Well I’m gonna go in and wake Obed up. You never know what you’re gonna find in there. they’re all bed is 13 and he’s the
cutest little guy you ever met it’s minty fresh it’s minty fresh she like
dress him we feed him we bathe him everything it’s got a lot going on but
he’s a very happy boy for you know just kind of takes everything he’s very chill
fix everything is dry I’m good to go there come on everybody I’m gonna wake
my sister in hell go morning okay who kicked their roommates and Abby
although Abby can do most things herself she does need a lot of prompting and you
know encouragement or every step of the way first I put light on my brother
David taught me how to tie shoes and it’s really easy now hi I’m David and
I’m the son who’s away at college what’s it like to be at college um it’s
pretty fun she counts on me to do it and I’ve been doing it for a while now who
helps you in the morning um hey Anna plus I love her and she’s my roommate
mornings could be crazy at our house because we’re trying to get ready for
school and work Bethany is 19 years old and she’s from Thailand and originally I
get dressed independently and brush my teeth and comb my hair now we’re gonna go get Jessie maile that’s a good sign I see a smile
on her face are you in there go yes II just turned 18 I don’t have favorites
but she’s my baby I have to basically do everything for her also I have to get
her dressed she she isn’t eating this order so she’s capable of evil that she
doesn’t really like to eat and somebody sits down and watches this video of a
day in your family’s life what’s the most important thing for them to keep in
mind this is somewhat of a disability but at the same time just look at us as
a normal family and look at all the things we do and just you know kind of
realize that we do the same things just a little differently you know hot coffee
coming through hot tub hot tub they kind of announce where they are and
what they’re doing to each other partly it’s sounding it sounds polite
when they’re asking you know that hey I’m gonna go get napkins and you know
you can sit here or whatever but I think a lot of it is how they let everyone
else in the house know where they are anything don’t touch don’t move on
muscles it’s hot it’s hot three two one bingo delicious we have the same kind of
coffee cups and the coffee cups are in the same place and the same dishes are
stacked up in the same cabinet all the time they know everything about the house you
know you know every room and where the TVs are and where the you know where
everything that they need I mean just like anybody anybody would everything
needs to be where it belongs so that the kids can find it easily what they need
do you enjoy breakfast together in the morning yes of course yeah it’s very
relaxing we make each other laugh all the time don’t you’re on camera okay he
makes me laugh so hard I start now my eyes start watering we all wish we could be as young as
Hannah she’s she’s 24 she acts younger a lot younger um she has a spirit and a
spunk in her and an energy and a zest for life that you know it’s it’s it’s
like a teenager and a preteen or like preteen I know I’m getting carried away but Tom yes 45 and time bus Tom this is your
backpacks okay all right dish came make sure you get the right one
oh I’m quite funny yes that is okay door all right let’s go okay all right in the
morning in morning are you excited or do you want to go back to bed
Oh Shadid what are you doing waiting there wait here boy oh I hear so after everybody gets up and eats they
go off to school and work hope it isn’t a small self-contained class with other
students who have different disabilities are you ready obeyed what season is it
is it summer or is it winter yeah good job
you found Richard my name it was the Robeson and I’m a bad teacher you have
to work with yelling according to disability of what do you have to work
with we can’t water from this ok you
understand what’s going on in the classroom and he’s he’s a very smart kid
flammable our fire distinguisher what did you talk about right now very good
you spoke about fire extinguisher good job difficult someone’s blind they can’t
talk that’s destined that’s not that’s not saying that they are stupid they
done no they are very intelligent you just have to know how to deal with it
communicate Jesse’s favorite class is music therapy and she looks forward to
it every single time hi my name is Julia Sullivan
I am the board certified music therapist working with Jesse today what is music
therapy music therapy is the use of music to work on non music goals so
music activities you might see in music therapy can be working on different
things with communication or motor happy Jessie your turn to the guitar so
reach reach good I have seen Jessie progressed quite a bit and I know that
the previous music therapists working with her saw her progressed by leaps and
bounds going from lying on the floor and unwilling to engage she’s sitting up
straight engaging in a full 45-minute session again hey Abby hey is it okay if I ask a few
questions on camera yeah yeah um yeah do you like making friends yes Abby was actually found in a trash can she was screaming her full head off
thankfully and the police officer took her to the orphanage she had she it’s
hard for you to talk about this you know do you like to be alone or do you like
