Its been a Very interesting year to say the least. We were a week away this time last year from Sophie getting her 1st cochlear implant on her left side done. It was a Week or torture As I sat every day wondering if we were making the right decision. Even the morning of I sat and thought...Maybe we should wait. Yet, I took our littlest Girl into the hospital and watched as she left my arms, ready to have her life changed.
She was Ready...
In February She had her Activation done...Something she wasnt ready for. She fought us hand over foot for WEEKS to even get the thing on for a few minutes. FINE! We gradually worked her up to KNOWING if we are out and about SHE must wear the processor. I kept it around the Rear view mirror IN the car so she could always see it, And Eventually she would sign to me "hearing aid" when I would get her out of car. She'd turn around and let me put it on so gracefully.
She spent the summer Wearing it outside, Swimming and playing at the play ground. Enjoying Sounds. But the More We went to Bellevues clinic for Aural Therapy the more she started to REJECT the processor all over again
.This Summer we got to spend A wonderful time with Nonna. The Kids adored seeing her every day. Emily was Helping Teach Sophie how to Dance, with our Daily Dance parties. Emily was learning New signs every day. As We prepared for School to start.
Emily was so excited to be meeting new people, To go on the Bus, and Be A BIG KID finally. (my kids are all old soul) She finally felt able to do things ON HER OWN. And My how far shes come now! Doing so well in School, Good Great, 1000s of friends as she puts it. Reading and writing and spelling. Working on Numbers...lol. But with her new glasses we've found, numbers arent as JUMBLED as before. Though she still gets some confused...mother like daughter. Shes begging for a big friend birthday party this year, and Hopes are we can do that for her :)
Ryan, Lord knows, has grown to be such a funny little boy. VERY expressive, even if that means, trying to strip in public when he gets mad at me, pushing things over in anger or laughing at us when in trouble. EXPRESSIVE to say the least really. Hes a bucket of tough, yet mushy, craziness. Signing about 12 different Words on his own now, and Speaking well. Has a bit of a cute lisp with his S's. But thats ok. He is READY for School, knowing most of his letters by site, Working on Numbers and saying his own name. Hes working on colors now, speaking and signing them. Matching them with his MANY cars.
Sophie, on the first day of school Finally had enough with her speech processor, Refusing to Wear it in public at ALL! Despite the many daily efforts by us, her teacher, her intreperter, the school audiologist, her Private Speech therapists and Oto Doc, Its been our loosing battle. Doc Said, Hes never seen a child refuse the use of it, and it isnt painful, theres no physical reason why she shouldnt or couldnt wear it, it just is that She seems to CARELESS about sound. Its not embarrassment, She has classmates that wear hearing aids, Has Best friends with other physical needs, that she adores and "mothers" as Her Teacher says. So its a continued working progress as We are nnow forcing use each evening at home. In School, Sophie went from just scribbling here and there, to Coloring full pages, and tracing works. Memorized her name and what it looks like written out. And I was just informed this morning, she Knows EACH AND EVERY classmates sign name, and uses them to tell the teacher whats going on in the class room. Does her preschool duties on her own, helps her best friends when oooops they fell asleep! hahaha. uses Sign to tell us what she wants, or needs and ASKS for it. Not nearly as much Screaming coming from her cute face :) We got her up to 5 sounds this month. buh, luh, puh,dad,mom. Accompanied by sign of course. And ALL done with our the aid of the speech processor.
Im very proud of my Children and how far the year 2012 has taken them. Im excited to see where we are this time next year when all is said and done, And Sophies in her 2nd year at the hh preschool. And Emilys in 1st grade full time. Ryan possibly in preschool himself, as he is SOOOO ready to be among Kids his own age.
For the fact We had a Crazy year with the Army, we are happy, and safe and together. Bumpy roads have taken us here...hopefully a smoother path this year, I think its Due.
