What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow. ~ Martin Luther

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

As it should be

Two months and one day, that's how long its been since Adele' found home in my arms, not my womb.

62 nights...that's how many nights I've sung lullabyes, stroking and rocking her as warm milk filled her-nourishing her through the night all the while wondering if she might actually be able to hear my songs and love whispers.

You see...I've held a secret for quite some time. A secret that for a while, I had to clutch and protect, keeping it only for me, so that I might grasp at its truth and understand. The truth had to be worked through before the words would have meaning, before the jumble of thoughts in my head might be strung from my lips into tangible form.

The secret that would divide my lullabyes from comforting my child, that would hinder me from hearing the prayers offered up on the lips of a child-or her understanding my prayers for her. A secret that might separate a darling girl from those around her who can not or try not to understand. One that makes her different, and us as a family. One that might steal from her the whispered "I love you's" that so easily fly from my lips. That she might not HEAR.

When Adele' was born, there was not a thing about her I did not find endearing in every way. Her curled ear was no exception. When her first hearing test failed in that ear, I was assured it could just be because I delivered her SO quickly; her ear probably still had fluid in it, causing her not to respond. I made an appointment for a repeat test a week later. As the days passed, her ear began to uncurl and it even made me sad to see it go, but oddly enough, I noticed it still looked different than her left ear.

Meanwhile, her impending hearing appointment approached and we made our way to the audiologist.

Again, she failed.

Her right ear showed absolutely no response to the little clicking sounds and her left ear responded only about 1/3 of the time. The woman was very kind, but not very encouraging. She spoke about hearing aids for infants (starting at 3 months old!) and of the difficulties we would probably face. My head was spinning, twirling at the possibility of a deaf child. But smile I did, chuckle and laugh to hide the pain, because I had four other small ears to think about.

The screener recommended we go right away to an ear specialist for a more invasive test but I couldn't bear it. I knew another newborn screening would likely prove futile, and only postpone the inevitable, but that was a shred of hope that I clung to with fervency. So, the screener smiled and sent me home after scheduling yet another appointment through tight-lipped, obvious doubt and called after me that I might try banging pots and pans and see if she startled at all.

I came home, laid the children to rest, and then I tested on my own. I waited until she slept and then I banged anything I could. Not a flinch or a blink. I'd clap my hands right beside her ears, and while my hands stung, she slept peacefully. The harder I banged, the more upset I became, until I just broke down-sobs heaving my body and thoughts tormenting my soul. I thought about how she might never know my voice. How every kick in-utero that I thought was in response to my voice, was just a cruel joke. How futile it might be to even bother cooing at her. How would I homeschool a deaf child? Knowing everything from praying at dinner to worshipping at church would be DIFFERENT, harder. That I might never be able to hear her tell stories or sing songs. That I might not be able to soothe and comfort her. These thoughts drove me mad.

Her funny little curled ear, the one that I had found so adorable, now mocked me. I hated it because it might be the reason why she couldn't hear.

But every night as I tucked my swaddled Bunkin into her cradle, I would glance up and there was the writing on the wall, wall promises echoing in my mind. Fearfully and Wonderfully Made...

I had placed them there in anticipation and excitement for the coming child. Was it any different now? Certainly not. I didn't know back then, that these words were Gods very own comfort to my soul, His reminder to me that HE is the creator and HE has a perfect plan.

I realized that while a lack of hearing might be a hardship-it might also be the means to make Adele's lifestory even more profound. It might be a gift.

Many a tear was shed, but each time I began to fret I reminded myself that, more than anything else---Adele' was HERE. She was with me. I didn't have to say goodbye to her, or watch her die as some mothers have had to live through. I didn't have to mourn her growing old without being able to function in society, as some can not. With each thought, my heart filled with just a bit more thanksgiving until, one day I realized, it was full.

