Wednesday, October 31

We Survived Halloween

I made it through my first Halloween with our new daughter Rebecca who has Ushers Syndrome 1. We only ran into 3 parked vehicles, ran off of 1 curb and ran over 2 kids. I think we did okay. Thank everyone for their suggestions. I got flashlights for everyone in the family and we used them to help light her path and for her to find us when she turned back around (great suggestion). Her school has a class that she will start next year to help her learn to walk with a white cane. I didn't have a clue where to start teaching her and during the day she is fine. We are rarely outside after it gets dark, so I think that we will be okay waiting until next year. Her vision during the day is fine other than her peripheral vision. She still runs into people from the side and doesn't see doorways very well. She will forever have bruises on her poor little arms and knees.

Monday, October 29

It's A Girl!!

Rebecca has finally arrived!! We spent all weekend in East Texas at a wonderful Bed & Breakfast. It was fantastic! We took the girls to ride Thomas the Train, they fed horses, etc. We met the owners of the b&b when we adopted Jasmine. They are going to be foster parents as well-as a matter of fact they are getting 20 month old triplets today for 1 week. They are great people and we have been blessed to know them.

We finally got home last night and got Rebecca about 1/2 way unpacked (1 of two trips) and Jasmine had a huge tantrum. The tantrum was over nothing, of course, but super rageful. This is going to be hard for her - it's hard for all of us, Rebecca included. I pray that today will be better.

We have all of Rebecca's CI stuff and all her old CI stuff. I don't know what 1/2 of this stuff is. Rechargable batteries, Mic Lock, audio cables, goes on & on. I do know that what she has now works & I'm going to get on Cochlear's website and try to figure out the rest. I have been told that the rechargable batteries only last about a 1/3 of what the actual batteries last. We have one box (60) batteries left. I think that will last about 2 more months.

Rebecca is going on and on about getting her ears pierced. I think that we are going to try to get them pierced for her birthday. I don't think that there are any problems with the implant and earrings. I don't know the sign for earrings, but I know that is what she is talking about - she is tugging at her ear & showed me her sisters earrings. We are doing a lot of that lately - I becoming quite good at Cherrades.

Thursday, October 25


I've been a lot more aware of dark restaurants, crowded situations, our traditions that include evenings, etc. One of these are coming up & that is Halloween. Normally for Halloween here's how it goes - we go in the afternoon after school to our town square where they where their costumes and go from store to store gathering candy, get face painted, bounce houses, etc. Then we go to our church which some is inside and bright & other parts are outside and dark- we make an appearance there, play some games - get more candy. Then about 8pm, we walk around our neighborhood doing trick or treating before we come home and go to bed around 9pm.

This was what we did last year and I'm sure what Jasmine is expecting this year. Our church is not having the Fall Fun Fest this year, so I know that will be removed. Which would leave more time to trick or treat around the neighborhood after going to the town square. Except that Rebecca is going to be with us this year. Should we just take flashlights & go trick or treating or should I make a big deal out of her helping with the candy? Should I just ask her what she wants to do? The home that she is coming from has a fall fun fest at their church and just spends the evening there with her. So, this will be totally different for her.

What are your traditions with Halloween? Am I over-reacting (sometimes I do that too)?

Tuesday, October 23


Only 3 more days!! We will tell Jasmine tonight that her sister is coming to live with us. She will be excited. I called the school today and I found out what time school starts - 7:45am!! Are they crazy!! We live 45 minutes away from the school and my other daughter's school doesn't start until 8:30! The school says, "she can ride the bus" - sure she can and leave the house at 6:00am!!! How insane!!

I had checked into the school 3 months ago but for some reason only asked if they would bus - I did not ask what time school started. I just assumed it would start around the same time as Jasmine's school. School will then also let out earlier too, but I think we got that one covered for now.

Anyway, I know that God will provide a way & I guess that if she has to ride the bus at 6am, I guess that is what we will have to do until a better solution arrises.

Monday, October 22

It finally happened!!

Hello. I want to thank everyone for their comments on my last blog. I read them right before I had a HUGE call with CPS. It was like gettting a large hug from all of you & it gave me the confidence to say everything that I needed to say to CPS. Rebecca (our Usher Syndrome 1 child) will finally be placed officially in our home on Tuesday.

I wish I had started blogging sooner, so that everyone could appreciate this journey. We started sibling visitations in July '07 so this was not an easy trip for our family. We have been traveling back and forth to pick Rebecca up (about a 3 hr trip) every other weekend. In the summer we got to spend more time with her and she was in our home for about 3-5 days at a time. It has been difficult for both girls & I'm so excited this chapter is about to begin.

Again, thank you for your support & I know that I will be relying on you guys for advice.

What have I learned from this journey? I learned that God will provide if you just listen. If anyone would have told me 5 years ago that I would have 2 girls, one of which is deaf & will go blind I would have said that you were crazy!! God started on me a long time ago, when I was a child with compassion for people of different abilities. I am so grateful for that and pray that my children are also as fortunate. Fast forward to me getting cervical cancer & unsure if I was going to have children, to me getting my first foster child. WOW!!! It is amazing how the puzzle starts to come together. I was first told that Jasmine (my hearing child) had 2 siblings, both of which were severely disabled with major medical issues. I thought she would be the only child from that sibling group for us because I don't have a medical background and they made it sound so bad. As we approached Jasmine's adoption date we found Rebecca on an adoption website. I told my husband not to show me unless he was seriously interested in moving forward with Rebecca. He showed me, I could not get this incredible child out of my mind!!! For two days I prayed about it & I thought that I was going to go crazy if I didn't act upon it. I made the call to our foster agency, but not to our case worker - NO - I went to the Clinical Psycologist because I knew that he would be straight with me. I thought he would tell me that it would be CRAZY for me to mix a "special needs" child with Jasmine (because she has special emotional needs of her own). Instead, he said, "I'll look into it".

Now, look at where we are - I'm getting my second child (who I feel has always been my child, just not in my home) on Tuesday!!!! I can't believe it - someone pinch me!!

Saturday, October 20

Following My Heart

Hey everyone! I've never blogged before, so I hope you enjoy.

God started my journey a long time ago. Several years ago I had a realization of my purpose here on Earth (I'll write another blog later about that). I felt that God was leading me to foster children - well He has super blessed me and I not only fostered a child for a year, I adopted her as well. Now, God is leading me down a different path to adopt her biological sister who has Usher Syndrome 1.

We started learning Sign Language as a family (SEE for now). The child that I have already adopted is 8 and her sister is about to turn 10. We are hoping that she will be in our home shortly. We have been working on getting her sister placed for about 5 or 6 months now (it seems like forever).

The sister received a CI a couple of years ago on 1 ear. I keep reading and have even witnessed the Deaf communities views on CIs. However, I feel like since she is going to be Deaf and blind that it is imparitive that we give her as much hearing help as we can. I have not been able to locate any feelings on the internet about if it is more acceptable to the community if she is also going to go blind.

The home that she has been in for the past 2 years has hearing parents, 1 of which is an interpreter. I will encourage Deaf culture in our lives and have already incorporated much of that in her room, our house and just our actions. I do not want her to lose her "deafness", but I do want her to be the best person that she can be.

I just don't know how far to take it. CPS has encouraged us not to use signing in our house unless it is a desperate situation - I don't agree with that! I want her to be around just oral environments as much as possible so that it will grow her dependence on her hearing, but I don't want her to lose the Deaf culture either.

If you have any suggestions or experiences, please share.