Expectations: Then and Now

When I first found out that my daughter was deaf, I had no idea what to expect concerning her future.  I do know that I did not suddenly have lower expectations for her.  What I saw was a child who was still the same funny, cute, animated, loving child she was before we knew she couldn't hear. 

As we began to learn more about her hearing and what being deaf might mean for her, I would sometimes find myself worrying about limitations that might be imposed upon her -- not as much by being deaf, but by the hearing world in general.  I'd see how capable she was and worry that others who did not know her the way we did would not be able to see past her deafness and give her the chance she deserved. 

When she was about 7-years-old, one of my best friends was a lady who is deaf.  She has a great husband, a good job, and four hearing daughters.  I was always bouncing things off her and asking her for advice, usually pertaining to something related to my child's deafness.  One day I was going on and on about worries that I had for my daughter's future and asked for her advice.  She said, 'You worry about things that I never even thought about!!'  That was a good lesson for me.  From that day on I tried to stop looking for problems and concentrate on today.

The dreams I might have had for her before she was born were MY dreams, not hers. If those dreams have changed, it is because she has gone a different direction than I would have predicted, not because of her deafness.
It took me some time to figure out that regardless of how much I fretted over my daughter's future, she was going to choose her own course, which is exactly the way it should be.