Now I can say there's two of a kind!
There are pictures of both Orion and Clarisa here and I will tell you who is who at the end of this post.
|Beautiful baby #1
(Image description: Seen from the chest up to the head, a white haired day-old infant, eyes shut laying atop a textured blanket.)
|Beautiful baby #2
(Image description: Seen from the chest up to the head, a white haired infant, eyes shut, a pink binky lays nearby.
After my first reaction of shock learning that there was another kid exactly like Orion in Clarisa, I was so happy for Clarisa and her family. My joy was flavored with knowledge of the challenges that lay ahead of them as our family started traveling on our path with Orion almost 5 years before (Orion turned 5 on July 19th, 2015).
|Photo #3: A swaddled baby burrito!
(Image description: A baby's head is covered in a fashionable pink and white hospital cap, is sticking out top of the "papoose" wrap, along with a hand peeking out.)
Even to us parents, it's remarkable how similar and gorgeous our littlest ones are.
GeneticsBack in 2012 we learned from our NIH National Eye Institute visits in Bethesda, Maryland which genes had a part in Orion being deafblind. From that, we learned how it was that the rest of us were deaf, except for our hearing daughter. I will share more in a separate post. Clarisa's genetic story may or may not be similar, but looking at these kids and looking at both families and the fact there are Deaf siblings, the answer seems pretty simple: the same genetic dance happened for her.
Challenges and JoyThe seas of raising a DeafBlind child is not easy, our two families will have a lot in common, yes, and our children will guide us on their own journeys that may look very different, or actually parallel in experience. Every DeafBlind child, even with similar etiologies who could pass as cousins or even siblings as seen here, is different!
|Photo #4: Another swaddled baby burrito!
(Image description: baby's head, covered in a fashionable pink and white hospital cap, is sticking out top of the blanket wrap, laying content in the newborn warmer.
*Gathering information: The best in-a-nutshell description of deaf blindness I've seen is that it's an information-gathering disability.
Identities in the photos:
Clarisa's dad, Justin, put these photos together side by side to see if friends could tell the two kids apart.
(Image description: Text on top reads, "Can you guess which is Clarisa or Orion?" Two head shots of two separate newborns wearing blue/white/pink striped hospital caps. The one on the left wrapped little fingers around an adult's thumb; the one on the right is being kissed on the forehead by a female.)
Orion is on the left, Clarisa is on the right.