friends oh I like but the earth came from there are times that
Abby will just start wailing and crying in a very very loud way doesn’t happen
very often maybe once or twice a year even it’s not even that often not
anymore but you know if it wasn’t for that whale and that scream she wouldn’t
be alive today when you’re around people are you happy or sad oh happy when
you’re alone are you happy or sad she’s lucky to be alive I mean she
really when I see Abby’s a miracle I mean you know to to have the condition
that she has the genetic condition that she has and to have survived that and
thrived in spite of it to have been left the way she was to be found and to and
to live through that and and thrive in spite of it and find her way home
halfway across the world she’s a miracle I’m mr. Rodriguez and I’m Abby’s teacher
what’s it like to be Abby’s teacher is one of the most amazing things in the
world she was actually the firt we have you know case managers for special
education students and when I first started teaching she was my first
student that I case manager I was in charge of her and making sure she was
all taken care of and I think Abby will always have a special place in my heart
for that i mike coffee period I like period her Braille is more
sight-word based I like hot tea with sugar Peter you do you saw me working on
her when she was reading in the book those are a list of words and pages that
she’s able to read together so she is able to read and she is able to
comprehend what she is able to read I found the music while you work
yes oh oh wrecking ball oh oh yeah we gain every
day all right you gotta stay focused work hard okay every day if we can
co-share don’t lean back yeah yeah when the co
okay no thank you cliff Jimmy come when he away oh hey hey
hey so we teach her how to fold we teach her
money skills we teach her how to cook sometimes so hopefully those skills will
be beneficial for her down in the future every day if we can coach you don’t lean
fat in it when they toasted nothing like you with Jimmy come with you
hey hey hey hey nothing like you when using me come what hey hey are you done
yes thank you you’re welcome how has the idea of being adopted
changed as you’ve gotten older I think when you’re like a little kid it’s just
a thing it’s like oh okay well now you’re my parents so you know that’s
that’s awesome right because you get a home and everything and you you know you
get I think that’s all you you know people want is like security and safety
but then you know as you grow older um and you know for me I’ve you know in the
back of my mind I kind of you know wonder why my parents of course you know
gave me up Bethany is a senior in high school and she’s taking ring reading and
English and comprehension and also she’s preparing to go to a vocational Center
next year I miss Kay and I am Bethany’s English teacher the camel said I am tall
so it is easy what is Braille Braille is raised dots
the pig said and I’ll and I am so sure that I’m sure I am right are you happy
with everything at school yes what are you happy about friends and teachers and
all the materials that my teacher by me with Anna has a job she works five days
a week in a bakery and coffee shop the most important thing is to remember
where everything is in relation to where everything is like where the shell and
instance this the tool chest is right directly behind me and I can hear people washing their
dishes and the sink the sink Bay it’s kind of behind me and right I can hear the stove in the oven sore
it’s my left she started at Cameron’s coffee and chocolates which is very
special place about a year and a half ago we’re making a strawberry and then I’m using my talking scale here got it Kells my name is Kelsey Sohail
I’m Hanna’s a job coach how do you make sure you don’t give anybody when you’re
walking around so I just tell everybody that I’m coming
up either behind them or next to them or or in front of them he’s learned so much
I mean since you know when she first started she tried to figure out the
place and um but now she’s able to do pretty much everything I mean she just
needs the verbal prompts really just trail with the back of my hand like I do
at home it’s like using the back of the hand or something and it like if you’re
touching like surfaces like other surfaces it’s it doesn’t get anything
dirty yeah it is David is 19 he’s now a freshman at
George Mason University and he is living on campus
this is his second semester what’s it like to be in the small little dorm room
with roommates um it can be fun honestly we mostly keep to ourselves a
lot of the time but you know you know what’s great is if I ever need like help
with like my computer or something I can just call Matt or Eric over and they’re
really helpful yes to sighted roommates so he is living the college dorm
experience as a as a freshman David with the first person that like I’ve had to
have like contact with in terms of having being with a blind person before
so I mean this is quite an interesting experience that with them what have you
learned living in the small little room with David um I guess it’s just like I
always figured that I’d have to help him with a lot of things but David
definitely done a lot of things on its own so I was like he sometimes lets go
out for likes out times over with Brian and then like he says we help him a lot
