Friday, June 12, 2009



That's a typical first word for an almost eleven month old, right?

Don't forget...he's an almost eleven month old that just started hearing a litlte over a month ago.

And,'s not his first word. That was Mama. Loved that.

I guess it's not his second, either. That was ball. Then came bam, bam, bam!

But still. Cock-a-doodle-doo is pretty impressive, even if it did come out sounding similar to "Bah Bah Boooooo!" The inflection was right, and the vowel sounds were good. He had never heard the word before, and he imitated it immediately in therapy the other day.

Color me shocked.

If it's not obvious from the above, Seth is doing well. Really well. Really, really well. So well that his therapists said they've never seen a baby respond so quickly or start giving sounds back so naturally. Who knows what it is...his early age at implantation, going bilateral right away, his therapy, or just Seth himself being awesome?

Well, I know what it is. God has blessed us beyond measure with Seth, and He has blessed Seth beyond measure by giving him all of the above. The chance to be implanted at 8 months. The opportunity to hear bilaterally. Access to great therapists and audiologists. A fun loving, cheerful personality that helps him want to learn to talk and listen. What a great God He is!

Every morning, I wake up excited to see what Seth will learn and do. I love to watch him becoming more aware of his siblings, and his siblings becoming more able to help him play and learn. It is a joy to watch them all play together, and, now more than ever, it is becoming clear to me what an awesome gift Seth was to our family. If he had not lost his hearing, we would have missed out on so much.

Seth makes us stop and think about people who are born with disabilities beyond our imagining. He makes us ache for other parents in circumstances similar to or much worse than ours. He has given me an empathy for other families with challenges I don't know if I've ever had before. As much as I hate to admit it, I was one of those people who saw other families with kids with disabilities or issues and I thought "thank goodness it is them and not me. I could never handle that."

But now I know. You don't handle it. God handles it. You put one foot in front of the other, you try to advocate for your child the best way you can, and you take what you get and make the best of it. When the answers are bad, you make a new gameplan. When they're good, you celebrate like crazy because, truthfully, it is all about the little things.

For us, it's about hearing Mama, Ball, Ba-Ba-Booo! from a little boy who we thought would never hear or speak. It's about seeing him whip his head around when I call his brother, or crack up laughing when he hears me tell him "No." It's about having to shush him in church because he is jabbering so loudly, then almost bursting into joyful tears because I never though I'd get to do that, to tell him to be quiet.

When I realize that all of this...all of it...his premature birth, all his medical issues, his deafness, every step towards his cochlear implants, including meeting many people online who have turned into true and real friends to us, his fundraiser, which went so well only God could have been handling it, his surgery and activation...and now, him being a typical almost 11 month old with age appropriate language development...has all happened in one short year...I can't believe it. I feel like I have lived a lifetime in this year.

What a run on sentence that was. I apologize. I got a little carried away.



Krystal Meyer said...

A friend of mine sent me a link to your blog a few months ago and I've been following it ever since. I'm finishing up my master's degree in early intervention in deaf education at Fontbonne University (focus on oralism) in St. Louis, MO, and it's been a joy to hear the successes that you've had! He's such a cute baby and it's great to hear how much you've advocated for his needs. I look forward to reading more about his progress!

Kameron said...

That is so awesome! It is amazing he is adapting so well. :o)

Sonya said...

Praise the Lord!! I am so excited to see how he is progressing! Truly awesome!

Mommy3 said...

How great! I am glad to hear that Seth is doing so well! He is such an amazing baby...and how wonderful he'll be able to hear his happy birthday song when he turns 1 soon! I am still keeping all of you in my thoughts and prayers daily.

Brent, Missy, Aubrey, Eli, & Nathaniel Copes said...

That picture of Seth is adorable! I am so glad he is progressing so quickly!

Madison Sanders said...

That's all God, honey!

I know you're lovin' every minute of it!

Hall Family in MD said...

What an amazing little boy with an amazingly inspiring Momma =)

Cathy said...

It still amazes me that in the short time I've followed Seth on your blog, he has come so far! It is such a joy to watch him learn and grow. I so appreciate you sharing his story and the rest of your family's story so that I can be a small part of it. It is such a blessing to pray for you all and to hear "cock-a-doodle-doo!" I say you ought to keep crowing over precious Seth!

Tricia said...

I really hope they will make major changes to how and when they implant children. Personally, I don't think we need any research to prove that early implantation AND bilateral implantation are key. Emmi was pretty much stalled out until she received that second implant. In six months, she gained TWO YEARS of language. Prior to her second implant, she had been implanted for 1.5 years, with very slow progress. Obviously, that second implant was key. I have no doubt that if she had received bilateral implants without the six month waiting period and the other delays we faced (INSURANCE!), she would have been in much better shape.

Besides all that, Seth is just awesome!

Emily said...

It warms my heart to hear how well he's doing ....just soaking up all those words and sounds. Praise God.

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