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When I was pregnant for the first time I had a series of nightmares in which I gave birth to a "deformed" baby. Each time I awoke crying. Then one night, somewhere around the sixth month, I had a dream in which I had to have an emergency c-section and once again an "imperfect" child emerged from inside me. Everyone in the delivery room gasped with shock and disgust. But in this dream, the baby reached out her arms for me, as if to say "Well, I love you." The deformed child we fear bearing is ourselves. It is our own fear of being different and isolated, of being dependent or abandoned. It is our fear of being able to love or be loved less, accomplish less, or be worth less than other people. You see, we need to learn not only about ramps and sign language. We need to learn, really learn one of the mysteries of Creation:

When we pray that God not be deaf to our pleas, we mean that God not ignore our pleas. But when a theologian who is deaf speaks of God as deaf, she doesn't mean that God ignores her pain, she means that God understands it. Yes God understands her and God speaks her language. Io In a religious school class, a teacher tried to reassure a student who was deaf by explaining, "In the world to come, you will be able to hear." "No," protested the child, "in the world to come, God will sign."