Sunday, May 25

Deaf Children In Foster Care

This has been heavy on my heart & I hope it opens some eyes. We adopted a hearing child last summer and we are working on adopting our second child who is her Deaf sibling. The largest difference between these two children was with the caseworkers. After many years in foster care, Rebecca got her 1st caseworker who knew a little bit of sign with us. This broke my heart, not because of Rebecca but because of all of the other children in foster care. We have 2 caseworkers, our agency caseworker (who could sign a little) and then a CPS caseworker who knew no sign. We interpreted the conversations between the caseworkers and Rebecca.

This bothered me because we know that there are faults in our foster care system, that is one of the reasons we became foster parents. I was tired of complaining about it and not doing anything about it, so we became foster parents to try to change the lives of some of the children in the system. Many foster care children are being abused and that is why we have monthly visits from the caseworkers. They ask questions, like "how do you like living here" and "how do your parents act when you are in trouble" or "have your parents spanked you"? I'm fine with all of those questions and I'm glad that they ask those questions of my children. When we got Rebecca, those questions were dwindled down to "how do you like living here" and "are you happy here" which again, I am fine with but it got me thinking, "how would children answer that question honestly if there was abuse going on in the home?" Would they say to their parents interpreting, "Last night he came in my room and touched me??" NO! How are the Deaf children supposed to speak out for themselves when the parents are the interpreters and always have to be present??

I don't know how to make these changes, but I think that an interpreter needs to be provided or the caseworkers need to take an sign language class if they are assigned to a Deaf child. Something needs to be done. It breaks my heart to think that these children don't have the same opportunity to speak out for themselves as hearing children do.

Tuesday, May 20

Rebecca has a Cochlear Freedom. She has had Kaci the Kaola for some time, but did not have the implant part for the kaola. I called Cochlear and got her one. It is so cute, she has been carrying it everywhere. I asked her, "Do I still need to sign to the Kaola even though she has an implant?" She said, "Yes, it really helps her". She takes off the implant every night and puts it in its own case that matches hers. Here's some pictures.

We are still waiting to hear back from her audiologist from about her hearing aid. I'll let you know after we get it in.

Thursday, May 8

New Aid

We went to our appointment for the hearing aid and got fitted for the mold. Rebecca woke up so excited, I felt bad that she had to wait until the afternoon for her appointment. She chose a purple see-through hearing aid with a pink/purple mold. It will be a Phonak Junior Naida UltraPower. Compared to her CI, her hearing aid is really small. Some positives about this peticular aid and why we chose it:

1) It is water resistant. It can be worn while playing sports or even when caught in the rain.

2) It takes the same kind of batteries as her CI, so we don't have to order different batteries.

3) It is a strong hearing aid, which is exactly what she needs.

We did the hearing test on the right ear and she heard nothing. She never heard the sound not matter how loud it got. We are getting the aid just to keep the nerve stimulated and it will also hopefully help with balance as well. We will see how it goes. We go back in a few weeks for our fitting.

Here's a picture of what it will look like:

Thursday, May 1

Exciting News For Me And My Family

Sunday we did 2 volunteer projects, we made hygiene kits for women who are exiting prision and we made AIDS kits to send to Africa. We had a great time and ended up being the receipient of 2 people who wanted to volunteer and help our family. The first person is a senior in high school, she is learning ASL and thinks that she wants to be a Deaf Education teacher. She volunteered her Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings to interpret for Rebecca. Now, I can have a little bit of a rest and it's better for the girls not to always have their mom everywhere they are. She will be going to college here locally next year and she said that she wants to do this for as long as she can for Rebecca. What a blessing! She interpreted yesterday and I just love her and more importantly Rebecca has really taken to her!

My husband and I both work full time and we did not know how the girls were going to be able to go to VBS this year and another person that we know stepped up and said that he will pick up the girls from their summer program and take them to VBS and then drive them back when they are done! Now, the girls can go to VBS!!

Our God is so good and takes care of us so well. Add these blessings to your prayers today and thank God for taking care of our family. Today is National Day Of Prayer. Our family will be attending a concert tonight and praying for our leaders. You don't have to go to an event, but please pray - if for nothing else just thanking God for providing for my family.