From the first moment my eyes fixed on my Bunkin, I have adored her. Knowing that she might not hear those words from me has only spurred me to show it more often. I don't know of any child who has been more kissed than my Adele'. I hold her with more gentleness than I've ever held a baby and I feel my eyes sparkle all the more when I am with her. I can not look at her without smiling. And her ear? It has been given proper admiration again---and lots of nibbles.

The screener, on that day long ago, said there was a very slim possibility that things could change. She wasn't a very good actress and I knew she really didn't believe it. But I know, that there IS a chance that her ear can hear or be healed. Nothing is impossible with God. I also know, that while it is possible, there might be a very good reason for Adele' to not be able to hear and I will not pretend that I am more wise than God.

It happens, that Adele's most favorite thing is to put her head under my chin and rest it against my neck. She quiets when I sing that way. I don't know if it is my voice that soothes or the vibrations from my neck, but nonetheless, she finds comfort with me. I am able to soothe her with my kisses, and looking at her with the love that I feel for her causes her to smile with such sparkling eyes that my heart just melts. I felt before that I couldn't mother her well, if she couldn't hear me. I know now that this is not true. Because a mother needs only one thing to mother well, LOVE, and I have that in abundance.

This week is her third and final test before it is "insisted" that she see an audiologist. I have prayed many times, too many to count, that she pass this test. That she be able to hear and this all to be a bad dream. But somewhere, somehow, sometime that I can't put my finger on~my prayer has changed to what it ought to have been the whole time.


I can honestly say~no matter what the result~ I will be happy. I will be content. and I will be THANKFUL for the gift of that dear girl.

She is my little Gremlin and she is GOD'S masterpiece.


Debbie in CA : ) said...

What do I think? you ask . . . I think God has chosen well for Miss Adele in the parental department. God has blessed you, too.

As a mom of two special boys (one now perfectly perfect in HEaven with Jesus) and three daughters, I know the pain, sorrow, joy, hope, hurt, and all the rest that this path entails. And yet I confidently state that God has NEVER failed me and I have been abundantly blessed. There were/are days when the burdens of my worry and woe nearly sank my life in a mire, but God's reach exceeds the depth of my sorrows -- EVERY TIME.

I read you regularly, but comment rarely. Know that you are in my prayers even more now that you have pulled back the curtain and shared your secret dreams and dramas.

I rejoice that you delight in His will despite the cost of your "perfect" hopes. Adele will live her life fully and wonderfully as she is made. Homeschooling will go just as you planned, though not as you thought. You will succeed, my dear. You will because you have the Father of ALL at the helm. Fear not . . . in everything give thanks.

Knkow that I keep you in my prayers, precious mamma of a precious family. What better siblings for Adele, than those two moppets of joy to hug and hold and gently lead her.

[Tears fall as get down on my knees to praise and pray . . .]

MidnightMom said...

She is beautiful! A sweet, gentle face, warm eyes...tiny, pixie ears. I cannot pretend to understand the process you're in, but if/when the time comes...my midwife has a (now grown) daughter who lost hearing as a little baby, due to vaccinations. I know you don't know me...but I'd be happy to put you in touch with her, as she is a mother who will understand your questions, fears, and acceptance.

Until then, keep praying, hoping, believing, and above all, accepting. She is, indeed, a beautiful baby girl, and she is placed in your family because you are the perfect family for her. Enjoy these moments, even amidst the swirling clouds overhead. :)

In Him, Danielle

Pink Panda said...

Rebecca, I often read your blog, and in so doing feel close to you and your family. What a heart touching blog entry. Thank you. I've had depression these past three months and as my two year old- who was born when your panda was born- is growing older and older and my womb stays empty because of the medicine I take, I have come closer to my Heavenly Father than ever before. We were trying when I first found out that you were expecting. I didn't have the right attitude. I knew you had been trying a long time, but my trial was different. It wasn't that I probably couldn't conceive, it was that I was afraid that I would not succeed as a Mother and depression hit. It hit hard. Now I am doing well and we plan on trying again soon. May the Lord always guide and protect you and your family.

Mrs. MK said...

