Adopting a Deaf Child: The Special Need That Took a New Shape

December 11, 2018 ASL, cochlear implants, December 2018 Feature - Sensory, hearing loss, profound deafness, Sensory System, speech delay 2 Comments

Our story begins when I was in middle school and took a basic sign language class. I loved this manual language, and it’s amazing how the signs stuck with me for the next 25 years. But my husband was the first one of the two of us who had a heart for adoption. Between us, …Read More

Life Isn’t Fair: Parenting Children with Multiple Special Needs

October 29, 2018 adopting later in life, adopting two at once, autism, cochlear implants, developmental delays, Developmental System, epilepsy, hearing loss, large families, October 2018 Feature - Developmental, Sensory Processing Issues, Sensory System, undiagnosed SN, virtual twins 6 Comments

I don’t remember the exact moment when adoption was put on my heart and in my mind. But, I do remember it was all consuming. I tried to get away from it. But, I couldn’t. It was there and it wouldn’t go away. It was 2015. By early 2016 I finally worked the nerve up …Read More

When Fear Turns To Joy

October 23, 2018 22qdeletion syndrome, adopting a boy, adopting again, cognitive delay, developmental delays, Developmental System, Family Stories, hearing aids, hearing loss, IEP, older child adoption, speech delay, Tetralogy of Fallot 1 Comments

I remember sitting there staring. Staring at the notes that I had just scribbled down. My mind was racing and yet it was paralyzed. I had just gotten off the phone with the cardiologist who reviewed the file of a girl that my husband, Dan, and I had requested him to review. I was expecting …Read More

More Than I Could See: Adopting a Non-Verbal Child

September 22, 2018 Developmental System, Family Stories, hearing loss, non-verbal, older child adoption, profound deafness, Sensory System 1 Comments

It was sentiment we shared for 15 months: we were way in over our heads with this adoption. We had said “yes” to a seven and a half year old daughter who was deaf and had never received the gift of language. There were no schools available to teach her in her province. Consequently, she …Read More

Say What? – Six Months Later

April 9, 2018 apraxia of speech, Brandie, early intervention, Education, hearing aids, hearing loss, sign language, speech delay, speech therapy, undiagnosed SN, velopharyngeal Insufficiency 1 Comments

Six months ago, I shared about our journey with Caston through his surprise diagnosis of hearing loss and severe speech delay. Six months! Half of a year. It seems like just yesterday that I sat down to write about our experience. Since then, I’ve seen so many parents with questions and concerns relating to speech …Read More

Adopting a Deaf Child: What We’ve Learned So Far

December 2, 2017 adopting a boy, adopting again, ASL, cochlear implants, cued speech, December 2017 Feature - Sensory, hearing aids, hearing loss, profound deafness, Sensory System 6 Comments

We entered the deaf/hoh (hard of hearing) world three years ago when we adopted our first son. He was five years old with severe to profound hearing loss. His file stated that he was hard of hearing but could hear and talk with hearing aids. No big deal, we thought! If he can hear and …Read More

Our Leap of Faith: Adopting Our Son With Bilateral Microtia and Atresia

December 1, 2017 adopting a boy, ASL, BAHA, December 2017 Feature - Sensory, early intervention, Family Stories, hearing aids, hearing loss, microtia, Ponto, Sensory System, sign language, speech therapy 0 Comments

About five years ago, my husband and I began considering international adoption. We had two biological daughters, yet we both started feeling like our family wasn’t complete. During that time we researched many countries and decided China’s program would be the best fit for our family. However, the process was daunting and there was still …Read More

Say What?

