One year ago today, Gigi landed in the U.S. and met her brothers and sisters. For those of you who haven’t met Gigi, she is Deaf and blind in her left eye. Prior to coming to our family, Gigi had no language at all. We introduced her to American Sign Language (ASL).
On this day, one year ago, our kids jumped right into the long, crazy journey of giving Gigi language via signing. Gigi’s native language is now ASL. She can tell you all about it now. ‘Sign, please.’ She’ll ask you to do it now, when she’s not understanding what is happening around her.
In our home, equal access, always.
Because of this quest for equal access, we have had to change up some of our holiday traditions in fantastic ways. In our home, there is a tradition of reading The Polar Express at Christmas time. This month, the kids were gifted the movie. They’re watching it right now. It was time to create equal access for Gigi by signing the book first, so that she understood the story. I am not skilled enough to interpret this book her. So, we turned to the internet. ASL Nook has many, many wonderful Christmas stories in ASL.
This is Gigi now, with one year of language. She is watching the story signed to her, looking at the matching book in front of her, and signing right along.
Now she’s watching the movie with her sisters. We have a couch, right behind them. It’s empty. They always choose to sit with Gigi on the big bean bag pillow we got her so she could move closer to the screen for a better view.
I credit all of Gigi’s siblings with where she is today, cuddling with the sisters she loves so much, wearing the shirt she wore when she came home. We really do rise by lifting others. Gigi has lifted us higher than we could have ever imagined. Thank you, Gigi.
–FullPlateMom, who is so grateful for the gift of ASL, and large families.