Tears flow. Prayers breathed for healing, and faith through it all.

Our psalm this morning spoke greatly to me. I will share it with you in faith that God's word is more powerful than any of my own.

'Why do the nations say, "Where is their God?"

Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him.

Psalm 115:2-3

Mrs. MK said...

He is good, ALL of the time.


Martie said...

Absolutly beautiful. God has a special purpose for every child. God is good - ALL the time. Praying for you and with you - HIS will be done.


Terri said...

Rebecca, as a mother of a special needs child I can relate to the pain of facing the issue. God absolutely knows what he is doing and he has chosen you and Matt as Adele's parents because He knows you will be able to handle whatever he gives you.

Father's Grace Ministries said...

Rebecca- She IS special and a tremendous gift from the Lord. I believe that one day she will have and BE a great testimony of His Grace, whether there is a healing in the natural realm or not.
She will SEE and FEEL Christ in you.She will Hear the voice of the Holy Spirit in her heart.

Peggy in Alaska said...

Dear Rebecca,

Would it be possible to get the date and time of Miss Adele's appointment? That way we can not only lift you all up in prayer prior to but during the time of the appointment as well! Know that we think of you often and keep you in our prayers even though we have never met face to face.

devildogwife said...

Praying that you will feel the Lord's peace no matter what the future holds. Your little one will always know how precious she is due to you being a wonderful mother.

Carrie J said...

Rebecca, I read often but hardly ever post. I just want you to know that my heart goes out to you and the little one. You are a wonderful mom and I can't imagine a better mother for this little one to go to. I will pray for you and her both. Blessings.

Leah S said...

Rebecca, I just want to let you know that I've been reading your blog a long time now, and I'm also deaf.

I was born deaf in 1982. Since technology was lacking in those days, my parents didn't figure it out until I was almost 2. I've been wearing hearing aids since I was 2.5 years old.

Through the persistence of my parents - especially my mom - they were able to raise me as a fairly "hearing" person. I can talk, I can understand most people between my hearing aids and reading lips.

My mom also home schooled me from kindergarten and onward, which was one of the best things she has done. With the one-on-one teaching, I was able to thrive and truly learn, instead of being in a noisy classroom of confusion. I was raised alongside with my siblings and life was pretty normal. I didn't even begin to learn sign language until I was 15 and taking a college class.

As an adult now, my limitations are that I'm not able to use a phone; I need closed-captions on the TV; I don't do so well in understanding people in a noisy situations; I need to sit up front in presentation speaking (church [actually, I get notes from the pastor], quilt guild meetings), and I can't hear my husband in the dark in bed. :)

I went to college for 2 years, I had a nice paying job for almost 2 years, now I'm happily married and trying my best to be a blessing to my husband. :)

If you want to email in further detail and ask questions about deaf-related stuff, I'll be more than happy to share.

abigail said...

I've been thinking of and praying for you all last week and will continue to this week.

I am so thankful that God has quieted your heart, and I pray that He continues to fill you up with peace and unseen strength for what lies ahead.

You wrote the sweet and simple truth-- Adele is His masterpiece, and God be praised that you and Matt know that!

Paula said...

OH sweet Rebecca! You have said and worded everything so perfectly in your post. I hope if you ever feel discouraged you will re-read it. God is so strong with you.

I know that I never could have imaged myself with a child with the difficulties he has had and will continue to have for as long as God sees fit. But I have come to learn through it all that God, while we don't understand His ways, gives us children for His glory.

When the pain, fear, and questioning fades away... and you allow Him, and I know you will because your heart is for Him, God will give you and your precious baby girl a strength that is unfathomable (which you will realize has always been there, you just never knew it). He will give you a drive that will glorify Him and help your child. You will get answers, not all of them, but the ones you need in order to help your child live for His glory.

Victoria said...

Why do I have tears when God has given you such peace? You are a wonderful mother. Each of your children knows they are loved by you - through MORE than just your words. Adele is precious. Adele is loved. Adele is perfectly made because she is hand-made by our Father.

