Our story – update on Kalia

March 2012. I’m sitting on the children hospital chair crying… no actually, I’m sobbing. My husband’s arms are around me. He’s crying, too.

Our ENT specialist has just came and informed us that our 18-month-old daughter, Kalia, has moderate hearing loss that is progressive and eventually she will be profoundly deaf.

Some people ask, “Why me?” I’m asking “Why her? What good could possibly come of this?”  – that some people was me.

I have the experience of her life flashing before my eyes, or some possible version of her future life. It seems like many of the dreams that I have for my child just got erased.

All this time, she’s never heard a song that I’ve sung. She’s never heard a story that I’ve read. She’s never heard the words, “I love you.” All this time, she’s been living in silent and I never knew or do anything about it. I feel like a failure, what a bad mother!!

I open my eyes. I see my daughter’s face peering up from my husband’s side. She’s watching us, her parents cry. She sees they are distraught. Kalia’s face is full of concern, as if to ask, “What’s wrong?” I smile at the absurdity of the only possible answer. “Well, you can’t hear this whole time and we just found out!”

Then, as she just keep on playing with her sister, following her every steps of the way while keep on glancing at us, I saw her laughing, giggling, like nothing had happens, then I try to imagine Kalia’s perspective: a safe, happy life, surrounded by people who love her. I realize that for Kalia, nothing is wrong. Nothing has changed. Her dreams weren’t lost. She may not have even liked the dreams I had for her.

We make the choice to adopt Kalia’s perspective:

“There’s nothing wrong. It’s always been this way. Mom and Dad, it’s just time for you to learn something new.” ~Kalia

We learn American Sign Language. All four of us. We also opted for Cochlear implants in hoping for some type of technology help.

One years later, August 21, 2013. I sit in Kalia speech and pathology therapist’s office with my now three-year-old Kalia. There is some concerns on her lack of progress in therapy and we are hearing some opinion on why. “Kalia showing some sign on Autism and/or ADHD.”

The tears and mourning are the same, maybe slightly worse. I haven’t had a chance to let this whole having a deaf child settle in, now this? What is Autism, isn’t that only on boys? What is ADHD, what should we do now? Is God just really playing a cruel joke on us? Haven’t she go through enough?

I imagine after Cochlear implants, all will be well…. She will start listening,  she will progress in therapy, she will go to school, we’re all advancing on our sign language ability and all will be okay.

This new life of more evaluation and therapy and group sessions ahead of us almost seems too much. Then, I remember the gift Kalia gave us one years earlier, and I imagine the same words in a slightly different voice:

“There’s nothing wrong. It’s always been this way. Mom and Dad, it’s just time for you to learn something new.” ~Kalia

Ps. after few observations and test, Kalia does not have Autism nor ADHD. We have switch speech therapist since then.

Kalia and Mommy

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