Who we are. Jonathan.


I asked Jon to give me some points he wanted to highlight about himself and he said, “All people need to know is that I’m incredibly good-looking.  Get that point across.” HAHAHA!  Which he is, but he is definitely more than that.  So, I am obligated to give my perspective of the glue that holds this family together.

As in the last three posts, the word I would use to describe Jon would be selfless.  While he has amazing qualities overall to me that stands out the most.  When we discovered Heath was Deaf, he made the decision that staying home to raise Heath and Presley would be the best for the family overall.  Despite his desire to contribute financially to the family funds he sacrificed, his own wants and needs and put Heath’s first.  It was at that moment I realized who I chose to live out my days with.  People say that a person’s true character is revealed when (excuse my French) the shit hits the fan.  I remember clearly that he said, “I will do whatever it takes to make sure he has a safe environment to grow in”.  Leaving him with someone all day, every day, with someone who could not sign was not an option for either of us.  Since my work was more stable, he sacrificed himself and allowed me to pursue my career.  In my opinion something that is rare in the men that are in my life both professionally and personally.

My belief is that Heath is thriving and growing not only from the support of his Deaf family, but also his growth is directly related to the fact that his father can communicate with him.  Studies have shown that less than 10% of hearing fathers can sign fluently with their Deaf children.  Jon refused to be a part of that statistic.  While it is still difficult for both of us to sign fluently as the English rolls off our tongues, we still have a meaningful relationship with Heath and that was very important to him.

Not only is he selfless, but he is incredibly witty, fun and engaging.  He loves music, motorcycles and actively pursues any free time to veg since he’s with the kids A LOT!  He’s a man of few words but when he does speak, it’s quite thought out and respectful.  He’s the exact opposite of me, which is great!  I can truly say that the three of us are truly blessed to have him as our husband and father.

And that is my perspective.


Who we are. Lucia.

Who we are. Lucia.

Writing about myself always makes me a little squirmish. I like writing about experiences and my perception of world events, but writing about me not too much. However, I’ll do it for this purpose.

Describing oneself in one word is always fun. I’ve done this activity quite a bit for work during team building events. There are so many to choose from. The  words are practically endless. But, when I have to I use impatient to describe myself.  My mother always said I wanted to be born, live, get married and die all before my 30th birthday.  Now that I’m on the cusp of 40, I’m glad that didn’t happen! My impatience has led me to be impulsive, which aren’t very positive words combined to reflect my personality.  LOL

But there are a few positive things about me. 😜 I am loyal, dedicated and generous. I would give you my last penny if you needed it.

15 years ago if you would’ve told me I would be married for the second time with two kids, I would’ve laughed.  Now add on top of that a Deaf child, I really would have said you were crazy.  I know for a fact having children has made me a better person. However, having a Deaf child has humbled me. It also has changed me into a person who looks at the inside of a person rather than the outside. There’s always been a part of me that is vain. Hard to admit but it’s the reality.  Getting to know and except people who are different than you makes some people uncomfortable, myself included.   When Heath was born he change that in an instant.  We were all thrown into getting to know people who are very different from us. Their culture and their identity completely different than anything we ever knew.

We had to put all of our emotions about Heath not being hearing like us and unable to hear us aside and open our minds and hearts to who he was as a person. Looking past the difference between you and your child is not easy for hearing parents to do.  Children are carbon copies of us or at least some of us try for them to be anyway. 😉  I can sympathize with the thoughts and feelings of not bonding with your child over lullaby songs or first words.  When the doctors tell you that your newborn did not pass the hearing test there are a million things that race through  your mind at once, one of which is, already they are failing at something!  I feel strongly that parents need time to process it all. And it’s OK to have negative emotions about it. The first Deaf person parents meet are usually their own child.  But those feelings really should only last for a short period of time and the negativity should be left in the past. Parents must make hard decisions quickly, not just for themselves but also for their Deaf child.  Why? Because language acquisition and brain development are at risk. (I’ll go more into that in a later post)

So we as a family needed to make our choice quickly. It was that impatient/ impulsive quality which moved us to make the choice quickly and we are so glad we did!  We got to know a person who introduced us to the Deaf school in Fremont, California. We actually visited all four deaf and hard of hearing programs in our area. However, since we live 30 miles from the Deaf school in Fremont, we chose to start getting to know that school. Plus it was the only school that didn’t focus on the “problem” or “fixing” it. The teachers focused on the children. There was a lot of playing, laughing and learning. On Fridays, Fremont has a playgroup for toddlers and infants which all kids are welcomed to attend even if you aren’t in that district.

I was still on maternity leave when I started going to the playgroups and Heath was about four months old. It was there that I met mothers just like me with babies the same age. I truly believe that if I had never met these women he would not be there at the school today.

