Amy Hill: Don’t Give Up

My deafness did not stop me from reaching my goals

When I was just three years old, I was adopted from China by my parents and their five older children. I did not speak any language due to my deafness, so I couldn’t communicate with anyone because my orphanage didn’t know how to teach
a language to me. Shortly after I was adopted, I learned how to use sign language and could communicate with my family. I also got my cochlear implants to help me to learn to hear and speak, but at first I didn’t want to do it and continued to sign. A year and half later after I was adopted, my parents decided to adopt another girl from China too, so I could have a sister close to my age. When she started to learn to speak English, she motivated me to learn to speak English.

In third grade, I transferred from a deaf school to mainstream school. My parents were told that I was too old and could not learn to hear and speak well enough for the hearing world, but as time passed by, I was able to learn to speak and listen proficiently. However, I have to work hard and put more effort into speaking and listening than most of my peers do.

When I started attending a mainstream school, I didn’t know how to interact with other people since I had a hard time hearing and understanding them, so it was difficult for me to make friends at school. Fortunately, I had my parents, seven siblings and a few friends from church, so they helped me to get through this situation. Eventually, I learned how to interact with other people and it has gotten easier over the years.

Over four years of high school, I had worked hard to get good grades and got at least 3.7 GPA. I also have participated in a variety of activities outside of school to help me to learn about myself and broadened my perspective on other people and the world around me. It was not easy, but I kept going through my firm times to make good things happen.

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