My third child Ethan was diagnosed as being bilaterally profoundly deaf. This basically means he is deaf as a nail. At around three years old it pained my heart to know that sign language would be his only means to communicate. He was angry, frustrated, and for a deaf child used his vocals to no end. Statistics showed that deaf children begin high school as least three grades behind and that deaf adults live below the poverty line.
It was very hard with a large family to get into sign language classes and even more frustrating in that language was happening every waking hour, not just an hour a week in a class. I started praying for a miracle. I mean really the hand of Jesus could make the blind see, the lame walk, why not a three year old hear. I prayed and knew that it would really take a miracle.
The next week I had a meeting in LA for my small consulting business. I had my flight scheduled the last flight out of town, so I could have an afternoon of shopping in Beverley Hills. I finished my am meeting around 11:30am. It was now some time for mommy, without kids, shopping, a quiet long lunch, and then more shopping. The woman I had met with invited me to lunch. I paused when she asked as this was going to cut into my time. I accepted her invitation, but truly did not want to be there.
We chit chatted about this and that and some of the business aspects of what our jobs require. She asked me about my four children (Emerson was not born at this time). I shared my braggy moments about each one and then shared about Ethan. I told her that I still cry about Ethan. How my heart is full of not knowing what to do when he is so brilliant and locked up inside his deafness. She picked up a cell phone and dialed a number; literally, while I am sharing my heart. She then handed me her cell phone and said talk to this person. I looked at her with this puzzled look and said who is this….she gave me his name and then said her husband was one of the founder for the Hearing Institute in LA.
I told the gentleman I was sitting with someone he knew. He had this beautiful South African accent. One I was familiar with as we had a South African exchange student when I was in high school. He was impressed that I recognized his accent and it turns out he was great friends some 25 years later with the gal who stayed in our home.
I shared with him about Ethan. How Ethan had been misdiagnosed 5 times and was already behind in so many ways. He told me specifically who to contact in Oregon. Eight weeks later Ethan was implanted with a Cochlear Implant. Almost three years later. Ethan is a happy hearing (through a technological modern day miracle) boy. He is in a private school and functions above average among his hearing peers. He is non stop chatter and he loves that he can hear. When his devices are taken off, he is still very deaf, but God not only answered our prayers beyond measure he gave Ethan a gift to be part of the hearing world. Thanks God!!!