October 9, 2017 attachment activities, Brandie, early intervention, Education, first weeks home, first year home, hearing aids, hearing loss, Newly Home, sign language, speech delay, speech therapy, undiagnosed SN, velopharyngeal Insufficiency 0 Comments

“I don’t get it,” I said to my friend several years ago when she mentioned she was having her toddler evaluated by an early intervention team to assess his speech. “He’s not even two. He’s a late bloomer!” I assured her. I went on with anecdotes about our first born, now 15, who at two …Read More

Seeing Things Differently

September 9, 2017 BAHA, Craniofacial, Family Stories, hearing loss, limb difference, microtia, Orthopedic, Sensory System, September 2017 Feature - Visible Special Needs, visible special need 0 Comments

Recently someone reached out to ask what I would tell a group of Boy Scouts if I could speak to them as a special needs mom. This friend, who works everyday as a speech therapist, had been invited to speak to a local Boy Scout troop about interacting with children with special needs. Upon reading …Read More

Please Don’t Poke the Bear

July 23, 2017 adopting as first time parents, BAHA, Craniofacial, declining a referral, Family Stories, hearing loss, hemifacial microsomia, July 2017 Feature - Craniofacial, medical needs checklist, microtia, referral, speech therapy, waiting for referral 1 Comments

I call my daughter baby bear. For my first Mother’s Day, my husband presented us with matching mama bear/baby bear bracelets. SJ saw them and exclaimed: “SJ. Mama. Same!” Though I’ve never considered myself a shrinking violet by any means, this process, this crazy-beautiful, seemingly impossible way of becoming parents, has seemed to draw out …Read More

Cool Hats and Shaggy Haircuts: Adopting a Child with Microtia

July 18, 2017 adopting a boy, BAHA, Craniofacial, Family Stories, hearing loss, July 2017 Feature - Craniofacial, medical needs checklist, microtia, Sensory System, visible special need 2 Comments

(Let me start by saying I are so far from an expert on the topic of microtia and atresia. Just know that I am a loving mother with a son who happens to have this special bonus feature, not an ENT doctor.) When my husband and I filled out a medical checklist in February of …Read More

Hearing Loss: An Almost-Missed Diagnosis

June 5, 2017 adopting a boy, adopting again, Brandie, hearing aids, hearing loss, undiagnosed SN, waiting for referral 4 Comments

In late August 2014, I loaded up my three children and drove an hour to hand deliver our completed dossier to my adoption agency. After the months of meetings, paper chasing, notarizing, and certifying documents, I would only let those precious papers leave the firm grip of my fingers if they were placed directly in …Read More

Weathering Medical Surprises

May 9, 2017 adopting a boy, adopting again, Brandie, hearing aids, hearing loss, heart defect, oral aversion, Sensory Processing Issues, speech delay, undiagnosed SN, VSD 2 Comments

At the first sign of a chilly night in the fall, my husband and daughter take tarps to their little garden to cover her cherished tomato plants, hoping to buy them a little more time before the cold winter claims them. Around the same time, my husband and son begin the preparation for winter. They …Read More

The Little Girl No One Believed In

April 17, 2017 April 2017 Feature - CNS, Central Nervous System, cerebral palsy, Family Stories, hearing aids, hearing loss, hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy 3 Comments

I didn’t set out on this journey to become the parent of multiple children with special needs. It’s a funny thing, though, to see a dream evolve. As a young girl, I learned of the gender disparity in China and the preference for sons. In that moment, the seeds were planted in my heart and …Read More

Research, Reach Out, Advocate: Adopting a Child with Dual-Sensory Loss

December 13, 2016 December 2016 Feature - Sensory, Family Stories, glaucoma, hearing aids, hearing loss, IEP, public school, Sensory System, vision loss 3 Comments

Princess. Uniquely and wonderfully made. Perfect. One of a kind. (Actually, 1 of 347 in our state and 9,574 in the U.S.*) All words to describe our daughter Lily who joined our family in January of 2013. Her file stated bilateral congenital glaucoma. Fast forward three years… and she is legally blind, wears a sclera …Read More

When God Honors Our “Yes”: Our Sign Language Journey, Part Two

August 21, 2016 ASL, Attachment, August 2016 Feature - SIgn Language and Adoption, BAHA, cl/cp, cochlear implants, hearing loss, profound deafness, Sensory System, sign language 3 Comments