Quinne said...

Hi Rebecca :) Trusting Him with you. Love & hugs, Q

The "Z" family said...


There's nothing I can add to the words already written here for you...your Adele is SO precious, and I have no doubt that you will know just what to do and when to do it. You are a gifted communicator, it's obvious that God has ALREADY blessed YOU with the very skills needed to support and encourage your beautiful daughter! I'll keep you both in my prayers.

Kris Zerby

Kalona said...

What a beautiful post, Rebecca! Precious Adele is a blessing in your life, and you in hers. I can tell that you already know that God's plans are perfect, and that you trust in Him. I love the "wall words," and the fact that you had them in place before Adele was born. I'm praying right now for all of you.

Tiffany said...

I just found your blog tonight and got caught up in your beautiful family. I was so intrigued by your Love Story that after reading through to part IX and being disappointed that there wasn't a part X, I started reading your blog from the beginning - January 2005. I had just finished that month and in trying to go on to February 2005 my laptop acted up and blipped me to today's post Jan 27,2009 about Adele and turmoil that you feel about her. So long story short... I got chills, I feel I must tell you that the "blip" taking me from Jan 2005 to Jan 2009 was a sign from our Divine Creator - for you. These are your words, "Who knows what the Lord has in store. Who knows? Maybe he has given me this passion because I am going to have a deaf child of my own." Written on Jan 13,2005 about your love of signing. I know that you don't know me but it was so clear to me in that moment that God wanted me to reach out to you and remind you of your own words and thoughts about the hearing impaired, so that it might be a comfort to you and you might find peace in whatever His decision may be for Adele. Praying for you and your family.
Love, Tiffany
p.s. I will check back frequently for the addition of part X through XX of your love story. :-)

Elizabeth said...

I left you a comment, but apparently it was swallowed by all the others. I feel silly adding to all the love and support you've already received, since I am just family and that is what family is supposed to do in the first place, but know that I am lifting Adele' and you all up in prayer-especially Today!!! Sending you a hug dear sister..

Jean Marie Bibby said...

I love you

Morgan said...

What a wonderful mother she has been given. You and your family are in my prayers. It is so nice to see your thankfulness. I miscarried two weeks ago and though I know His ways are best it is still difficult. Even through this there are blessings and thankfulness. Adele is adorable and precious.


You're there, in that place God has given you, and you're coping wonderfully...relying on him throughout all. Keep depending, praying, and relying Rebecca, You're doing exactly what God wants of you. Trust him, he knows all, and like you wrote, this is her gift.

Praying for you and Adele, and Matt and the kids.

Courtney said...

OH! It is so hard to face something wrong with your child. But, exactly as you said- a gift, that may touch many in her life in profound ways. She is very deliciously precious!

Bev said...

I read but hardly post. My daughter when she was little they thought she actually might be blind and deaf because she did not respond and we prayed and had her on so many prayer list and we found out she was not but she is autistic which is its on set of problems. Prayer can change everything and even if she is deaf, you will adjust and adapt even if it is hard at first because I like to think of it this way God entrusted you with you to take care of his special angel and to me that is a blessing

Tracy said...

Like Tiffany, I remembered you writing something about signing. I know you must be experiencing a flood of emotions, and you are in my prayers. And Miss Adele? She is MORE than BEAUTIFUL! She's exquisite!

Kimberly said...

She is a perfect little angel and you are the perfect mother for her! I cannot imagine all the emotions that you have been thru but I do know that our God will see you thru this! Hugs and prayers for you today and in the days ahead.

Mandie said...

Oh Rebecca, you have such strength and that is only from God. We will be praying for all of you, but especially for sweet, precious Adele and you, my irreplaceable friend. Your peace about the situation is beautiful, evident of God's work in your life. Our plans change, but God's plan is best~ for our good and His glory.

