Showing posts from May, 2019

Early Language Deprivation and Adoption Trauma

Travis had very few communication skills when we first met him .  The adults caring for him communicated with him by poking, prodding, and pointing.  He communicated back with smiles, crying, laughter, and head-banging.  That was about it.  Our first few days with him, he would drool, kick his legs, and even slam his head on the floor, wall, or crib.  When he was happy, he would smile, be silly, and sometimes laugh to the point it was excessive.  These behaviors reduced rapidly and massively within the first few days we had him.  I credit most of this to Ken and to ASL.  When Travis would cry to the point of drooling, Ken would wipe Travis' mouth and sign, "No, you don't need to drool.  Just tell us what you want."  I actually told Ken I felt like it wasn't fair to correct Travis, telling him "no, no" about drooling since he didn't understand anything yet.  Ken rightly pointed out that we'd be speaking English to him if he was hearing.  <throa

Microtia, Atresia, and Van Gogh

Tian has microtia and atresia of his right ear.  This just means that his right ear never developed fully in utero. Just after adopting the boys, I wrote  "Fixing Our Boys."    (That ASLized video is timeless! Still worth a watch, if you've not seen it.) This boy has had crooked haircuts for years because he wants to keep his right ear mostly covered up. (And because I'm a lousy barber.) Tian is nearing age 10 and we've had many discussions about his ear.  When he was little, he could not have cared less about the appearance of his ear, but some time in 3rd grade, he started wanting to keep his ear covered because he was getting unwanted attention over it. Selfishly, I adore his ear.  I've reminded him that his ear helped us identify him in photos and even a video we got of him before we met him in person.  I remember watching that video over 100 times, pausing it at 5 seconds when I could see his right ear.  That's when I knew for sure that

Almost 3 Years Later...

September '16, when I was blogging about the trip. The online world has changed a lot since this blog began back in 2010.  With that, especially over the past 3 years, we've changed how our family "lives" online.  We used to be an open book, posting YouTube videos, blogging weekly, and posting a moment-by-moment on facebook.  That began to change a few years ago as the focus of this blog changed , we stopped posting so much on YouTube (ideally, we will start filming again, but editing is time-consuming!), and finally, over the past year, I've dwindled my facebook use by about 99%.  I purged my "friend" list from over 1000 to under 700, most all of those people being deaf community members.  There are reasons for these decisions that I'll get in to later. November '17 family pics by Amelia K Hamilton In considering resurrecting the blog, there are a few areas in life that I process better when I write about them.  A major topic the