So I’m grateful that I open my mind and my heart to people that were different than me and I’m also grateful that they open their hearts and minds to someone different than them.

And that is my perspective.

Who we are. Presley.

Describing Presley in one word is quite difficult. But, if we had to, it would be a communicator. At 12 months of age Presley had a clear vocabulary of over 50 words. It was quite amazing. At first her doctor laughed at us during that 1 year check up when we told him she could say that many words. However, when he heard it for himself, he was amazed.

She’s a person with an opinion and a vocabulary to back it up. She starts talking the moment she wakes up to the moment she goes to sleep.  ASL is challenging for Presley since English is her first language and so she struggles expressing herself with her hands she prefers to use her voice. But, she knows that if she wants to communicate with her brother she must sign. It’s a daily challenge for her, but we think as she and Heath grow together he will guide her along the way.  She’s a loving child, very considerate and thoughtful.  She had a great first year in kindergarten and loves school. Let’s hope this continues. Ha!

Whether Presley realizes it or not, she has had a major hand in Heaths journey. Her command of the English language and understanding of it early in her years helped us realize that language is key for brain development. We knew what the brain was capable of because we already had an older child who was advanced. But, there was a sinking feeling in the back of our minds that it wasn’t just going to be the same for Heath. Her development assisted us in making the choice that ASL was going to be the easiest way we could get the language into Heaths mind.  Our audiologist and our ENT surgeon urged us to use spoken and oral methods. Encouraging us that ASL could hinder his speech development.  We kept asking how do we know he’s hearing the words. We didn’t have the answers, they didn’t have the answers and we weren’t willing to take a chance. What happens after three years and he still not speaking or hearing or communicating.  We didn’t want to waste any time guessing. HE was more important than fixing the “problem”.

The easiest thing for all three of us would be for Heath to use hearing aids or a cochlear implant to communicate with us. But those options just didn’t feel right. We don’t judge other families for choosing them. It just wasn’t right for us.   And there was that continued question what if they don’t work!

So thank you Presley for being so smart! You’re just as important on this journey as everyone else and we love you.

And that is my perspective.

Who we are. Heath.

What I thought would be cool is everyday for the next 4 days. Introduce each one of us to the audience.  I think getting to know us more might help you understand our choices and this journey.  Today I thought I would start with the whole reason why we are here. Heath.

He was identified as a Connexin 26 gene carrier. What does that mean?  Connexin 26 (Cx26) is a protein found on the (GJB2) gene and is the most common cause of congenital sensorineural hearing loss. Connexin 26 mutations are responsible for at least 20% of all genetic hearing loss and 10% of all childhood hearing loss.

In other words he got it from us!  It’s an interesting fact but that’s all it is, just a fact. As parents you want answers and so we got our answer as to why he’s Deaf. Many other parents don’t have that “luxury”.  However, it helped us just move on to the more important things, communication. But anyway, back to Heath.

If we were to describe Heath in one word it would be determined.  He knows what he wants, when he wants it and how he’s going to get it. Many would say that is how all 3 year olds are.   But to us, there is something special about him.  We haven’t quite put our finger on it but there is definitely something there.

He loves puzzles, cars and trains.  He describes them in detail and has quite an imagination on how cars and trains all crash and burn at some point. ha!  It’s amazing to see what the brain will do when given unrestricted access to language.

He’s quite social and is interested in knowing everyone’s name. He mentioned to us at one time when I told him I didn’t know the Starbucks baristas name, everyone MUST have a name. I laughed and asked her and then Finger spelled it to him. We wholeheartedly agree a name and an identity is important!

We’ve taught him the difference between being Deaf and hearing. After signing that he’s Deaf he does the sign for proud. And we encourage it. The confidence we build in him now will prepare him for the challenges he will face in the future. We think he gets it but time will tell.

His BFF is quite the determined toddler himself and seeing the two of them communicate is always entertaining. What’s amazing is that their friendship is meaningful because they have a real language to communicate in.

Heath is a full time enrolled student in the pre-school program at California School for the Deaf in Fremont and is thriving. He’s got friends, a language and a support system to build a foundation on for years to come.  He is truly a fortunate Deaf child!

And that is my perspective.


There’s a lot to share on this journey called life. But when life throws you a curve ball and says… Nope your life as you know it will change forever, you can embrace it or you can deny it. Our small little family of three decided to embrace the gift of our fourth member with open arms.  We are a family who has embraced ASL (american sign language) and all  it brings. It’s culture and identity being at the forefront.  I think we are ready to share our journey with the world.  It’s  time for our  Facebook page to move into a space of knowledge for the masses. Will you join us? I hope you do!

And that is my perspective.