Psalm 68:5-6

A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.

God sets the lonely in families, he leads forth the prisoners with singing; but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.

I am Stepanie Nance. My family adopted two little boys with Down Syndrome from Ukraine in 2010. I hope to educate and to inspire you. I hope to make you laugh and to make you cry.

Come along for the ride. It's a wild one!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Listen up...

One thing about the orphanage that you might have heard about but you wouldn't really expect to be so very true is this: it's eerily quiet. Walking down the hall you might not even believe that there are really bunches of children living in the building.

Maybe it has something to do with the construction techniques used in Eastern Europe. Every building I saw was built of concrete or stone. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that crying is not rewarded with attention. Theo and Zhen do not cry to get my attention. They sit quietly in their beds when they wake in the morning. Makes me a little sad.

Theo's grouppa was very quiet. Honestly, only one or two children were ever up and about at any one time. Even Zhen's grouppa was mostly silent, even with three or four children up and "playing" (sitting and staring into space). I often wondered why no music or TV programs? At least one other family has reported that educational TV programs were played for their child's grouppa. Those were different groups of children though.
Though I believe Theo has a profound hearing loss, I noticed that he lays his head on those annoying toys that have sirens and honking sounds. He lays on them and smiles. And smiles. He also calms when I sing close to his ear. He will press his head into my mouth as I sing to him.
I don't want him to live in silence. I feel like he is, in a way, still locked up if he cannot hear. In an effort to give him something more interesting to listen to than a firetruck siren I broke out some headphones tonight.
What would be good for him to listen to? How about one of the Bach Inventions? Yes! So I sat him on my lap, started the music and placed the headphones on him. Well, of course he immediately threw up on me! No biggie. Happens all the time. We finished the song before getting cleaned up. haha!

Whoa! What's that I hear? When he finds something that he can actually hear his eyes fill with wonder! I LOVE it! We will have to make this a habit for certain.

I know there are plenty of hearing impaired people who live full and happy lives. But hearing things makes Theo sooooooo happy! I can't wait until next Monday when I find out for certain how much, or little, he hears. Then we will know how to help him even more. No more living in silence.


  1. I love the look of awe in his eyes in the first picture and the look of joy in the second.

  2. TJ actually puts his head on the vacuum cleaner when I vacuum. He loves the sound and the vibration!

  3. He looks so good now..healthy and happy for him and your family.
    Nancy B

  4. Awww...... what a little cutie! I hope his hearing tests turn up good news! :)

    I don't know if I mentioned to you that your blog and Shelley Bedford's blog have inspired me to take on fundraising for one of the RR children - Elias (3G). Anyway, wanted to let you know the ripple effect of the good work you are doing - so far I have raised $100 for little Elias!

    You are doing awesome work for Masha! Keep going and you'll hit your target soon!

    Best, Kerin (mom of one son, with 47 perfect chromosomes)

  5. yes, after being with us for 7 months our little G is starting to wake us up in the morning by saying "papa papa papa." over and over. You could count the number of times she has cried on one hand and thats with falling and really hurting herself numerous times. We have celebrated tho because we have actually "hurt her feelings".Broke my heart yes, but its a huge step in her development. Ive been seriously considering hearing evaluations too. She does hear, but from time to time she will put her ear up against the TV speaker or up against my mouth, she also loves to put her hand on my vocal chords while I am singing.....

  6. What a beautiful Child :)!

    Melanie Hartman

  7. We donated several TVs and they were installed into the various rooms. Simply a matter of resources...or lack thereof.



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