Katie Rivera Joins Deaf Child Hope Team!
Big Hello From The Mountains of Colorado!
I am Katie Rivera, a new member of the Deaf Child Hope team, a mother of a Deaf child, and a former teacher of the Deaf and hard of hearing. Today I want to share the story of how I got connected with Deaf Child Hope International and came to be on staff. The story starts about 1 year ago after we adopted our son Martin and discovered he had moderate-severe bilateral sensorineural hearing loss. You see for us, the fact that Martin had hearing loss was a miracle of sorts. I know that is a strange thing to say, the fact that your child DOES have hearing loss is a miracle, but here is the story. We started the adoption process in May of 2017. Emotionally I had known I wanted to adopt since I was 15 years old, so to get the process started was very exciting for me. I had been a teacher of the Deaf and hard of hearing for a number of years and we told our agency we felt called, and equipped, to adopt a child with hearing loss. About a year later we were told there weren’t any Deaf/hard of hearing children in Colombia (where we were adopting from) in our approved age range of 0-4. We ended up being matched with Martin about four months after that for a different medical reason, and four months after that we were traveling down to Colombia to be with him finally. We knew within hours of meeting him for the first time that he had hearing loss. Mostly due to lack of language. Upon arriving back to CO we took him to a pediatric audiologist and they conducted a procedure called a sedated ABR, which is similar to what our newborns get in the hospital right after birth here in the States. Sure enough there was moderate-severe sensorineural hearing loss. He was a little over two years old at the time of adoption.
I am very excited to be a part of this wonderful team at Deaf Child Hope International. They are doing incredible work.
It’s been one year since adoption day and he is flourishing. He uses ASL, has hearing aids and glasses, loves to bike, hike, run, and play with balls. He LOVES soft blankets, yogurt and peanut butter sandwiches. His two older siblings show him the ropes and we see first-hand the benefits of early intervention. So you can see how in the end I felt like God had provided a miracle in our lives. He had put it on my heart to adopt, then to adopt a child with hearing loss and then HE did all of the work. No amount of stress or control on my part would have changed the outcome. God was large and in charge!
I was rather upset at the reality that Martin had been living for two years without anybody realizing he was Deaf. I started to research and learned about how most countries don’t have the newborn hearing screens like we do when our infants are born in the hospital. Then I learned that there are millions of children in the world just like Martin who are without language and often unwanted because they have hearing loss. I knew I had to do more so I told my husband I wanted to adopt them all. Just kidding, we were pretty overwhelmed as it was, but I did know that I needed to do something more to help other children like Martin. I started to pray about it and God lead me to Deaf Child Hope International.
I am very excited to be a part of this wonderful team of people, they are doing incredible work. The other people doing incredible work are the Deaf child sponsors and donors. $38.00 a month can sponsor a child and drastically change their lives. $48.00 can sponsor a teacher and change their life as well as the lives of their families and students. Any amount of financial love to our general fund allows us to reach more people and pay the bills. I am raising my salary to be on staff and it is going well so far. I am nearly 50% to fully funded. There are a couple versus that have given me perseverance and kept me rooted in Gods purpose during this journey. Whatever you are going through today, I hope these connect with you also. God Bless.
“Let all that you do, be done in love” -1 Corinthians 16:14
“I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words of Jesus, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive'” -Acts 20:35
“Be brave and courageous. Do not be afraid. Do not be discouraged. For the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:1