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Wanna See My Strong Character? Bring it ON!

Posted Aug 24 2008 10:48pm
I just got home after the usual 24 hour marathon Easter event with my husband's family to find that I have just been attacked on my own humble, giving, loving, awareness-provoking blog.

*rolling up sleeves*

Oh, where to begin.

With Mafalda:

i do perfectly agree with you for the puke and vomit part.

i was just wondering:

1) did you ever notice that ASL is a language and you cannot learn a language through a dictionary?

2)did you ever get to know that in italy deaf people sign LIS and not ASL?

3)did you ever think that maybe a russian o bielorussian might sign his/her own sign language which is probably neither ASL nor LIS? (any way there are several km between bielorussia and russia, they are two different countries with different cultures, deaf or hearing)

4)why is the fact that that deaf girl was blonde sounds so important to you? a brown haired chap would have astonished you less?

5)is your conscience really allright with you giving her 10€? i saw another american doing this in the north of argentina, interpreting that tacit request from a native girl that wanted to exchange addresses to become penpals.

i have many more questions also about your feeling of identity, which concerns you long before your child's deaf identity, but i won't go further, i already asked you much and i wonder if you are asking yourself things about yourself sometimes, doing this before acting would be better.

and, last but not least, i'm glad to inform you that nobody is forcing you not to go back with all your family.

deafness itself is a deficit, it is not a desease, illness or sickness.

it becomes a handicap depen to the USA or going on living in this very quaint but insane country called italy.

March 23, 2008 7:40 AM

Mafalda...Thank you for taking the time to post your heartfelt comment. To answer your questions:

1 and 2. Due to the fact that I have no access to a sign language course, despite having tried to find one by contacting the local ENS chapter, I have begun browsing ASL online dictionaries to learn a few signs and just to have an idea of what ASL is like. Obviously, ASL will not help me here in Italy and I am WELL AWARE that LIS is what is used here. People from have generously written me off blog to try to put me in contact with a person who could teach Jordan and me LIS, but this person did not respond to my email.

3. Yes, you are correct, she was from Bielorussia, but I said Russia as a generalization, because I am geographically ignorant and it was just easier. I am aware that sign language is not international and I never said she understood what I signed, I just said I made the attempt.

4. Was the fact that she was blonde important to you? I never said it was important to me, the woman was blonde and I was describing her and the event. I'm not so shallow, nor was I astonished, it is not the first time it has occurred.

5. My conscience was divided. The last time this happened, I didn't give the guy anything because seeing a deaf person peddle pissed me off. Not only that, but I felt awkward even posting the fact that I gave her money, because it really isn't anyone's business what I do. However, since I decided to blog the event, I blogged it down to every last detail. One of my MAJOR faults is honesty and wearing my heart on my sleeve. However, if I perform an action, I stand by it, that's called character. I gave her the 10 euro because I know about the trafficking situation, now, and THAT pissed me off more than the fact that she was a deaf peddler...who happened to be blonde.

In regard to the rest, you can ask me any questions you'd like about my identity. After all that I have been through in the past twelve years, I know myself - strengths and weaknesses VERY WELL. I ALWAYS act with my heart before my head, but my heart is very intelligent...not always right, but open and giving.

This statement is extremely naive:

i'm glad to inform you that nobody is forcing you not to go back with all your family. deafness itself is a deficit, it is not a desease, illness or sickness.

it becomes a handicap depen to the USA or going on living in this very quaint but insane country called italy.


I am trapped in Italy, because Jordan needs to be here at this point in his life. We all make choices in life and I chose to come here eleven years ago thinking that it would be the opportunity of a lifetime to live another culture. Two months later, I was told that my son was deaf. AT THAT POINT I could have chosen to return to the USA, but I chose what was best for our family situation at that time...just as I will ALWAYS choose what is best for my children. Life is not so black and white, you can't just pick up and go when you have kids, especially one who is deaf and speaks Italian...not English.

I find it strange that you consider deafness a DEFICIT? Could you please clarify that term, I have never heard it used on Thank you, Jodi

And now for the ANONYMOUS commenter who called me a selfish bitch, child abuser:

1.better be a peddler than an abuser (who forces babies to get cochlear implants). that's my opinion.


wanna talk about the strength of character??????????????

That bitch forcefully cochlear implanted her son without consulting with him. THAT makes her an abuser. who has a better character?

3. What i'm trying to say is that jodi is rubbing our faces with ci's crap. she can talk about so called "ci" on agbell's site instead of posting it on here. We, deaf, dont give a jack, so dont waste time bragging that your son can HEAR on D-U-H!

First of all, the only reason I am responding to this ANONYMOUS commenter is because other commenters felt the need to defend me, which truly touched me. Apparently, the comments made pissed off the people who read my blog, so I will address them, despite the fact that I generally do not reply to ANONYMOUS commenters.


My strength of character does not come from the fact that I allowed a surgeon to perform cochlear implant surgery on my son, who by the way, was eight years old at the time. I assumed all responsibilities for CHOOSING the surgery as well as the potential consequences so that my son would NOT HAVE TO when he was older.

I spent the first eight years of his life sweating through four hours a week of speech therapy, struggling to learn a language that was not my own every single minute of every day, trusting my son with doctors, speech therapists, surgeons, teachers, other children and other children's parents during a time when he was unable to express himself adequately. Teaching him to potty train was a two year process and pre-school was hell, I had to leave him screaming at the door and call the teacher every twenty minutes until I was sure he was okay.

I had no rest or stress-release for the first four years of his schooling and studied diligently with him three hours every afternoon of elementary school. I couldn't work or have a social life for eight years, because my world revolved around my son and making sure he had access to a language that WAS NOT MY OWN. Did I care? No, I just wanted him to find himself and be happy.

To make sure he was happy and successful, we enrolled him in swimming lessons where he found lessons to teach him how to be part of a team and socialization lessons to free his mind and allow him to express rhythm that is an innate part of who he is.


Because hearing aids did not give him what he needed to bridge the language hump in order to finally express himself!


My blog is here to educate, share and promote awareness. After ten years of losing myself and almost losing my son - yes, LIS would have been useful as a bridge- we are making a comeback.

As DIVIDED said, "She talks about life in general and being a WOMAN."

*I feel like a woman after so many years of struggling just to make it to bedtime.*

As KW said, "Jodi is doing the best she can."

*Yes, I am...and I am having fun, finally, after so many years of shit*

Naomi said,

Anonymous what exactly are you trying to achieve with your comments here? There are many children being implanted today not just Jodi's son. Many of these kids are the next generation of the deaf community. How welcoming is it to these children if you choose to treat their parents in the way you are treating Jodi here in your comments on her blog?

The COCHLEAR IMPLANT together with the help of doctors, therapists, teachers and hours of hard work brought my son from a situation of suffering, temper tantrums, apathy and restlessness to the affectionate, passionate, risk-taking, generous person he is today. (He's still a pain in the ass, but he's growing)

*So yes, I will continue to shove it down your throat if you insist on reading my blog*

And yes...this experience has made me VERY strong, so if you have any other insults or questions... BRING IT ON !

(Geeze, and to think I was planning on blogging something light and easy for Easter!)
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