In Part one I described how the adoption of our daughter, Ava, born with cleft lip and palate and deafness, set us on a journey to become skilled in sign language. Our desire to support her ability to communicate with others led us on a roller-coaster of experiences and emotions, which culminated in our decision …Read More

When God Honors Our “Yes”: Our Sign Language Journey, Part One

August 10, 2016 adopting as first time parents, ASL, Attachment, August 2016 Feature - SIgn Language and Adoption, cl/cp, cochlear implants, Craniofacial, developmental delays, Family Stories, hearing loss, older child adoption, profound deafness, Sensory System, sign language 10 Comments

In May 2009, I first saw her face. She couldn’t possibly be our daughter; she didn’t “fit” any of the criteria we’d committed to on our Medical Needs Checklist and there was no way my husband would agree to adopting her. True, we’d agreed that caring for a child with cleft lip/palate was something we …Read More

A Little Piece of a Big Plan

July 16, 2016 adopting a boy, BAHA, Craniofacial, Family Stories, hearing aids, hearing loss, July 2016 Feature - Craniofacial, microtia, older child adoption, Ponto, Sensory System 0 Comments

“I just spoke to the director. He will call me when they’re about five minutes away.” It’s almost time. My heart is almost uncontainable. Everything. All of this. It’s about to happen. So many months, years, planning for this moment… Even though I shouldn’t be surprised, being a part of and seeing just a tiny …Read More

Sign Language and Adoption: A Reason to Sign

June 2, 2016 ASL, Attachment, attachment activities, August 2016 Feature - SIgn Language and Adoption, autism, China trip, Down syndrome, hearing loss, non-verbal, prepping for China, profound deafness, speech delay 7 Comments

When adopting internationally, almost every waiting parent worries, “How will I communicate with my new child?” Whether your new child is a year old or thirteen years old, if your child was not born in an English-speaking country, there will be some type of language barrier. This is even more true if you are adopting …Read More

Undiagnosed Hearing Loss: Wisdom from the Journey

January 28, 2016 BAHA, Education, Family Stories, hearing aids, hearing loss, Nager Syndrome, speech therapy, undiagnosed SN 1 Comments

We always knew there were unknowns, as all adoptive parents do. But the moment we saw their faces we knew they were ours. This is important to always remember. Most of us who adopt realize that the medical records we receive are not always accurate or trustworthy. But sometimes, you just don’t know the right …Read More

Love is a Universal Language

December 27, 2015 ASL, cochlear implants, December 2015 Feature - Sensory, Family Stories, hearing loss, Sensory System 0 Comments

Like nearly every adoptive parent in today’s international adoption realm, my husband and I began our adoption process with the (dreaded) Medical Conditions Checklist – a list of conditions that we felt prepared for and would be willing to review files for. Birthmarks, check. Missing digits, check. Sensory processing needs, check. As an autism specialist, …Read More

Hearing Zachary

December 22, 2015 December 2015 Feature - Sensory, hearing aids, hearing loss, Sensory System 1 Comments

Continuing to focus on sensory special needs, we have a special guest contributor. Sister to regular contributor Katie, Emily adopted a son from the Philippines, and today shares her story of discovering his undiagnosed need of hearing impairment. ………. I will never forget the moment I first saw his picture. We had no intention of …Read More

New Ears For Ellie Kate

December 1, 2015 ASL, attachment activities, cochlear implants, December 2015 Feature - Sensory, Family Stories, hearing loss, profound deafness, sedated ABR, Sensory System 0 Comments

When we started the adoption process for the second time, we knew things would look differently. Adopting a child through the Special Needs program in China was a huge step of faith for us and we had no idea what the next few months or even years would look for our family. While we were …Read More

Saying Yes Was Scary, Being Her Mother Is Not

October 7, 2015 cognitive delay, developmental delays, Developmental System, Family Stories, hearing loss, non-verbal, October 2015 Feature - Developmental 0 Comments

When my husband and I began our adoption journey in January of 2013 we, like most pre-adoptive parents, had a profile of sorts for the child we were hoping to adopt. We knew we wanted to adopt from China. We were hoping to adopt a girl and we knew we wanted to adopt a child …Read More

