One Moment

     I recently had the pleasure of meeting a very seasoned “special couple” They have a daughter in her thirties who is profoundly deaf. They poured their life and heart out to my husband and I in a very short period of time….when you’ve come as far as they have as parents, a few minutes is all you need…

     They spoke of how they realized she was deaf, and how many times they had suspicions and were told they were over-anxious first time parents. They then explained how they moved across the country to find the services and schools they knew their daughter needed—No jobs in sight, and they moved from Ohio to California without even questioning themselves. After many years and moves, the Mother stated so simply that when their daughter was 6 years old, she saw a person that had a physical disability, and in her innocent, newly found voice, she said to her mother, “I am so glad I don’t have a disability.” All their hard work, sweat, and tears came down to that one moment. They had placed her in a school setting with professionals that taught her all about the hearing world and how to function in it. Every moment of doubt or questioning themselves as special parents became a quick memory in that one single moment.

     As the Mom was speaking, I instantly began to weep. I wept because isn’t that what all of us want? We want all these appointments, research, running on empty wondering if it will all truly be worth it one day—to come down to one moment just like that. Maybe some of our kids wouldn’t be able to communicate that to us as beautifully as their daughter did, but even if our moment came down to some form of confirmation from our child or someone that has to do with our child’s functioning that we did OK. Because when it comes down to it, the approval of our kids is one of the main goals—at least it is for me.

     I look forward to the day when my Olivia is ready to tell me thank you for all of the services I made sure she had, or that she doesn’t feel inside any different than anyone else she comes in contact with—because of the way we treated her, and never made her feel any different.

     I also wept at the thought of that feeling as a parent. When we became parents, whether we knew our child had different abilities right away or not, parenting in general is a challenge. We all want to do the right thing for all of our kids-we want to help guide them in their decisions; we want what’s best for them. And the ultimate would be to get some kind of confirmation of that—verbal or otherwise.

     The tears I shed while driving away from meeting them were much different than the tears I have shed on my special parenting journey thus far.  They were filled with hope for Olivia’s future, and for our family as a whole. This beautiful couple that shared their special story with us, filled us with expectation and hope for the future—not just for Olivia’s future, but also for ours as parents. They taught us that we will survive—they’re proof.

     How many of us had to travel across the country to get services for our child? We may have had our share of obstacles along the way, trying to find the right professionals to be on our child’s team, but I’m pretty certain not many of us had to do what they did.

      I feel they are an inspiration to special parents everywhere. I’m sure they don’t feel that way… through their humbling, genuine words; I realized that they did what any one of us would have done. They didn’t have a choice. When you become a special parent, you realize that your needs and wants are no longer an issue; all that matters is your child. They are the epitome of parenthood.

     My hope for you and your family this month is that you will remember the simple words of this precious little girl at such a young age—and look forward to your moment just like that. And instead of filling your days with worry and thoughts of doubt in this journey with your child, focus on the hope and expectancy of your moment, and know that you’re doing a good job.


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About Maria Spencer

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