February 10, 2009 Family Stories, hearing loss, microtia, Sensory System 0 Comments

By Cara, mother to Silas from China with bilateral microtia and atresia

In the early summer of 2007 my husband and I decided to have a third baby. We had two girls and knew we wanted a third child. I was praying about our decision one day and I had a thought come to my mind that we needed to adopt. This thought was clearly from God. Adoption was never something my husband and I had discussed. I was not opposed to the idea, but had never given it much thought. At church the following week, our pastor spoke on adoption. God was really hitting me hard! After church, I mentioned to my husband that I had felt God prompting us to adopt and he informed me he did not feel that way but did agree to pray about it.

Well, several months past and I was not pregnant yet. God was continuing to push my heart towards adoption and I finally did a little internet research. I looked up our agency, A Helping Hand, and saw their waiting child page. They did not have any waiting children at the time, but I bookmarked the page to check it again in the future. One day I was on the computer and decided to check the page again. When it opened, there were children! I was so excited! I looked through each file and my heart just fell in love with two of the little boys. One little boy was quickly matched with a family and my little Silas, who has bilateral microtia, stayed unmatched for three months. God was saving him for us. Meanwhile, I kept showing his picture to my husband who agreed he was adorable, but still was not feeling the same desire to adopt that I was. I quit asking him about it and just started praying that if this was God’s plan of us that he would quickly change his mind.

One Sunday in November, our pastor said a prayer in church that resonated with my husband about teaching us to love others. As he prayed this prayer over the next day God spoke clearly to him that he was going to teach him to love by adopting Silas. You can imagine my surprise and joy when he told me he thought God had chosen Silas to be our son! I immediately e-mailed the agency and was told another family was already interested in him. Oh, how my heart broke! We e-mailed back and said if anything changed, to let us know. Well, God had chosen Silas for us because the next day they sent a message saying that the family had changed their minds. We immediately began the paperwork and the joy of sharing the news with family and friends!

Silas has been home since the summer of 2008 and is doing so well. The adjustment has been a challenge on our family, but it has been so worth it! Silas has bilateral microtia and atresia. Microtia is a deformity of the external ear. Both ears are deformed, so it is called bilateral. Atresia is a deformity of the inner ear. Silas’ ear canals are misshaped and have some soft tissue inside. Silas has moderate to severe hearing loss due to the ear deformity. He wears a BAHA (bone anchored hearing aid) on a soft band. It is made by the Cochlear company. The band has a small box that vibrates when Silas hears a noise. The vibrations go to the inner ear and Silas’ hearing with the BAHA on is close to normal. He loves wearing his BAHA and asks for it in the morning. His language development is coming along very well. He is in speech therapy and is repeating and saying lots of words. Next year he will enter a speech and language based pre-school that is specifically for hearing impaired students. I know cost defers many people from adopting, especially special needs children. Our insurance paid for his BAHA (after some work on our part) and our county will pay for the preschool program due to his special needs. Help is out there to defer costs.

The future for Silas will hold many surgeries to repair his ears. Age five seems to be the earliest most doctors will begin surgery to repair the ear. Because Silas has both ears involved, it will take longer because only one ear can be done at a time. We will first repair the internal ear. We are still undecided if we are going to repair the external ear. People ask how we got a boy from China and we explain the special needs program. People look and ask what his special need is. Most people do not even notice Silas’ ears until we tell them. We will continue to research and pray so that we make the right decision in the future.

What started as a tug in my heart to adopt has led us to a joyful, energetic, special needs two-year-old boy from China. Silas has changed our family dynamic and we are so blessed to be his parents.

Please feel free to check out our family blog here that also contains our travel journal.

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