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The Miracle of Having a Deaf Child

Deafness is genetic in my family. For every child I have, there is a 65 percent chance that my child will be deaf. It is higher if the father of my child is a carrier of the deaf gene as well.

When I was seven months pregnant, I was laying in bed by the window. I prayed to God that if his will allowed it, I would love to have a deaf child. When Brady was born, I held him in my arms on the hospital bed. He curled up and fell asleep against my chest. The intercom came on and it was very loud. My mom and I were startled but Brady didn't flinch. My mom and I quickly looked at each other as if we realized the possibility that he was deaf. When Brady failed the hearing test at the hospital four times, we knew it was true.

Brady's pediatrician audiologist tested his brain's response to sound. Brady was diagnosed with hearing loss but he will be able to hear well enough to listen to the radio and hear the phone when he gets older. That's much more than I am able to do.

Ever since he was three days old, he would stare at me from across the room and watch me. Wherever we went, he would watch me from his carseat. It's amazing how we can connect with visuals. Brady always stares at me and mimics my facial expressions. He likes to wiggle his eyebrows, move his tongue from side to side, shrug his shoulders and we have several games that we play where he copies whatever I do and I'll copy what he does. We have so much fun!

It is also so fascinating to see how similar and how different Landon and Brady have come to be. They have different personalities and traits, but one thing is for certain and that is their beautiful bond. Landon quickly runs to protect Brady and they constantly hug and wrestle together. I will walk into a room and see them laughing together. It wells me up with emotion to see them cherish each other and that is so important to me!

Whenever I tell people that my son is deaf, they quickly reply with "oh no, I am sorry." I will tell them that we are happy about that and usually I will see a puzzled expression on their faces. I know it is bizarre that a mother could be happy that her son is deaf. That's because I view it differently than others do.

It is not a disability, but a culture that I am passing down to my son. It has been in our family for generations. We have our own language, our own history, traditions, and even pride. When I look at my son, I know that we will be able to share an understanding. I will never teach him that he has something to be sorry about for being born deaf. Brady will grow up and know that he is God's gift to me and a HUGE blessing! He is an answered prayer.

God chose us to become deaf for a reason. It is written in the Bible in Exodus 4:11:

"And the LORD said unto him, Who hath made man's mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD?"

I am incredibly lucky to have two beautiful boys. I will raise them both the same. They both will learn how to speak and how to sign. I love them equally and I will cherish their beautiful uniqueness. I am so PROUD of them both!!

Three Generations of Deafness in this Photo!!

2 Comments:

  1. Sisterlisa said...
    Many hearing people just don't understand Charlene. I have thought about how you told me you prayed for a deaf child and after all the years of being in the deaf ministry and the studying of the deaf culture, I completely understand. Some mothers pray for a red haired child, or one that can sing. Some pray for blue eyes, some desire a child who write left handed. I had hoped my children would all be blond, yet I secretly hoped for one with red hair, not realizing God would give me my boy with red hair. (Well strawberry blonde) but he's cute isn't he? ;O)
    Martha said...
    I took the picture!! ;-) LOL

    Hey I did a presentation on deafness and I found out that 4% of the deaf population are deaf because of genetics. So imagine a whole deaf family, that's pretty rare!

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