My daughter was born with microtia—her right ear lacks an ear canal, creating a hearing loss on that side. And nearly a decade later, I can still remember all the emotions—joy, amazement, excitement, and of course, pure love—when my daughter received her first bone-conduction hearing aid that allowed her to hear from that side. (And I remember the sweet look of surprise on her face when we turned it on for the very first time!)
So I definitely get all the feels from this new viral video. This little sweetie, Charlotte, goes from smiles to happy tears—and back to smiles—as she hears her mother's voice for the very first time, and those all-important words, "I love you." (Make sure to keep the tissues on hand for it!)
Charlotte was diagnosed with bilateral congenital hearing loss just over a month ago after failing three hearing screens. "We were shocked when we found out as I fully told myself it was just normal fluid in the ears," Keane tells Parents.com. "Neither my husband nor myself have a history of hearing loss in our families. We dug in to the internet and families in similar situations for support. We're so amazed at all of the options available to deaf children today. We will do whatever it takes to give her the best shot at accomplishing her dreams while embracing how special she was born."
Charlotte seems to be doing just fine with her new hearing aids, as mama Christy Keane reported on her Instagram account—Charlotte now smiles like crazy whenever she hears her mama's voice. (That's more than I can say for my stubborn little one, who actually dropped hers into a puddle—on purpose—more than once!)
RELATED: Caring for a Baby With Hearing Loss
According to the Keanes' Instagram account, Charlotte will eventually get cochlear implants, which will help her hear more clearly. But in the meantime, it's clear that these hearing aids are a step in the right direction for this little one. If you're the parent of a child recently diagnosed with hearing loss, Keane recommends reaching out to families like hers for support and advice. "We all understand the array of very normal emotions you experience when you first get the news, but we also understand how how amazing and capable these children are," she says. "Talk to them, love on them, be proud of them! Learn about deaf culture and research ASL and cochlear implants to find out what is the best fit for your family. The earlier you begin intervention, either way, the better chance of great language development!"
That's what we're hoping for Keane family—and for sweet Charlotte!