Coming Home: Sleeping Arrangements

September 30, 2015 Attachment, co-sleeping, cocooning, first year home, hearing loss, Nicole, September 2015 Feature - Coming Home 0 Comments

Finishing out September with our last post in our Coming Home series. We’ve covered a lot of ground this month, from siblings, to discipline, to friendships, to finding joy in the struggle. You can find all 14 posts here. So grateful for all the wisdom shared by our regular and guest contributors, it is our …Read More

A Back-to-School Letter

August 27, 2015 Carrie, Education, hearing loss, pre-school, public school, speech delay 2 Comments

Dear Teachers, Here we go! The start of a new year! First of all, you both have my great admiration. I do not know how you do it. The energy, patience, and creativity it takes to shape, mold, and sometimes just wrangle a whole crew of almost-three-year-olds is something I do not possess. I’m so …Read More

Microtia. What?

July 23, 2015 BAHA, Craniofacial, Family Stories, hearing loss, hemifacial microsomia, July 2015 Feature - Craniofacial, microtia, Sensory System, speech therapy, velopharyngeal Insufficiency 6 Comments

“My ear hurts mommy.” “Which ear honey? Do both ears hurt?” “No, silly. This one doesn’t hurt. It’s not open. It’s teeny tiny.” Olivia was 3 and this was the first time that I knew of that she noticed that her right ear didn’t match the left. We had never made a big deal out …Read More

On Being an Adoptive Dad

June 1, 2015 a father's perspective, Dads, hearing loss, June 2015 Feature - Let's Hear It For Dads, reluctant husband, Sensory System 3 Comments

June is here and as we move into a new month, we also begin a new Feature here on NHBO. In April and May our focus was on attachment. This month, in honor of Father’s Day, our focus will be… you guessed it, Dads. We are looking forward to sharing posts from adoptive dads all …Read More

When Labels Don’t Stick

October 15, 2014 Carrie, hearing loss, hemifacial microsomia, microtia, sedated ABR, Sensory System 4 Comments

It’s been a year since I paused while writing a post for this very site and glanced at the photo-listings for children on our agency’s website. And I saw her. It was a morning exactly like this one. I was up early, before the sun came up. The cup of coffee growing cold beside the …Read More

When the voiceless break into song (from Isaiah 35)

May 19, 2014 a father's perspective, BAHA, hearing loss, microtia, Mike, Sensory System 1 Comments

As a dad of six, I know that I am not objective in assessing my own kids. Often, I see them in too favorable of a light, and I find myself measuring our family room mantle to see if it will hold six Nobel Prizes, six Olympic medals, and six Academy Awards at the same …Read More

waiting child highlight: adopting a deaf child

February 2, 2014 Family Stories, hearing loss, Sensory System, shared list, special focus 3 Comments

For as long as I can remember, I have always dreamed of having a little girl. I also dreamed of adopting an Asian girl, but I wasn’t sure where she’d be from- China, Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, or the Philippines? In September of 2010, I stumbled on an advocacy blog for children waiting in China. …Read More

Thank God they ARE mine!

October 14, 2012 cerebral palsy, Family Stories, hearing loss, limb difference, moyamoya, neurofibromatosis, Sensory System 4 Comments

Our story starts in 2004, when I had a complicated pregnancy with my first child, Gianna, and was advised not to ever get pregnant again. This was actually fine with me because I’d always been drawn toward adoption. We adopted our second child in 2007, another daughter we named Camille, from Kazakhstan. After strong suspicions …Read More

Good Things Come in Small Packages

April 13, 2012 hearing loss, Laine, Sensory System 3 Comments

It is a common expression, and it is completely appropriate for the subject of this post…but I must add a disclaimer. Good things come in really big packages too! 🙂 In this case, the small package is a $3,500.00 little black box about the size of my thumbnail. It attaches to a screw implanted in …Read More

