If there was anything I could change for either Jacob or Elijah would I? I can surely say for Jacob, that the answer is a NO! He is such a typical kid and now young man. Now for Elijah.... I wonder? Would I change anything for him if I could? How would this change affect him or me?
Elijah has had such a hard journey. He was born premature and struggled to breathe. He was on oxygen for nine months. He is deaf, but does wonderfully with his CI processors. He has asthma, Tourette Syndrome, OCD and ADHD. He is who he is because of his journey. Would I like the Elijah he would be if I took one of these away. I cannot imagine him as a different person.
Elijah has made me a better person, mother and teacher. When I speak to other parents of deaf children we relate in a way that other teachers can't. When I speak to parents of children who are deaf with other special needs, we make that connection. I have walked a similar path as they have. Our journey's may not be exactly the same, but we share a common thread. I hope this connection to other families helps these families with the choices they are faced with. I hope the stories I share with them help them with their choices.
Would I change who Elijah is? No, I don't think I would. He is who he is and I love him for who he is. He has a heavy burden to carry sometimes, but I will be there to help him along the way.
THE SHADDOX BOYS
Jacob and Elijah Shaddox are brothers. They live with their mom, Mary, who is the writer of this blog. Jacob is 19 and is now four inches taller than his mom! He also has ADHD and gorgeous red hair. He is a freshman at a technical college studying computer maintenance. Elijah is 15! He is in 9th grade and he is not in ROTC at his high school. He also had red hair, but it is lighter and not as thick as his brother's hair. He is hearing impaired(auditory neuropathy) and wears two cochlear implants. He also has tourette syndrome, ADHD, OCD and anxiety! Mary just started her 25th year as a teacher of the deaf. She is also in her last semester of graduate school to be a diagnostician! She will graduate in December of 2015!