I echo so many of the other above commenters especially those that mentioned that God could not have given Adele any better sister, brother, or parents (didn't you get your degree in ASL?) and that I'm ashamed to be crying when he has given you that peace that passes understanding. We love you so much and will be praying for you often. Please give that beautiful girl a kiss for me.

TheChickadeefeeder said...

Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and telling us this news.

She IS God's masterpiece. And you are a fantastic mother! I'm very very sad for your news, but I'm really confident that you will be able to bear this new challenge in your life!

God has your lives in His loving, loving hand. May it be a comfort to all of us as we hurt for you and pray for you during this difficult time. She is a beautiful baby!

Rebecca said...

First of all~ my goodness. I never expected so much support to rise out from computer type in all my life. Makes me think perhaps I should have voiced my worries when they were suffocating me--it might have helped me through a bit more quickly!

Adele' had an appointment today, but due to winter storm warning and lots of snow in the forecast, I plan to rescedule. I don't know the future date yet.

Some of your comments about my ASL interest, especially Tiffany's comment, really struck me. I will share with you that this was one of my weak points. I REMEMBERED having that conversation with Mattie, and on the blog, and I felt as though I had almost ASKED for it. Like it was somehow MY fault, because those words had been uttered from my lips. I know this is not how God works, but for a time in my weakness, I couldn't help but somehow blame myself. Instead of finding comfort in my love of sign (even though it is nearly forgotten by now) I found guilt. Tiffany's story though, is pretty profound. wow.

I am happy and thankful to admit, that my strugglings had much more to do with fear than anger. I never remember feeling ANGRY at the situation, or at the Maker of the situation. Only intense fear of the unknown.

Fear that people would look at her differently. That family wouldn't bond with her because of this, or that later, she would feel separate and alone while her older siblings had long chats and so forth with loved ones. and I worried that I wouldn't be able to be all that was required of me. Right now-as an infant, it is easy. I don't even really think about it-I just talk to her as usual and kiss her even more.

I also felt sadness at the things that she might never experience, or that I might never experience, and the moments that would be altered for our family. Moments that, thus far, I've enjoyed without realizing how much of a cherished gift they ought to be.

Thank you again for all your support, encouragement, and love. Love so freely given and so thankfully received. I appreciate your prayers on our behalf and your kindnesses. I am very blessed by you all.

Mrs. MK said...

My heart is with you as we are facing the fears ahead....

Kris said...

I commented earlier, but I guess it didn't "take" - LOL! As you may remember, my daughter has severe hearing loss. It was found when she was 2-1/2 years old and corrected by hearing aids. However, it is autoimmune so she could end up totally deaf some day. She is now 15 and is doing fine. She told me once that she'd rather be deaf than blind! I'm here if you need to talk.


picketfencemom/Amy O. said...

I am praying for your little one and you! God is faithful, and He'll see you through. I'm the one who is so encouraged by your faith and wonderful attitude as you face the unknown. You're an inspiration, and I think you're very real and honest, and...brave!
God will take care of you!
Amy O.
PS...thanks so much for your well-wishes and enthusiastic response to our 'twin' news. You really made my day and touched my heart. I will try to answer all the questions ASAP! :0)

Vanessa said...

I have been reading your blog silently for a few months now and feel I found in you a kindred spirit. I have a sister with special needs and it is so amazing to see how the Lord gifts us with these differences. What the world sees as a handicap we may see as a special gift.

A friend of mine recieved a resonse to a blog post she wrote regarding her daughter's birthmark here: http://shepherding.typepad.com/my_weblog/2009/01/to-say-the-right-thing.html

I also read a really inspiring post from a mother with a deaf child here:

Maybe these links will be a blessing to you.

Since you've posted pictures of Adele I have been marveling at how beautiful she is and how God created her so perfectly. After reading this post I continue to marvel at her beauty and her kind creator.



Leah said...

Words fail me at the moment. Just know that your precious Adele is perfectly beautiful! Our thoughts and prayers are with you as you wait for her next appointment.

