Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Maw Maw's Miracle

One of the first things my Maw Maw said to me when we found out Gage was deaf was, "I'm praying for a miracle". As a young mother at age 26 who had only family to rely on for the "he's so cute" and the "he's a doll" remarks, it really ticked me off I have to admit. All the doctors, specialists, geneticists, were perplexed by my little man and always trying to give me the "what's wrong with him" remarks.

I had spent many days and even several nights throughout his infancy in the local Children's Hospital. Every new doctor meant new vocabulary for me to learn, more people showing me little imperfections in my new child. During an overnight stay I had went downstairs to the cafeteria as a family was leaving the chapel. The mother screaming "Not my baby!!!! Not my baby!!!" As my heart pounded and my stride quickened, all I could think about was "not my baby". As we bounced from specialist to specialist, I would give a quick whisper to God "I can take almost anything, but please don't let anything be life threatening". As we entered the cardiologist who was looking for some type of defect, some type of abnormality, I could hear myself say "not my baby". Visit after visit everything was checking out fine much to our relief.

He was still in fact deaf and always going to be, no doubt about that. But I refused to ask God for a miracle, seemed so petty after seeing the desperate mother who must have arrived moments too late. No matter how many times I assured Maw Maw we didn't need a miracle she still said "well, I'm still praying for one". I guess I can't abort someone else's prayers so I just accepted the fact she was going to keep asking God for her miracle, she just wanted her great grandson to be able to hear.

After three and a half years of trying to communicate with her child just somehow, someway,...a sobbing mother broke down. I needed some type of guidance as to where I was to lead this sweet child of mine. I needed God to just tell me what to do, afterall wasn't I his child to guide? Gage was scheduled to have cochlear implant surgery the next morning and I was scared to death. I said my prayers that night over a barrel of salty tears and the minute I asked for his guidance, my tears stopped. Once I start crying it usually takes me forever to stop, but not this time. I washed my face, I had a good night's sleep, and took him for surgery the next morning.

No one was ever sure of how successful this surgery would be due to his severe ear malformations. But I awoke with the most peace I'd had in three and half years. I had someone much bigger on my side. I went into the hospital knowing that he was going to be safe. Even if he wasn't implanted, I knew he would be absolutely fine, safe, and happy.

Not only did Maw Maw receive her miracle that I never asked for, but she's really enjoyed both of my children who she would have never been able to communicate with on her own if they couldn't hear. At ninety years old (almost) it takes her ten minutes to answer the door much less try to sign something to them. But not only that, they get to enjoy her as well. Both of my kids mock her frail and shakey voice sounding almost exactly like her.

So sometimes you get more than you ask for. I asked for healthy happy children...and I got just that. Maw Maw asked for more, and we got that too. She recently told me as I fight back the tears typing, "Brook is a beautiful girl...she'll grow up to be a beautiful young woman. I'll never get see that, I've been here a long time." But at least she got to see her miracle. Deciding to implant our children is never an easy one. This wasn't the only hard decision we'll have to make as our children age, but shaming a mother for making one of THE hardest decisions is not only inappropriate, it's plain judgemental.


elizabeth embracing life said...

Ethan was around 3yrs when he was implanted. There were times that I felt guilty asking God for more. He was completely healthy in every single way of his life. A beautiful and charming blue eyed-curly haired doll and yet I wanted a miracle. I have always been a spokesperson for how God wants to give us the desires of our hearts. I wanted desparately to be able to talk, sing, and embrace the words and heart of Ethan. Our prayers were answered. Our sweet children can do that now through this modern day miracle. I love your story and so embrace where you have come from. Blessings!!!

leahlefler said...

Val, you need to include a Kleenex warning before these posts (g)!

We have gone through a bit of the syndrome roller-coaster, since Nolan had a funny head shape and there was concern for a short period of time regarding Hurler Syndrome. The "not my baby" mantra filled my head every day- the hearing loss was a minor consideration when confronting some of the devastating possibilities.... let's just say that as each day goes by and he continues to develop in a wonderfully typical way, we rejoice.

I'm glad you got your miracle, and I'm glad Maw Maw got hers, too. Every day with our kids is a miracle, and not one I take for granted anymore!

Valerie said...

It took 38 years for my mom and grandmothers to get there prayer too. It is a shame that my grandmothers were not around to see it. My me-ma use to say, I'm praying God patch your wings. She never did get to see me with hearing aids, which did patch it for a long time.

You really need to include a warning in this post: Caution you need a box of tissues!

K.L. said...

When our daughter almost died from meningitis, and ended up deaf, we had her implanted very quickly. Later we were marveling at how well it was working for her. A "friend" informed us that if we had prayed harder and were more faithful, God would have given us a miracle and cured her hearing. I told him that God did give us a miracle, in fact several. She's alive. She can hear with the implant, and the meningitis did not give her brain damage. I then asked him how did he think he had the right to decide what a miracle looked like? God gave the doctors the idea for the implant, and the courage to follow that idea to fruition. So now lots of kids can have that same miracle.

Congratulations on having two wonderful ones.

elizabeth said...

This is beautiful. Life with children learning to hear is full of everyday miracles.

Abbie said...

Wow, I'm crying, my mom is crying, even my dog is crying. This is a beautiful tribute to all the miracles that you have in your life.


Bright Family said...

*Tears* Truly beautiful. Your children are blessed to have you as their mother.

I never really greived over my son's hearing loss. I was relieved to finally have a definite diagnosis and I knew that it was ONLY hearing loss and not something that was going to take my handsome little man from me. Days are sometimes tough, more like overwhelming, and tears do fall, but at the end of the day, I know I have a healthy, smiling, little snuggle bug to cuddle with, which, unfortunately, is more than some parents can say.

Loudest Mom said...

Wonderful post, w/ a great message! I'm so glad you shared this. It's too bad you couldn't print out this post and share it with the woman at the hair salon.

So much of it was just heartwarming, but the part where Brooke and Gage were imitating "Maw Maw" just cracked me up!

Christian's Mommy said...

Thank you so much for sharing your perspective and your thoughts on this. I love following your beautiful children and watching them grow and learn and speak so wonderfully. I can tell you right now that on my hard days, I always flip to your and Jodi's blog to see that miracles really do happen.


Jodi Cutler Del Dottore said...

Streaming, freaking bawling, sobbing aloud, somethin to do with the name "Maw-Maw" How did I miss this post, you are unbelievable and I felt every single word you wrote. Incredible. Jodi

Jennifer said...

I didn't see this post when it was originally posted. So beautiful. Miracles happen every day. All our children are miracles. Those of us with deaf children just get to witness a different kind of miracle. I remember making the decision to implant my son, it wasn't easy but i just knew it was right. I didn't give a rat's you know what if other people didn't agree. He wasn't THEIR son. Just yesterday I told someone he is deaf and the woman had the most confused look on her face. She said "what do you mean?" I had to explain it to her because 5 minutes before she was having a whole convesation with Cormac. That's the miracle we all see every day! I love to read your blog. It inspires me and gives me a glimpse of the future for Cormac as he grows up.