A Day in the Life of the Family with Six Blind Kids
No I'm gonna go in and wake up at up and. You. Never know what you could find it they're. All. Bed is 13. And. He's. The cutest little guy you ever. Met it's. Minty fresh. It's. Minty, fresh she like dress. Him we. Feed. Him we, bathe him. Everything. It's. Got a lot going on but, he's a very happy boy for you. Know just kind of takes everything he's, very chill fix, everything is dry. I'm. Good to go there. Come. On everybody I'm gonna wake my sister, in hell go morning. Okay. Who. Kicked. Their. Roommates, and, Abby. Although Abby can do most things herself, she does need a lot of prompting, and, you, know encouragement. Or every, step of the way first I put light on. My. Brother David taught me how to tie. Shoes and. It's, really easy now hi, I'm David and I'm the son who's away at college, what's it like to be at college um, it's pretty fun she, counts on me to do it and. I've. Been doing it for a while now who. Helps you in the morning. Um. Hey. Anna. Plus, I love her and she's my roommate. Mornings. Could. Be crazy at our house because, we're trying to. Get. Ready for school, and work. Bethany. Is 19. Years old and. She's. From Thailand, and originally, I. Get. Dressed independently. And. Brush. My teeth and, comb, my hair. Now, we're, gonna go get Jessie. Maile, that's, a good sign I. See. You smile on her face. Are. You in there. Go. Yes, II just. Turned 18. I don't get favorites but she's my baby I have to basically do everything for her also I have to get her dressed. She. She. Has it eating disorder, so she's capable of evil that she doesn't really like. To eat and. Somebody, sits down and watches this, video of a day in your family's, life what's the most important, thing for them to keep in mind - is. Someone. Of a disability but at the same time just. Look. At us as a normal, family and look, at all the things we do and. Just you. Know kind of realize, that we, do the. Same things. Just. A little differently you know hot coffee coming through, hot. Tub hot. Tub they kind of announce where they are and, what they're doing to. Each other partly, it's. The only thing it sounds polite when. They're asking, you, know that hey I'm gonna go get napkins and, you know you, can sit here or whatever, but. I think a lot of it is how they let.
Everyone Else in the house know where they are. Don't, touch, don't, move my muscles it's hot it's, hot, three. Two. One. Bingo. Delicious. We. Have the same kind, of coffee cups and the coffee cups are in the same place and the same dishes, are, stacked. Up in the same cabinet, all the time. They. Know everything about the house they know you know every room and where, the TVs are and, where the you know where everything that they need I mean just like anybody anybody. Would. Everything. Needs, to be where it belongs so, that the, kids can find it easily what, they need, do. You enjoy breakfast, together in the morning yes of course yeah. It's. Very relaxing. Actually, we. Make each other laugh all the time. What. Do you think about. Don't. You're on camera okay. He. Makes me laugh so hard that I start, now. My eyes start watering. We. All wish we could be as young as Hannah. She's. She's. 24, she. Acts younger. A lot. Younger. She. Has a spirit, and a spunk, in her and an. Energy, and a zest for life that. You. Know it's. It's it's like a teenager, and. A. Preteen, or like. Preteen, I know I'm, getting carried away. But. Come. Yes. 45. And. Time. Bus, Tom, this is your backpack okay. All. Right, dish. Came. Make. Sure you get the right one, oh I'm, quite, funny yes that is okay. Door. All. Right let's go okay. All, right. In the morning in morning. Are you excited or do you want to go back to bed Oh. Shade. It. What. Are you doing. Waiting. There. Wait. Here. Noise. Oh I. Hear. So. After everybody, gets up and eats, they go off to school and work. Oh---but. Isn't a small self-contained, class. With. Other students. Who have different. Disabilities are. You ready obeyed. What. Season is it is it summer or is it winter. Yeah. Good. Job. You found Richard Bunn, David mr. Robeson and I'm uncle, bed teacher. You. Have to work with you according to. Disability. Of. What you have to work with we, can't order from this, okay. You. Understand. What's. Going on in, the classroom, and. He's he's a very smart kid. Flammable. Our. Fire distinguisher what, did we talk about right now. Very. Good. Good. Job just, because someone's, blind they can't talk that's destined that's not that's. Not saying that they are. Stupid, they done no they are very intelligent, you. Just have to know how to deal, with it. Communicate. Jesse's. Favorite class is music, therapy and she looks forward to it every single time. Hi my name is Julia, Sullivan. I am the. Board, certified music therapist, working, with Jesse. Today. What. Is music therapy, music. Therapy, is the use of music, to, work on non, music goals, so. Music. Activities you might see in music therapy can be working on different things with. Communication. Or motor. Happy. Jessie your. Turn to drop the guitars or, reach reach. Good. I, have, seen Jessie progressed quite a bit and I know that the, previous music, therapists, working with her saw her progressed. By leaps and bounds going. From. Lying. On the floor and unwilling. To engage she's. Sitting up straight, engaging. In a full 45-minute, session. Again. See hey. Abby hey. Is. It okay if I ask a few questions on, camera yeah, yeah, um. Yeah. Do. You like making friends. Yes. Abby. Was actually, found in a trash can. She. Was screaming, her full head off, thankfully. And. The police officer, took her to the orphanage, she had. She. It's, hard for me to talk about this you know. Do, you like to be alone or do you like friends, Oh. I, mean. Like. But. The. Earth came from there are times that, a, bee will just start, wailing. And, crying. In. A very, very loud way. Doesn't. Happen very often, maybe once or twice a year even, it's not even that often, not anymore but, you know if, it wasn't for that whale, and, that scream, she. Wouldn't be alive today. When. You're around people are you happy or sad oh happy. When. You're alone are you happy or sad. She's lucky to be alive I, mean she really when I say Abby's a miracle, I mean. You. Know to to, have the, condition, that she has the. Genetic condition, that she has and to have survived that and thrived in spite, of it to. Have been left, the way she was to, be found and to. And to live, through that and and thrive, in spite. Of it and. Find. Her way home. Halfway. Across the world she's. A miracle, I'm. Mr. Rodriguez and I'm Abby's teacher what's it like to be Abby's teacher is one, of the most amazing things in the world she was. Actually the, firt, we have you, know case managers, for a special education students and when, I first started teaching she was my first, student.
