hearing he has, but NO interventions will ever make him hearing, he will ALWAYS be deaf.   There is absolutely nothing wrong with that.  To insinuate that he is any less of a person because of his inability to hear is appalling.

I am so disappointed by the treatment we've received over the past year because of our decision not only to adopt but to adopt a deaf child with no intention to intervene and "make him hearing."  Every family is different.  What works for us doesn't work for everyone and that's okay.  God made us all different for a reason.  Just because we are choosing a different path than what some may feel is the "right" path doesn't give anyone the right to belittle our decision.  Those who have been the most vocal about cochlear implants and hearing aides have no experience with hearing loss.  Please educate yourselves on both sides of the issue before forcing you opinions on my family.


  1. i'm sorry you're dealing with such negativity from others. it sounds like you guys are doing an amazing job at putting little sammy's needs first. i agree that bonding and letting him feel the family love is the most important, and i'm glad that is your focus. trust your instincts and what God is telling you... you're a great mother!

  2. Oh no, I am so sorry! We have gotten similar responses when others find out our new son will require amputation. We have no options, but really questioning my decisions at this stage? Anyhow, hugs he is darling and your family is perfect for him!