Ruben, Elena, and Luna
Before having Luna, her father and I knew that we wanted our little girl to feel connected to us and to have a strong relationship of communication. That of course did not happen as we planned it and at three years old she did not speak to us. She grew distant, withdrawn, disconnected, and quite frustrated with a world that just did not know how to understand her. She was non-verbal and oftentimes, non-compliant with the way we approached communication. We did not yet know that her lack of understand was not due to a lack of trying. She was trying harder than we knew. She just could not hear enough to understand us, and we did not yet know she was this special child that would give us the adventure of our lives!
It has been almost a year now since Luna was diagnosed with Sensorineural hearing loss at the age of three. To say that her diagnosis and this journey was unexpected is an understatement. At first we were bombarded with feelings of defeat and confusion and left trying to figure out what her future would look like. Would she ever talk? Would she ever be able to communicate? How will others treat her? We have come such a long way from that, but it has not came without hard days. She is now enrolled in a Deaf and Hard of Hearing program, received her hearing aids, and is picking up American Sign Language like a natural! Our family has discovered how much power there is in the Deaf community and it’s resources. We have discovered that we did not lose Luna when she lost her hearing; we gained different opportunities to raise her to succeed.
Fast-forward to today and Luna is the most confident, self-sufficient and resilient three-year old I know. She has blessed our lives with a new way to connect to her and has forced us to become uncomfortable learning a new language. She is proud of her hearing aids, proud of herself, and we are proud of her. As parents we would love to plan every step of our child’s lives. We may get trapped in what a typical child is like and forget that our child may not fit a particular mold, and that is okay. We are working to celebrate Luna’s milestones and triumphs and are so hopeful that she will take this journey and teach us just why disabilities are not lack of abilities, but avenues for greater opportunities.