June 10th, 2013 was Gavin's hearing birthday. The first day he's ever heard sound of any sort. A day we'd been waiting for since he was 4 weeks old. And what a cherished and miraculous memory it will forever be for us. We are so thankful for this amazing technology that enables kids- who would've otherwise gone their entire lives stuck in a silent world-to finally hear. Now the hard work really begins for us and for Gavin as we work to catch him up on a lost year of speech and listening. Cochlear implants certainly aren't an instantaneous "fix." It will be through weekly speech therapy sessions and a continuous devotion to practice and repetition of sounds and listening that Gavin will learn to communicate and develop normal speech just like any other kid. It will be harder for him and wont come as naturally as it does for others, but due to his early implantation age, Gavin's prognosis is excellent and his speech should be clear and entirely unaffected as he grows. We are praising Jesus for bringing us over the hurdle of the past year and back to the starting line of a fresh new beginning for our precious son.
Gavin tuned one on June 6th and we celebrated with a pool party at my parent's backyard retreat. It was a beautiful afternoon and we filled the backyard with grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles, and lots of happy, splashing kiddos. Gavin loves to be in the water and seemed quite pleased by the chosen venue. What a blessing to celebrate this guy's first year of life and the adventures that await him in the year to come.
Wow, what a year it has been. Holding you for the first time in that hospital room, I had no idea how much our lives were going to be changed by your arrival or just how far out of our comfort zone God was going to ask us to step. We were so unprepared for the heartbreak we would feel when we were blindsided by your diagnoses. A parent can never be prepared for that. I held you and wept over you for hours and days and weeks trying to wrap my mind around what wasn't supposed to be happening. You were so perfect to us, so tiny and full of possibilities. I thought I would never be able to look at you without feeling overwhelming sadness and that physical ache in my heart. The road ahead looked dark and unfamiliar and I just wanted to go backwards, back to the delivery room, back to the naivety of not knowing.
But then slowly, tenderly, God showed us how to be brave. He reminded us that HE created you. That HE knit you together so perfectly for us and that HE never makes mistakes. God asked us to be brave for you, to teach you to hold your head high and be strong, even when it seems scary. He reminded us that HE was dancing over you and that He was so delighted in you. He urged us to speak boldness over you and pray continuously that your testimony would point to Jesus. He assured us that He would walk the dark and unfamiliar road beside us, and carry us when we thought we couldn't go on. He called us to rest in His peace-the peace that passes earthly understanding- and entrust you to Him. He promised that He was far bigger than anything we would ever face on earth so we didn't need to be afraid.
And we began to heal. We began to get stronger and we began to see God's heart for you. When we look at you now we are filled with indescribable joy. What a faithful God we serve. He will never let go of your hand, Gavin. God has called you to be a mighty warrior for Him. Your hearing loss will never define you. It will only give you a deeper compassion for the needs of others and ears finely tuned to the voice of God. Your testimony has only just begun. Happy first birthday, our sweet and charming boy. How very lucky we are to be your mommy and daddy.