New hearing aids for Ezra.
One of the many precious blessings God has given us is our son, Ezra. His birth on a hot, humid South Carolina day in August 2011 was the most peaceful, beautiful birth process we have experienced.
Our family tradition is to give each baby a nickname in the womb. Ezra’s name was Baby Faithful, reminding us that God is faithful. That promise carried true as, three days later, Ezra was hospitalized with a high fever. Four days in the hospital of exhaustion and fear followed, as our newborn son was put through test after test, without any answers. Thankfully, we were able to bring him home, and life seemed to settle down.
A few weeks later, we took him for a routine newborn hearing exam, which he failed. The nurse gave us lots of possible explanations and scheduled a follow-up exam, which he also failed. We began to watch him. It didn’t seem to make sense. He turned in response to our voices, he jumped at loud noises. Surely he could hear. It seemed his entire life thus far had been circled with threats that something was wrong. Again and again, we were brought back to the truth that God is faithful, that He created Ezra and had purpose for every moment of his life, however it unfolded.
After more extensive testing, we got an answer. Ezra had nerve hearing loss in both ears, mild to moderate in his left ear, moderate to severe in his right ear. This meant that, while there were some things he could hear, he could not hear most sounds said in a normal speaking voice or ambient noise such as water running, leaves crunching, birds singing, etc. He would never be a candidate for cochlear implants, and unless God healed him, he would need to wear hearing aids for his lifetime.
As we processed this information and searched for how this could have happened and what this meant for our family moving forward, again, we were unable to find answers, but we were brought back to the truth that God knew, and God is faithful.
We were put in contact with a state organization for children with hearing loss, and were stunned to watch as God provided through them for the entire cost of his hearing aids. They also met with us to evaluate Ezra and teach us basic sign language and other adaptive skills.
And God continued to be faithful as our family enjoyed this joyful boy, full of wonder. I’ll always remember the first day Ezra got his hearing aids (picture on right). He was three months old, and as his hearing aids turned on for the first time, his eyes grew wide, and his head turned first one way and then another as he heard new things he’d never heard before---cars driving by, a dog barking, his brothers laughing as they ran across our yard.
And Ezra’s hearing loss became part of the fabric of our family. And along the way, he has taught us the value and the difference between hearing and really listening.
And also what is important and what is not. We designed his first hearing aid to be discreet: silver with a clear tube and ear mold. As he grew, we replaced the ear molds (the parts fitted to his inner ear). As soon as he was old enough to express an opinion, Ezra picked bright red. Far from trying to hide his hearing aids, Ezra uses them as a way to express himself. They’ve been red, zebra striped, bright blue, swirled green and blue, but never again clear.
Today, Ezra is 6 years old and about to start 1st grade. He loves to draw, he loves to build Legos, and his laughter rings through our house and our family every day. We are so thankful that in every evaluation, Ezra’s progress has stunned medical professionals who know his diagnosis. He has never evidenced delay in speech or language acquisition (see, it’s a good thing our family talks so much!).
Now, after six years, Ezra needs a new pair of hearing aids. As we began to pray about this need in our family, we felt led to make it known to others who are connected to him---not simply because of the cost, but because we wanted to invite you to be part of Ezra’s story, part of the testimony of the faithfulness and goodness of our God, who can turn the threat of a disability into a whole new way of seeing…and hearing.
Please continue to pray for Ezra as he grows. When we asked him recently what to pray for him, he said “that I would believe in Jesus more and more, have fun, and work hard.” If, in addition, you would like to contribute to the cost of his new hearing aids, you may do so through this page. If you prefer to send money to us directly, you can email Lindsay at [email redacted]. Any money given that is above our goal will be set aside and used for the next set of hearing aids (probably in another 5-7 years).
Regardless of whether or not you choose to donate, please feel free to drop Ezra a note (via Lindsay's email above) to let him know you are thinking of him. One of our prayers is that God will use this time to show Ezra just how many people love and care about him.
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