My name is Bianca Birdsey, and I’m the mother of three precious daughters, Hadassah Grace, Tahlita Faith (3-year-old twins) and Eden Joy (20 months). My husband, Graeme, and I are both medical doctors and had been practicing in a rural setting in South Africa until the end of August this year, when we needed to relocate urgently for the sake of our girls. In July this year we found out that the twins are both deaf. An absolute shock, our world turned upside down, the grief of dreams lost and an overwhelming sense of guilt about their delayed diagnoses – it has been a rough 4 months! After just coming up for air, amongst all the chaos of the move and starting amplification with hearing aids, we had Eden tested a month ago, and discovered that she too, is deaf. Three deaf daughters! I thought that having 3 babies under 2 years old was brave, but having three small children with special needs has raised the bar on chaos!
It has been a crazy 4 months, so much has changed, and so much has been explored! There have been moments emotionally lower than I thought possible, but there have certainly been rays of sunshine peeking through our cracked lives and fractured dreams. I’ve been catapulted about as far out of my comfort zone than I could ever imagine, into the deaf world. A world that I had never given a second thought to. Initially that was terrifying; change and the forced exploration of the unknown is seldom comfortable. But in the last two months I have had some life changing discoveries. I’ve realized that my attitude in spite of circumstances AND feelings is always a choice. That has been an empowering realization! I’ve learned to give pride the backseat and ask for help, and to embrace my own weakness and grief. I’ve found that it has been the “allowing myself to feel” experience as well as acknowledging that there’s actually no way possible that I can do this on my own, that has ironically, given me strength.
My journey has just begun, and it has been a steep uphill start! But already I have cheer leaders on the side lines and supporters guiding my steps. I’ve been shown what my future could look like, and have already contemplated some of the challenges that lie ahead. But most importantly I’ve realized that there is HOPE! I read a quote last week that expressed this beautifully to me: “Hope is the beautiful place between the way things were and the way things are yet to be.”