Deafness, Gigi

Building You Up.

This is pretty much all of how I spend my days lately.


DSC_0022It looks lovely.  And, for the most part, it is.

It’s also exhausting.

Building Gigi up involves following her around absolutely all day and commenting on everything she does.  “Gigi is building.”  “Gigi is playing with Sofia.”  “Gigi has the green block.”

Gigi moves like lightning.

One activity to another, running from activity to activity commenting on EVERYTHING she’s doing.

Fun facts like “infants hear words up to 5000 times before they master the word”, echo in my head at night when I finally stop running.  How can I maximize the number of times she sees a sign?  She’s blind in one eye.  Am I signing in her remaining visual field enough?  Am I giving her enough language input?  Am I learning fast enough?  Should I take another class?

DSC_0024I see her learning.  I see her signing so fast that her hands blur in most pictures.  But we’re in a critical window here.  I, quite literally, am running against a clock before we miss that window, before it’s too late for her to make gains she’ll need to be as fluent as I would like her to be.  Or, so I’m told, over and over, as I’m asked to do more and more and more to help her.

On top of that, I’m attempting to master a foreign language and navigate a new culture.  A culture that, I’ve got to tell you, isn’t super welcoming to the hearing mom who is trying to gain fluency.  A culture who, overall, disrespects my decisions and her place in our family.  A culture that, largely, thinks I’m not good enough.

I’m still working through the punch to the gut that is her heart.  I have no new answers on that.

I had to call Audiology three times for them to tell me that they can’t see us until the end of the month.  Meanwhile, I’m being asked to make decisions for fall based on whether she’ll have any access to sound.

I’m doing all this while the local school district offers us NO services.  I get eight different answers from eight different school personnel to the same questions about her.  We have been home four months now, with a child with no language, and we are still “being evaluated.”  Any services Gigi receives are also because I’ve fought to get them for her.  Because I found them.  Because I paid for them.

I’m building her up.  But…

It’s tearing me down a little right now.

This is the price.  It’s not the thousands in adoption fees.  It’s not the two weeks in China.  It’s this.  The real work has begun now.

Being “real” here involves saying that.

Sometimes, you, as a mom, get torn down a little while you work to build your child up.  DSC_0030In the end of the day though, there’s this.  An infectious giggle with a mouth full of cereal as she plays, grows, and learns.

I have to hold onto that as I repeat “This too shall pass” over and over.

–FullPlateMom, who may need to be torn down in order to be built back up.



2 thoughts on “Building You Up.”

  1. Oh, I am on the middel of it… And I am worn out! Now I pay the price with my own health. . I am taking a timeout , from work, trying to build my self up. I know I had to do what was right for my RAD- and multippel other diagnoses- kid, but sure wish I took more care of myself.


  2. Hello,

    I saw your recent comment on the ASL THAT! FB page about how you and your family are learning ASL for your newly adopted daughter. I started learning ASL almost nine years ago and have graduated from an interpreting program in college. It breaks my heart to hear that you haven’t felt welcomed in the Deaf community. There are so many wonderful people within the community and it sounds like maybe you have just come into contact with some very negative ones. Please know that there are many who are cheering you on and support the decisions that you are making for your child.

    I also saw your most recent post about how Gigi may be losing her vision. Through my experience, I have worked with and met many individuals who are both Deaf and blind. They can still utilize sign language via tactile communication and it is truly a beautiful thing to see how they are still thriving members of society. Many of them hold jobs, have friends/relationships and are very intelligent. Please don’t lost hope. Stick with the journey- it will be worth it in the end.


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