That I case manager I was in charge of her and making, sure she was all taken care of and I think Abby will always have a special place in my heart for that I. Like. Coffee. Period. I like. Period. Her Braille is more sight-word based I. Like. Hot. Tea. With. Sugar. Peter. You do you saw me working up for when she was reading in the book those are a list of words and pages, that she's able to read together so. She is able to read and she is able to comprehend, what. She is able to read I. Found. To music while you work, yes. Oh. Wrecking, ball oh oh. Yeah. We, day, every, day all right stay, focused work hard okay there, we day. If. We can coach you don't. Lean back your, name when. The co okay. No. Thank, you cliff Jimmy. Come when he away oh hey. Hey. Hey. So. We teach her how. To fold we teach her money skills we teach her, how. To cook sometimes, so hopefully those skills would be beneficial. For her down in the future every, day, if, we can't coach you don't lean fat in it when, they toasted, nothing. Like you, with Jimmy. Conway hey. Hey. Hey, hey hey, nothing. Like you when using me come what hey wait hey. Are. You done yes, thank. You you're. Welcome, how has the idea, of being adopted, changed. As you've gotten older, um. Uh. I, think when you're like a, little. Kid, it's. Just a thing it's like oh okay well now you're my parents so you know that's, that's. Awesome right cuz you get a home and everything, and you you know you get I think, that's. All you you, know people want is like, security. And safety but then you know as you grow older and. You. Know for me, I've. You. Know in the back of my mind I kind of you know wonder why my parents. Of course you know gave me up Bethany's a senior, in high school and, she's taking ring, reading, and English and comprehension, and. Also she's preparing to go to a, vocational Center next year I miss Kay and I, am Bethany's English, teacher the. Camel, said I am. Tall. So. It is easy. What. Is Braille. Braille. Is. Raised. Dots. The. Pig said, and I'll. And I, am, so, sure, that. Sure. I am right. Are. You happy with everything at school yes what, are you happy about. Friends. And teachers, and all the. Materials. That my. Teacher by. Me, with Anna has, a job she works five days a week in a, bakery. And coffee shop the most important, thing, is. To. Remember. Where. Everything is, in, relation, to, where. Everything, is like. Where. The, cell. And instance, this the, tool chest is right, directly. Behind me. And I can hear people, washing their dishes and. The. Sink. The. Sink Bay. It's kind, of behind, me and right. I can hear the stove in the oven. It's. My life. She. Started. At. Cameron's. Coffee and chocolates, which. Is very special place. About. A year and a half ago we're making a. Strawberry. And then I'm, using my talking scale here. Got. It Kells my. Name is Kelsey Sohail. I'm. Hanna's a job coach how do you make sure you don't they did anybody when you're walking around, so, I just, tell everybody that I'm, coming up either behind them, or next to them or. Or, in front of them he's learned so much I mean since you. Know when she first started she tried. To figure out the place and, um but, now she's able to to, do. Pretty. Much everything. I mean she just needs the verbal, prompts, really just, trail with the back of my hand like I do at home. It's. Like using. The back. Of the hand or something and. It. Like, if you're touching like, surfaces. Like other. Surfaces. It's. It doesn't get, anything dirty. Yeah. It, is David, is 19. He's. Now a, freshman. At. George, Mason University and. He. Is living on campus, this is his second semester what's, it like to be in the small little dorm room with roommates um it, can be fun, honestly. We mostly, keep to ourselves a lot of the time but, you know you, know what's great is if I ever need like help with like my. Computer, or something I can just call Matt or Eric over and they're really helpful yes to sighted. Roommates. So. He, is living the college dorm experience. As. A, as. A freshman, David, with the first person that like I've had to have like contact, with in terms of having being with a blind person's before so I mean this, was quite an interesting experience at with them what.
