I had prayed for a girl when I was pregnant with Charmaine, After all I already had two strapping boys and wanted to have one of the pink variety. Like most people I planned lots of special things for this baby. It is kind of like planning a trip to Hawaii. You get brochures and talk to people who have been there. You save…and dream…and talk about it all the time. You just can’t wait to get to Hawaii.
Finally the big day arrives and you are ready to go. You get on the plane and are so excited. Then the plane lands and you get off…but it is not Hawaii. Wait a minute, I signed up and paid for Hawaii. This is Italy. How did I get here? I can’t even get to Hawaii from here. But you see, God wanted me to be in Italy.
Slowly, I start to look around. Italy is kind of pretty. It has beauties of its own. I just had expectations for Hawaii, but I can learn this language and live here. Later, I have grown to love Italy and appreciate living here. It took some time to adjust, but I do. I love it here in Italy.
That is a picture of being the mother of my precious, deaf daughter, Charmaine Stubblefield. God, in His infinite wisdom, gave her to me and I am so thankful He did. She is a sweet girl who lives for the Lord. I could have chosen to be mad at God…to be bitter. But I chose to see Italy for its beauty. You can’t always change your circumstances. Sometimes you just have to go with what you have.
Charmaine had choices to make just like I did. Perhaps she could have been mad at God. After all, He could have let her be a hearing child. Life would be easier if she could hear like everyone else. Maybe she could be angry because life is not fair.
However, we both chose an attitude of thankfulness. I encouraged her to do whatever she wanted to do and she chose to not let her “handicap” hold her back. Learning a whole new language and meeting people I never would have known were things I never would have experienced if Charmaine were hearing. Mostly I learned to trust that God had our best interests at heart. He really doesn’t give you more than you can handle.
Life is different being a deaf girl in a hearing world and life isn’t always fair. But Charmaine chooses to do what she sets her mind out to do. She has done everything from learn to play the violin to graduating top of her class with a college degree. Deafness is not crutch for her or an excuse. It is a gift from God to her. That is her attitude.
By Laura Stubblefield
Parent enrolled with Family Christian Academy