We went from Deployment status, to hawaii, to nope fenced in unit, to asigned to a non fenced unit so Matt can go to MP school, to Orders being canceled,possible new deployment to mp class being canceled and held off to 2014, to well maybe mp class before 2014, to Germany orders, to Germany orders Canceled,2nd deployment a no go, to Waiting for HRC to have a "home" for Matt that provides for Sophies needs, with a MP class at the same time being scheduled. ITS PING PONG PEOPLE! WE are Dizzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzy Think its sad, the Lady who deals with his has Matts social and Sophies birthday memorized, because Shes had to deal with so much of matts Paper work hahahahaha.We cant wait to have concrete orders. This Decker Family is READY for a New moving adventure, Where ever that may lead us.
Which Hopefully will be, where there is a strong deaf community. People who are nice and caring and WANT to be around our Craziness. Who share the same similarities with Sophie, Where All our kids can grow and flourish. So we can watch each other Zoooooooom in the ASL realm.
I hope that Other families That barely knew anything about deafness, and asl, and Cochlear implants can one day learn and appreciate that ASL is Such A wonderful Language. That Hearing while Essential in this Dominate hearing World, that our mind adapts to Language how ever it is first introduced to us as A Child. I've learned the Reguardless of Sophie not wanting to use her processor that she knows A great deal of HOW LIFE WORKS. Shes Social, shes not too shy, Shes hilarious, understands jokes,Colors, numbers,shapes, same and difference, right and wrong, when to be serious, when to play and how to involve herself, when others want to exclude her. She Can read your face before you sign or say how you feel (shes a lip reader). Cued speech is starting in and shes picking that up too. She doesnt NEED to hear you say "Go sit down and Eat" Because she sees us Sign it. She knows how to put her clothes on, shoes, brush teeth, what a hair dryer is for, where to put her dirty laundry, how to make her bed and put away her hundreds of SUPER HERO toys :) Sometimes I forget that Shes only 4. She seems Well beyond her years.
Trust us, We understand the importance of having the implant put in so young, BRAIN SPONGE!!! yea yea we get it. But We also are smart enough to realize each kid is different, the learning curve changes with each personality,and the desire to wear it has to be there. That Sometimes the Implant isnt liked, or wanted. And That in the future she may want to use it full time and even get the 2nd to WHICH WE WILL DEFINTELY be leaving her to make that decision. 2 ears are better then one, sure, but shes got beautiful hands too ;) Language IS IMPORTANT in every aspect. We choose ASL. And Through ASL We see change, in all our kids, We see wonder and excitment to learn and advance with ASL. NOW if we can only have our prayer to be next to a full Deaf School, then WE WOULD BE ALLLLLLLLLL GOOD!
I feel we are a blessed family, because of many things, which include Sophies Deafness. For it has made us humbled, it has made us aware, and more in tuned with life and people, and family life. We acknowledge All difference. We Embrace Change and The Challenges We as a family have faced because of her being deaf, Sophie Embraces being deaf, and enjoys her quiet world right now. She Smiles and laughs and dances every day. We are thankful for our gift named Sophie. We are thankful for ASL, and Her preschool teachers being SO graceous, and her therapist being A kind and understanding heart.For Trusting our decision as her parents and what we feel is right for her and her future. Our miracle isnt the Cochlear implant...our miracle is having a daughter who thrives for life, however it comes to her. Its Great she CAN hear when she wants too. BUT GUESS WHAT we've made it so its not VITAL for her, Shes courageous and happy because we let her be who she is. Ears on or off. Shes A kid, being a kid, growing up to know that she will make her life a great life by being happy with her choices. For Life is only as good as you make it. One must be happy with themselves and their steps, to be successful. Hearing...speaking....doesnt make up Sophie. SOPHIE makes Sophie.
Emily makes Emily
Ryan makes Ryan
I make myself
Matt makes himself
And Together as A family, we are to lift up each other.
As A family, We welcome you 2013.