Adopted girl from China, Jayde, hears for the first time after cochlear implant

TULSA -- It's a moment that was nearly two years in the making.

In December, a Tulsa family was finally able to adopt a 5-year-old hearing impaired girl from China with whom they fell in love last June.

On Tuesday, thanks to a cochlear implant, their daughter was able to hear for the first time.

Jayde Scholl was placed in a Chinese orphanage after she was found abandoned in a town square when she was 8 months old.

She had never had access to hearing devices of any kind until she was adopted by the Tulsa family -- a family uniquely equipped to help her learn how to hear.

Jaque Scholl is a doctor of audiology at the Scholl Center, a speech and hearing clinic. The Scholls were in a position to not only love Jayde but to truly help her.

International adoptions take time. However, the window to help Jayde was closing.

Jaque explains, "When you have a child who is 5 years old and first getting sound, we've missed a lot critical time for speech and language."

They were able to bring Jayde home to Tulsa just before Christmas. Two weeks ago, she underwent surgery to receive the cochlear implant.

When the device was activated Tuesday, Jayde heard her mother's voice for the first time. The little girl's face lit up and turned toward the sound.

Having your child respond to the sound of your voice is mundane for most parents. But to Jaque, it's a milestone.

"She's never turned her head to us when we've talked or done anything," said Jaque. "So that's kind of like, wow! That's a big moment."

Dr. Jane Madell says despite Jayde's late exposure to hearing, she is optimistic about her future.

"The building blocks are there. And I think she's bright. She feels safe in the world. And I think that makes a big difference."

Jayde's father says his daughter's ability to adapt is nothing short of miraculous. She was unable to speak, hear or use sign language before the Scholl's adopted her. But now she uses about 50 signs.

"She is like a little marine," said Eric Scholl. "She adapts. She modifies and she survives. It's amazing what she can put up with and get through."

In April, Jayde will be among the first children in the country to receive a new high tech processor called a rondo. It's expected to give her an ever better chance of improving her listening and speaking skills.

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