Have You learned living in the small little room with David um I. Guess, it's just like I always affected that I'd have to help him with a lot of things but David's, only done a lot of things on his own so, I was like he sometimes, lets go out, for likes outside lines over with Brian, and then, like, he. Says we helped him a lot but I mean I don't help him like too often he manages that do it I don't know very frequently so David gets around campus, with a variety of different kinds of technologies, he course, law he uses his white cane. Gives. Us another application, called, nearby, Explorer which is designed, for blind people he, actually can point it in the direction that, he's going the app will tell him which direction to go. Mostly. I'm just sliding it to make to, make sure there's like a shoreline. Or. Make, sure there's no obstacles, you know I basically know we're all you know math stuff is we're all Eric stuff is and I just know where, my stuff is and I try to keep my. A, little, corner of the room contained you know so, like on the, on. D hooks where we keep all our clothing and stuff. I'm. The first, one near the door and then you know it's everyone else's and then four, drawers mine is just like right beneath, my bed so it's. Pretty easy to tell where everything is. As. The only college student, of the adopted children do you feel like an outsider, in. My family yes um no, I would say um I, get along with my siblings very well I always, try to help them out as much as I can and you, know, I'm. Like not, musically, talented at all so you know sometimes I'll ask, Hannah, for, you know defer. To Hannah on like musical, things. Somebody. To. They. Do come home from school one. By one. Oh. Dang. It thank. God. They. Come in and get their snack and, just. Gonna chill out. Do. You ever wish, you could see. It's. Not my best, wish I I, live like this way yeah meet you no. Matter what problems, I'm going through I can, just, stay. Happy. Most. Of the time. What. Are Jesse's, diagnosis. Jesse. Well, of course she has a retinopathy, of prematurity and. She. Jesse. Has autism spectrum, disorder. She, has intellectual, disabilities. He. Has a musical. Repertoire that's, unbelievable. She probably knows, 50. Songs maybe, 80 songs that. Will. Just come out of her out. Of the clear blue sky. And. A doctor this year a neurologist, was talking, about that. She has some savant. You know characteristics.
And Tendencies, because, she's got her, musical, therapy which is really important, to her, can, draw you. Know into some of her, you. Know mental, capacities, that we can't, understand. How the connections, are made but the, music therapy has really helped to bring that out and. Abby. Travel independently within, the house she can yeah. All. Of our kids on except, for Obed. Hi. Chris. Hey. Abby hey. Dan. She's. Downstairs. Yeah. Since. All your siblings are blind does that mean they need help getting around the house um, no, they pretty much just, like me they've basically we've, memorized. How. To get around our house and. How. To navigate and, things like that so. At. This point we. Can basically all just, go. Wherever we want. More. Stairs. At. Dinnertime it's, kind, of it's, it's almost like an orchestra because the kids the. Kids come in they know that. You. Know there's there's, a lot of pieces and parts of. Feeding. This, number of people so Obon does not eat independently. So. There, are times that, we, get to work with him and. He'll. Try to use a fork or spoon, so. He. Kind of knows what to do but he's. Not in control of all of his muscle, reactions. Because of his cerebral palsy right, so he has spastic, motions, but, he kind of knows what to do let's try, let's. Try Obed okay, watch. Us okay, I'll. Try. Try. Okay. Go ahead see. He knows what to do good, good. Way. I. Get. My food independently, is. By. The. Format. Of where, everything is imagining. Again. O'clock, so. The. Meatloaf is between. Eleven, and twelve which, is kind. Of left. And straight up above. Then. The peas and some, at six -, but. The peas are it. But. Four. And five. And the. Mashed potatoes, I ate them all. They. Used to be in between, one. Two. And three. And. Maybe. Even four. But. I ate them all. After. Dinner everybody, heads upstairs one, by one. Big. Time comes pretty early in our house normally, on a school night you know by 7:30, you, know these kids are up and they're ready to ready, to go to bed I. Yeah. I love, you too. Good. Night I would just say I. Love. You. And I. Just finally, you, know I would start leaving off you. I. Love. And, I, would just wait and wait and I'd say it again and then I might have to finish it again and start, over and say it again and then all of a sudden one day she, said you know. Walk. In. Your. Safe bed. What. Inspired, you to adopt six children that are blind we certainly, never saw, after, adopting, a child who's blind. That, just happened, it, just happened each time it just happened, coincidentally each, time, good. Night good, night all right I'll see in the morning yeah all right. Do. You need another kiss. Ended. Up in our home you, know because, of. You. Know what our two prospective stances. Circumstances. And they, found their forever home and they, found their sort of their siblings and. You. Know they became a family they, they needed their brothers and sisters just, as much as the kids became, a family they can do together and, we, were assigned to be their parents, it. Was a long day 5:00, p.m. number, 5 a.m. to, 7:30. P.m. that's a very long day. So. We kind of drift off to sleep. What's, the last thing you think about before bed, um. The. Last thing I think about is, my. Next day and how well it's gonna go do you think the world's a good place of course yes it is why, because. In, my. World everything. Sounds, so happy. You.