Exodus 34:6 "And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, 'The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,'" (from our Bible reading in school today)

Much love,
The Terrys

Michelle said...

I just saw this. Thinking of you and lifting you up in prayer as you await Adele's next appt.

Timothy has a little boy in his homeschool co-op class who is deaf, and let me tell you, that little man does not miss out on a moment of life!

God bless you all.

Anonymous said...

Rebecca dearest, you and your family are soooo precious. I am a follower of your blog. I love it and this is the second time? i have ever posted in about 6 months in finding you.I want you to know I am praying for you! You are very strong,and gifted. I am sure you will reach out to many lives in all of this dear. We are praying! God bless you dear one. Chloe

Mandie said...

Rebecca, one last thing. I was thinking about you and Adele today as I was vacuuming for some reason, but regarding you "asking" for a deaf child, please, please don't think that at all. It seems to me that it was God's eternal plan~ HE put the desire for you to learn ASL in your heart early on because He had sweet Adele in His mind even then. It was His perfect plan~ HIS idea first! Our all-wise, all-knowing God was preparing you for that beautiful girl that was just a twinkle in your eye! Please take heart in these things. We love you 5 so much.

Anonymous said...

Rebecca, what a beautiful family you have, each one made as God wanted them to be! With ASL you can communicate with Adele very well and even earlier than you did with your other young ones in many ways. Google "babies and sign language".

My dear friend and neighbor laughs about her beautiful son telling her he wanted his shoes taken off, when he was not quite six months old! In her case, he hears, she does not. God provides always and in all cases. Let us praise Him always! I hope this helps.

Donna (just a reader who cares)

Anonymous said...

Dear sweet little baby, when one of the senses is silenced, the others will thrive! Mama, she is soaking up all the love from you! With each baby for me came different obstacles - my last being in the NICU and an open-ended question at to the problems he may face as he grows - his hearing was one of them. Many, many hours of prayers I sent up while I watched him in his isolet, and I was given peace and strength to cope.

We are truly blessed by the children we're gifted by God, and always remember that you will be blessed and given the tools you need. You are Adele's protector and guide and you will show her all the love that exists in all the forms that God created.

I hate to think of special circumstances as 'disabilities', but more a special ABILITY that is gifted to only a precious few to look into and interact in this world differently.

Keep your spirits high, you have a beautiful family! Love and hugs to that baby girl!


alison b said...

i havent been on your blog much lately because my own sweet new baby girl is taking all my time, night and day. did you know norah is a big sister???

wanted to say we are not sure baby charlotte can see, so i understand what you are going through.

many prayers for you and for adele.


Grandma Bibby said...

I don't know if my comment didn't get sent or what, but I want you to know that a baby does not have to hear you to know it is loved. I am so very sure that she knows this. Remember God will not give you more than you can bear. This precious baby is a gift from Him, and He placed her in the best place for her. Keep the faith.

Robin in New Jersey said...

I know a family who's youngest son was born deaf and they didn't know until he was a year old. He will be having a cochlear implant in two weeks. If your child is hard of hearing, I would think it would be good to know sooner than later because there may be things they can do for her now while she is young.

As I told my oldest daughter a few weeks ago, who is waiting for a diagnosis of osteogenesis imperfecta for her 8 month old daughter~~God gave that baby to you because he thought you would be the best parent for this particular disability.

Keep the faith!

Jerelene said...

Rebecca, try not to worry..God is in control..Sweet baby Adele couldn't have been given a better Momma than you!! God does still perform miracles. My son has Tourettes. I know as Mommas we want to fix everything and when we can't we tend to feel guilty. Don't!! God has a purpose for everything. That is what has helped me through dealing with my son's illness. I will keep you and you your family in my prayers!!

Andie said...

I have been long absent from the bloggy world. For that, I am sorry. God chose you for Adele, and Adele for you. No mistake about it. She is perfect, just the way she is...hearing or not. She knows you love her, and always will. May God bless you, and Adele, and the rest of your family.