but I mean I don’t help him like too often he manages that doing I don’t know
very frequently so David gets around campus with a variety of different kinds
of technologies he course law he uses his white cane gives us another application called
nearby Explorer which is designed for blind people and he actually can point
it in the direction that he’s going the app will tell him which direction to go mostly I’m just sliding it to make to
make sure there’s like a shoreline or make sure there’s no obstacles
you know I basically know where all you know math stuff is where all Eric’s
stuff is and I just know where my stuff is and I try to keep my a little corner
of the room contained you know so like on the on the hooks where we keep all
our clothing and stuff I’m the first one you’re the door and then you know it’s
everyone else’s and then four drawers mine’s just like right beneath my bed so
it’s pretty easy to tell where everything is as the only college
student of the adopted children do you feel like an outsider in my family yes
um no I would say um I get along with my siblings very well I always try to help
them out as much as I can and you know I’m like not musically talented at all
so you know sometimes I’ll ask Hannah for you know defer to Hannah on like
musical things somebody to oh they do come home from school one by
one oh dang my god they come in and get their snack and
just gonna chill out do you ever wish you could see it’s not my best wish I I
live like this way yeah me too no matter what problems I’m going
through I can just stay happy most of the time what are Jesse’s diagnosis
Jesse well of course she has a retinopathy of prematurity and she jesse
has autism spectrum disorder she has intellectual disabilities he has a musical repertoire that’s
unbelievable she probably knows 50 songs maybe 80 songs that will just come out
of her out of the clear blue sky and a doctor this year a neurologist was
talking about that she has some savant you know characteristics and tendencies
because she’s got her musical therapy which is really important to her can
draw you know into some of her you know mental capacities that we can’t
understand how the connections are made but the music therapy has really helped
to bring that out can Abby travel independently within the house she can
yeah all of our kids on except for Oh bed hi cliff
hey Abby Hey this is downstairs yeah since all your siblings are blind
does that mean they need help getting around the house um no they pretty much
just like me they’ve basically we’ve memorized how to get around our house
and how to navigate and things like that so at this point we can basically all
just go wherever we want more stairs at dinnertime it’s kind of it’s it’s almost
like an orchestra because the kids the kids come in they know that you know
there’s there’s a lot of pieces and parts of feeding this number of people
so Obon does not eat independently so there are times that we get to work with
him and he’ll try to use a fork or spoon so he kind of knows what to do but he’s
not in control of all of his muscle reactions because of his cerebral palsy
right so he has spastic motions but he kind of knows what to do let’s try let’s
try Obed okay watch us okay what try try okay go ahead see he knows what to do
good good way I get my food independently is by
the the format of where everything is imagining again o’clock so the meatloaf
is between eleven and twelve which is kind of left and straight up above then
the peas and some at six – but the peas are it but four and five and the mashed
potatoes I eat them all they used to be in
between one two and three and maybe even four but I ate them all
after dinner everybody heads upstairs one by one make time comes pretty early
in our house normally on a school night you know by 7:30 you know these kids are
up and they’re ready to ready to go to bed I yeah I love you too good night I
would just say I love you and I just finally you know I would start leaving
off you I love and I would just wait and wait and I’d say it again and then I
might have to finish it again and start over and say it again and then all of a
sudden one day she said you know in your safe bed what inspired you to
adopt six children that are blind we certainly never saw after adopting a
child who’s blind that just happened it just happened each time it just
happened coincidentally each time good night good night all right I’ll see in
the morning yeah all right do you need another kiss ended up in our home you
know because of you know what are its oppressive stances circumstances and
they found their forever home and they found their sort of their siblings and
you know they became a family they they needed their brothers and sisters just
as much as the kids became a family they could get together and we were assigned
to be their parents it was a long day 5 p.m.
not from 5:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. that’s a very long day so we kind of drift off to
sleep what’s the last thing you think about before bed um the last thing I
think about is my next day and how well it’s gonna go do you think the world is
a good place of course yes it is why because in my world
everything sounds so happy you

A Day in the Life of the Family with Six Blind Kids
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