Dealing with the Undisclosed Need

May 27, 2011 BAHA, hearing loss, Sensory System, Wife of the Prez 0 Comments

Let me preface this post by saying that in all reality, hearing loss is NOT a total shock (or it shouldn’t be) when a child also was born with cleft lip and palate. In fact, I asked the audiologist we saw today and she confirmed to me that many of her patients have cleft lip …Read More

Pei

February 7, 2011 Craniofacial, facial palsy, Family Stories, hearing loss, microtia, Sensory System 0 Comments

By Nicole, mom to Pei from China with a SN of microtia and facial palsy Journeys of Faith Often Have Limited Sight We were a family of four before we traveled to Russia in July of 2008 to meet a little girl who needed a family. We had no information about this child prior to …Read More

What Happens?

March 16, 2010 hearing loss, Linny, Sensory System 9 Comments

Special needs sound so scary to many. And truthfully, the known special needs can be pretty overwhelming. But what if there is some unknown special need? Something that isn’t discovered until your child is home? One of the main purposes of this blog is to advocate for special needs kids and talk truthfully about special …Read More

Our First Birthday Together!

January 14, 2010 BAHA, Education, hearing loss, homeschool, Laine, microtia, older child adoption, speech delay, speech therapy 4 Comments

Last year she celebrated with her beloved foster mama… but this year she celebrates with her forever mama and forever family! 😉 Thank you Jesus! We brought our 7 year old, Candie, home on Halloween of 2008. Her birthday is 8/23/00. Her special need is bi-lateral microtia/atresia. Candie is a happy little girl and for …Read More

Mother Therapy

January 4, 2010 Andrea, early intervention, Education, hearing loss, microtia, speech delay, speech therapy 11 Comments

As parents, we naturally look for our child’s accomplishments. It is a unique gift we’ve been given. An Olympian can have his whole country cheering for him, but the only people he wants to see in the stands are his mom and dad. When my 2-year old daughter Lydia runs a crayon across a piece …Read More

Ryan

June 22, 2009 Family Stories, hearing loss, microtia, Sensory System 0 Comments

by Darcy, mom to Ryan from China with bilateral microtia/atresia “Such A Time As This” After several years of trying to adopt domestically, God led us to pursue international adoption. In October of 2005, our family traveled to China to adopt our daughter, Rylee. Our oldest son, my husband, and myself soaked up the experience, …Read More

Candace

February 25, 2009 Craniofacial, Family Stories, hearing loss, microtia, older child adoption, Sensory System 0 Comments

by Laine, mom to Candace from China with bilateral microtia/atresia Older Child Adoption (and out of birth order, too!) After experiencing toddler adoption (two at one time!), my husband and I felt the call again from the Lord to adopt… only this time He called us to an eight year old girl who has bi-lateral …Read More

Aidan Hope

February 13, 2009 Family Stories, hearing loss, Living Hope, microtia, Sensory System 0 Comments

by Tracy, mom to Aidan Hope from China with microtia When I was in 7th grade, I purchased a used book from our county’s Book-mobile service. It was called The Family That Nobody Wanted, by Helen Doss. It was the story of a young pastor’s wife, unable to bear her own biological children, who desired …Read More

Silas

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 …Read More

Lydia Mei

February 8, 2009 Craniofacial, Family Stories, hearing loss, HepB+, Infectious, microtia, Sensory System 0 Comments

By Andrea, mom to Lydia Mei from China with a SN of unilateral microtia/aural atresia We began our adoption journey in hopes of adding children to our home, but ultimately we found a much greater purpose and passion. The road to parenthood by way of China brought us into a deeper understanding of how we …Read More

Mia Chu Chu

January 29, 2009 Family Stories, hearing loss, microtia, Sensory System 0 Comments

By Anne, mom to Mia Chu Chu from China with hearing loss/ bilateral microtia Our adoption journey began in the fall of 2006 when we initiated paperwork for a “healthy” infant adoption from China. Like so many other adopting families, the drastic increase in wait times inspired us to check out China’s special needs program. …Read More

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