Sunday, October 28, 2007

October 26 came and went

Well, October 26 has come and went. Last Friday, October 26, marked the day that we knew Kevin couldn't hear. It wasn't 'offficially diagnosed' until Nov. 2, but on October 26, 2006, we took Kevin in for his follow-up behavior hearing test and he didn't respond at all. The test was marked as being inconclusive, however, we both knew. We both knew Kevin couldn't hear. Every emotion in the book ran through us. We knew our perfect little boy was going to have to go through life with a disability. We knew our lives would forever change. We knew our first son wouldn't have the relationship with his brother that we always dreamed of. We were completely devastated. It took every ounce of our being to just walk from the audiologist's office and drive the 30 minute drive home. Luckily, my Mom was there watching our older son, and we were able to just drop Kevin off in her arms and go straight to our room to cry and hide in bed. I remember not wanting to come out of bed and deal with things. I wanted to just keep my head buried forever. We both cried for days. I remember wondering when the day would come that I would wake up and not feel like I was living a bad nightmare.

Well, eventually that day came. We forced ourselves to deal with it. After all, everything we read was that with hearing loss, early intervention was SO important. We started to tell a select few friends and family that Kevin might be deaf. (We told the rest of our friends and family after the official diagnosis on Nov. 2) We told our older son that Kevin couldn't hear him. We started interviewing surgeons. I felt like I was simply going through the motions of life, doing what I was supposed to be doing, but not feeling anything.

How life has changed from one year ago! Kevin is a very happy, well adjusted boy who hears and interacts just like his hearing peers. Ethan and Kevin have the relationship that I always dreamed they would have. We do everything any other family with young children do. Basically, our life is pretty normal. Yes, we do go to therapy and I am constantly talking to my son to help him catch up in hearing. I point to my ear to show him that yes, I do hear that too. But, all in all, our life is about as normal as it can get. We are all in a really good place right now. I didn't know the raw emotions I had one year ago could heal so quickly. I admit, there are still times that I get angry that it is MY son who is deaf, MY son who has to endure everything he goes through, MY family that was affected, but those times are getting fewer and farther between.

I can honestly say that I am thankful for everything this past year. Thankful for the technology that allows him to hear so well. Thankful for all the people that I have met to help me cope with everything. Thankful for the surgeon and audiologist for being so incredibly talented in their field. Thankful for my son who has the personality to not let anything get in his way of accomplishing what he sets his mind to do. While it wasn't my dream for my son to be deaf, I can't imagine life any other way. His hearing loss has taught my whole family a lot about what is important in life.

I heard the following saying too many times to count, "God doesn't give you more than you can handle". I used to get soooooo infuriated when someone said that. I wanted to be the weak person who wouldn't have to handle this because they couldn't. I thought I couldn't handle it myself. What I have learned is that the saying is true. You might not know you can handle a situation, but you gather all the strength you have and rise to the occasion to do what you have to do. I am stronger than I thought I was. My marriage is stronger than I knew. There was nothing weak about myself or my marriage before Kevin was born, but both are stronger for having had to go through this.

So, October 26 has come and went. I meant to write a post on that day, but we had company in town and I was busy. The anniversary wasn't as hard as I imagined. I think it is because Kevin is right on track for being the well-adjusted child that we always imagined we would have. I look forward to all the future 'milestones' that Kevin will reach!

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