It's been a while! I've missed you! It still amazes me that I type out my thoughts and without speaking an audible word, you hear me way out on the other side of the world... next door... a few towns away... my thoughts connecting with yours. The complexities of "connection" never cease to amaze me.
Sivana is turning five this Fall and she is such an eager learner. She is quiet and sweet but her determination makes her impatient with being taught... so she tackles learning hands-on whether we're ready or not. :)
There is an FM device that schools typically provide for children with hearing aids. A receiver hangs around the neck of the person wearing hearing aids which connects to the microphone on the teacher which allows direct connection to the hearing aids. A brilliant way to ensure that despite all the noise around, a clear voice is heard directly. Well, there is a wireless bluetooth technology approach to this same concept. Unfortunately, we found out that despite paying school taxes, because we homeschool our children, we are not eligible to be provided with this technology. So we have been saving up for several months to buy Sivana her own Compilot. Once purchased, we visited the audiologist who set it up with Sivana's hearing aids.
Then, the moment... trying it out for the first time.
The device hung around Sivana's neck as we turned the button on and a little blue light appeared. Then I put the microphone on my shirt and turned the button and watched the little blue light flash until it was in sync. Then I spoke.
"Sivana, can you hear mommy?"
I wandered into another room where she couldn't see me and I spoke again.
"Sivana, can you still hear mommy?"
Her beautiful giggle warmed my heart as she joyfully said "Yes! I can!"
We held hands walking back to the van and giggled together about how much fun this was. She climbed into the far back seat, put her seatbelt on and I looked into my rear view mirror at my beautiful little girl and I got to speak to her.
"Sivana... can you still hear me?"
Her eyes looked up at me in the mirror and she smiled with reassurance "yes Mommy!"
Our van is so noisy that I have given up trying to converse with Sivana while driving. Even with her hearing aids, my voice simply cannot carry to her adequately. But that day... oh my dears... that day we talked about everything we saw on our drive. We sang songs and I choked back tears of joy at the barrier between us that was no longer there.
It was more than connecting sound to ears, it was more than connecting thought to thought, understanding and being understood... it was heart to heart, joy to joy, mother to daughter. I praised God for His provisions... for the ability to purchase such a device. It seems so simple but what it accomplished is immeasurable.
Sivana is adjusting very well to it. The last time I sat with her to homeschool, I wore the mic. On her receiver, she has a + and - sign to control the volume. I burst out laughing as we were wrapping up (but not yet done) our lesson and I watched her click the - button to turn my volume off! Too funny!! She giggled when she saw that I'd caught on to what she was doing... Ok, Ok, I can take a hint.
Another really cool aspect to this technology is that it allows Sivana to sync with the teaching iPad so that the sound goes directly to her hearing aids. It is a great tool.
Aside from the new technology, Sivana is visited monthly by a Speech Therapist and a Teacher for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. We are so grateful for the skill sets these lovely women contribute to Sivana's learning and adapting. The other day, as I was walking the teacher back towards her vehicle, she turned to me and said "I have been teaching for over twenty years. I have never seen a child as bright as Sivana. You've gotta set the bar high for her... she deserves it."
She has done three different assessment/aptitude tests and Sivana is above average in the category of hearing children, let alone those dealing with hearing impairment! See what I mean by my statement that she is an eager learner? Oy! The LORD has blessed her and I cannot praise Him enough for the strength He gives her and the gentleness of her heart. Even during one of the aptitude tests, the person asked "What is your favourite color?" So Sivana answered but before the woman could continue, Sivana says "what is YOUR favourite color?" The woman looked surprised but answered her then continued. "What is your Father's name?" "Duane... what is YOUR Father's name?" The woman smiled and shared her father's name. By the end, this woman looked at me and said "I've been doing this test with many children some as old as seventeen. Never have I experienced the questions being asked of me! Your daughter is thriving and is so engaged."
My dear ones... I delight in these, my special children. I cannot thank God enough for trusting them in my care, allowing me to be witness to their lives. I feel so privileged to be their mama and I just pray that He equip me for the task, that He keeps me humble and open to reason, just as eager to learn. It is a level of connection that exceeds capacity for words... but quiet understanding keeps good company with it.
Wherever you are, thank you for connecting with me just now. I pray that you are blessed this day and always... that you are eager to learn and to be engaged with others... to care more about the details of who they are than your own details being known. I pray that you be rich with connection. God bless you!