Many years ago, when we were in a very different part of our journey, I made a mistake.
We had a Deaf mentor, someone I would have considered a friend, in our life. He was a Deaf adult who had grown up oral. Then, he had gone on an ASL mission. When I knew him he chose to use both ASL and spoken language to communicate.
When my daughter was in preschool, this gentleman decided to get a cochlear implant. I (and everyone I gossiped about it with in the Deaf community) was horrified. WHY?? He had no need! He was in college, bright, communicated well! Why would he want to do such a thing???
Then came the rumors. He had a younger brother who was still at home. His parents had decided that his brother would get one. I guess they had pressured him into getting one too. Ignorant oralist parents! Why couldn't they see? Why couldn't they leave well enough alone?
So, I spoke to this man about his decision. I was in agony. I told him that he didn't need to do this. I told him that he was "not broken". I cried. I told him that if he thought he was broken, he must think my daughter was broken too. I refused to speak to him again. I fully and completely judged him.
And I was so very wrong.
Who was I to decide what was right for this young man? Why did I think that my decision for my child overruled what he thought would work for his life? Who did I think I was?
I was a scared mother. I was afraid that I wasn't doing the right thing for my daughter. I thought that by choosing something different, he was saying that I was wrong. I wanted to only surround myself with people who would tell me that I was making the right choices. I was terrified about how my daughter would turn out and I lashed out against anyone that made me question myself.
All I can say, is I was so wrong, and I am sorry Joseph.