Saturday, March 6, 2010
I have been asked if there were times I ever felt overwhelmed when raising my two older Deaf children. Yes, and God always sent someone my way, who encouraged me to believe I was capable.
The first year my son (at that time 4 years old) was in The Regional School for the Deaf, he was in a school play. I was so excited. Mrs. S (then almost 18 months old) and I were in the audience and as I fought back tears of pride, exhaustion, my baby was overly tired because it was way past her bedtime...and then I saw a new friend. She was Deaf, the Mother of children in the same school, she always took the time to Sign with me as she smiled and encouraged me towards my goal of learning Sign Language. That night, she smiled patiently as I struggled to sign with my limited vocabulary while holding a fussy baby. I was embarrassed and overwhelmed...I signed, "I just don't know if I can do this." She looked at me, smiled, touched my baby's shoulder and signed, "You will do this, you must do this for your children and for yourself." How powerful her words were to me...I went home convinced that yes I could and would accomplish my goals to learn Sign Language for my children and myself.
Many years later, Mrs. S was a freshman in college. I was a Sign Language Interpreter at that same college. One day I was asked to interpret a meeting between a new student and the director of our department. I was interpreting the meeting when the director excused herself because she had to take a phone call. The new student and I were chatting away, when I looked at her and signed, "I know you from somewhere." She signed back the same to me. I looked at her face as she smiled and then I jumped up and reminded her of our discussion at the school play many years ago. She shared a look of amazement with me. I thanked her for being such a positive role model in my life. I told her how her encouragement - empowered me to continue learning Sign Language and ultimately become an interpreter for the Deaf.
God's blessings never cease to amaze me.