Monday, July 7, 2014
The Story Behind GOD WHISPERER
Barnes and Noble:
I've been wanting to write this post for a long time. It's personal and a bit long, but I figured readers would want to know how I came up with the premise for GOD WHISPERER.
10% of the author royalties will be donated to the American Society for Deaf Children.
While the book is pure fiction--Lonnie is NOT me, David is NOT my son, and I am happily married--there is a river of truth flowing through the pages. The emotions? Those are mine. The fear of losing a child, the elation and gratitude of a surgery that changes everything, the joy? Mine, mine, mine.
Okay, deep breath, here goes...
I am blessed beyond words to be the mother of two super-amazing boys. They are smart, kind, loving, handsome teenagers now. From birth, they were determined to baffle the doctors with their uniqueness. Each boy came into the world with a super-rare condition/disorder--nothing life-threatening, thank God. The oldest has a visual tracking disorder so rare that only 50 cases were noted in the medical journals.
The youngest of the two has perfect eyes. He was born with an incomplete, deaf ear. We recognized the problem immediately because his little ear had no hole. They tested his hearing in the hospital. He didn't pass. He had one normal ear, though, and the doctors said he would get along fine.
A one-eared child doesn't hear in stereo and can't determine where sounds come from. If he doesn't look carefully before stepping into the street, he might not hear a car coming straight for him. He doesn't hear soft voices on the "bad" side and misses instructions in class. He could get in trouble for talking in class because he doesn't hear the teacher talking. He only hears half of the world.
I was worried for him. I worried about both of my children. They had years of occupational and speech therapy ahead, resource and instructional help, physical education therapy, and who knew what else? Things were going to be hard for them. Would they be bullied in school? Would people be mean?
During a silent prayer session at church, I cried my eyes out. I begged God for help. I wasn't strong enough, smart enough, or brave enough for these beautiful boys. I felt so inadequate and helpless. They deserved far more than me for a mother. At the end of that prayer session we were asked to reach into a basket to receive a spiritual fortune cookie. My fortune knocked me back.
It said, "I have put my trust in you."
It was as if God had typed on that strip of paper Himself. He had trusted me to be the mother for these boys and He couldn't be wrong. And no, I wasn't going it alone. I have a fabulous husband, wonderful parents on both sides, sisters, friends, doctors, educators, and specialists all around.
When my youngest was a couple of years old, a doctor said that there were new surgeries to open up my son's ear canal, but it was dangerous because the facial nerve runs near the ear. A surgery could cause facial paralysis. We went to UCLA. The head surgeon had performed a handful of similar operations. None, just like my son's. Our son had no canal and no ear drum. The middle ear was complete with the necessary bones to hear sounds, but they were misshapen because there was no canal. It was risky, but the surgeon believed he could fix everything.
Hubby asked the best question, "Would you do it for your child?"
The surgeon didn't blink. "Yes, I would."
It's terrifying to have anyone operate on your child. He was so little in that bed, so scared. I couldn't go with him, couldn't hold his hand, make it all better. Gah! It's hard to be a parent.
The surgeon said the operation was a success and the ear bones were vibrating to sounds on the table! When my boy heard with both ears for the first time I wept with joy. The ear is not perfect, but it's not deaf anymore. It was a miracle.
I believe I was chosen to be mother to these two amazing kids. I have learned and grown almost as much as they have. I hope my story touches hearts and helps parents in difficult situations. Trust that we are here for a reason. Each and every child is special, a unique gift to be treasured.
Most of all, I wish you love.