I became exposed to Deaf culture and ASL through my hearing husband, Marc. We have 4 children ages 18, 15, 13 and 10 with our youngest being profoundly deaf. Throughout our marriage of almost 23 years, I have had a passion for adoption (specifically China) while Marc has had a passion for Deaf community and ASL. Because God is wiser than we are; He combined these desires by leading us to adopt our youngest child Noel, from China during the summer of 2018.
As a missionary family our hearts were burdened for the deaf in China and we planned to move there in August of 2019 to work with a team to reach the Deaf. Little did we know, God had other plans for relocation. With Chinese government restrictions prohibiting us from moving there, He relocated us to Asheville, NC instead.
Why did He move us to Asheville, NC? Clearly Signs for Hope and Asheville Deaf church are amazing resources for our family and Deaf daughter. We cannot express the gratitude we have for God’s gracious provision here. But it seems He has even bigger plans than just meeting our blended deaf/hearing families’ needs. We don’t know how and are humbled just thinking about it…but our hearts are aflame with being a bridge to help facilitate healing and unity between the many fractured deaf/hearing families.
I continue to remind God that I’m just “a simple homeschooling” mom. Although I have a BA degree in human development/counseling and a 2 year degree in Biblical Studies, I feel my “research studies”, aka 4 kiddos, have taught me more than my time in a classroom. I can’t say the same about TBRI training or some of the current deaf education training I am currently being exposed to via Signs for Hope. It is life changing and aside from the Word of God, I have never found anything more relevant to all areas of life.
My passion is to encourage other families who are walking this path as a blended deaf/hearing family. And to bring awareness to our community that deafness is not a disability… it’s a different perspective. We have much to learn, if we are willing to truly listen…. to our Deaf brothers and sisters.