When I am in the car with Maverick, I am his personal DJ. I don’t mind. There is no sweeter sound to me than his little voice singing along to his favorite songs. I remind myself often that it could have been so different. I don’t want to take for granted that I am witness to a miracle every day.
Soon after Maverick was born, the nurse said he had failed his hearing test. I had them test him three more times. He failed. My husband and I thought he had been handed a fate of loneliness and isolation—a lifetime of learning disabilities, shame, embarrassment, and social awkwardness. We thought he had been robbed of all the moments in his life that we listen to and take for granted. No voices, no songs, no laughter, no whispers, no sound.
Six weeks later, we were in the doctor’s office doing more extensive tests. I prayed those tests would be wrong. They weren’t. But God heard my prayer. The doctor made a call, and minutes later we were in the waiting room at Hearts for Hearing. A small but mighty team came out and scooped us out of the waiting room as soon as we got there. I cried while they told us they could help. I believed them.
Hearts for Hearing gave us every resource—an education on what we would need to do to help our baby talk and listen. They understood our discouragement, frustration, fear, anger, and celebrated every small victory. They were there to offer hope on the day we found out he couldn’t hear, and they were there to celebrate with us on the day he was able to hear our voices for the first time at 11 months old. By age three, he didn’t need any more speech therapy. Not only did we notice he was speaking clearly and without even a trace of a speech impediment, but he had even picked up his dad’s slow, southern drawl.
Maverick is 8 years old now. He continues to crush the stereotypes of a kid born with hearing loss. Instead of developmental delays, Maverick has danced center court at Chesapeake Arena,and is becoming quite the athlete since he recently scored the buzzer-beater for the win in overtime of the first basketball game of the season. Instead of learning disabilities, Maverick is one of the top readers in his class and brought home a 100 average in spelling. His teacher says he is always focused, he thinks before he answers, he is a very fluent reader, he is a super speller, and is great at math. He is a good listener. That last one is my favorite. He makes it easy to forget that his success was ever in question.
We traveled more than two hours each way to go to Hearts for Hearing each week, but we would do it all over again. They care about each family and make a point to know our names and our stories so we can work as a team to make listening and learning possible for our children. My hope is that the next mom who finds herself in my shoes will have the same open door I had.
The guidance that Hearts for Hearing generously gave on our journey to listening is priceless. The lives that have been touched, and will be touched, are countless. The possibilities for Maverick are endless. Our lives could’ve been so different—so difficult, so sad, so quiet. Instead our lives are full of sound. Thank you Hearts for Hearing and all those who donated before we came!