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Unread 01-29-2006, 04:23 PM   #1
IcedTeaRulz
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Smile Deaf Couple with 11 children!

It is very interesting to read this story about deaf couple with 11 children!!!
I know those couple.
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He clenches his tiny fists, takes a gulp of air and lets out a shriek his parents think can be heard throughout the hospital.
Like most other newborns, Yale has a healthy set of lungs, but his audiologist wonders whether he can hear himself screaming.

Lindsay Slivka tapes an electrode behind each of his ears and on his forehead, which is scrunched like a little old man’s. Then she places a small probe into Yale’s right ear canal and a pacifier in his mouth.

He contentedly sucks as the probe emits several tones that should cause the hair cells in his inner ears to bend, creating an echo that Slivka’s equipment can pick up.

‘‘He’s not moving," says his father, Jeff Frink. ‘‘He must be stone deaf."

‘‘Don’t worry," Slivka says, soothingly. ‘‘Most babies sleep through it."

Slivka performs another test and checks the results twice before giving Frink and his wife, Lisa, the news: Yale has failed.

Smiles spread across their faces.

‘‘He is perfect, perfect!" Mr. Frink shouts, wildly waving his arms while dancing around the labor recovery room in Riverside Methodist Hospital. ‘‘Some people would say he failed, but to us, he passed. He scored an F for fantastic!"

The Frinks, both deaf, have 10 other children with hearing impairments. For them, deafness is a part of their cultural identity — and a point of pride.

‘‘It’s what we know," Mrs. Frink, 44, signs to an interpreter who is helping the couple communicate with Slivka. ‘‘It’s normal."

‘‘It’s not a disability or medical condition that needs to be fixed," adds Mr. Frink, 47. ‘‘It’s something that makes one of a thousand Americans special. It’s called ‘Deaf Culture.’ "

The Frinks won’t know for sure whether Yale is deaf — and if so, how extensive his hearing problem is — until more tests are conducted in the next month.

‘‘Even though Yale didn’t pass today, he could still be OK," Slivka tells the couple.

He might have amniotic fluid or vernix — the waxy, white paste that coats infants’ skin in the womb — in his ears.

‘‘If he has some hearing, do you plan to put hearing aids on him?" Slivka asks.

‘‘Any help would be worth it," Mr. Frink says, while signing the words.

‘‘Maybe he and Melody, our daughter who is the least impaired of the kids, could have a little tete-atete," he says in his usual classclown way. ‘‘We could also try for another baby who isn’t deaf, to keep him company.

‘‘What do you think, Lisa? Cheaper by the dozen?"

‘‘I need a break," Mrs. Frink signs.

A common bond


When the Frinks married on May 24, 1986, they prayed that God would bless them with a family. But they never expected 11 children.

Though both were born deaf, they assumed that their children would have normal hearing because Jeff’s older brother was the only relative who had had hearing problems.

‘‘We had no reason to believe it was genetic," Mrs. Frink said from their home a week after Yale’s Dec. 13 birth.

In fact, their first child, Louis, passed screening tests with flying colors.

But Mr. Frink’s mother began questioning whether Louis could hear shortly after the couple took him home from the hospital in March 1987.

‘‘She told us you could drop a pot in the kitchen and he wouldn’t wake up," Mr. Frink said through an interpreter.

A doctor confirmed that Louis was deaf.

‘‘It was bad news to our parents, who acted like the world didn’t need another deaf person," Mr. Frink said. ‘‘But it was music to our ears, pardon the pun."

The Frinks were both raised in what’s known as the ‘‘oralist tradition" — they were raised to function in the hearing world as best they could. They learned to read lips, talk through speech and language therapy and use gestures to complement conversation.

‘‘It was really frustrating for my parents," Mrs. Frink signed. ‘‘My mom made up signs, and my father depended on my mom to communicate with me."

Mrs. Frink, who grew up on the North Side, started going to a program for hearing-impaired children at age 15. She quickly picked up sign language and was mainstreamed into Centennial High School, from which she graduated in 1981.

Mr. Frink, who was raised in Clintonville, learned to rely on his hearing classmates to help him in classes.

‘‘I created such a strong support team, the teachers thought I had some hearing," he said, laughing. ‘‘They learned the truth one day when the fire alarm went off and I was the only one in the school who stayed at my desk. I finally went home because I thought everyone had left."

He graduated from Brookhaven High School and moved to New York to take classes at Rochester Institute of Technology, which prepares deaf students for technology-related careers.

He asked a girl out on his first day of school, but she said they couldn’t date unless he learned sign language.

‘‘By the time dinner was over that night, I knew the signs for plate, knife, fork and spoon," he said, winking at his wife.

Mrs. Frink learned about Jeff from a high-school counselor who suggested in 1979 that they meet because they were both deaf. By the time they were introduced two years later, she knew all about him from shared friends.

Instantly smitten, Mr. Frink drove home from college every chance he could to see her. The first time he tried to propose, her father, James Ault, told him, ‘‘Don’t even think about it!"

Over time, though, Mr. Frink wore him down.

On May 24, 1985, he cornered her father and again asked for her hand in marriage. This time, Ault asked, ‘‘Do you love her?"

Mr. Frink answered, ‘‘Would I drive 380 miles one way to see her if I didn’t?"

Her father gave his approval, and Mr. Frink ran upstairs to tell Lisa he was getting married.

‘‘You’re marrying someone else?" she asked in disbelief.

‘‘No, we’re getting married," he told her.

They tied the knot exactly a year later, sharing their first kiss on the altar.

‘‘My wife was real shy back then," Mr. Frink said as she blushed.

A growing brood


The Frinks initially thought they’d have two to four children. But as the house filled, so did their hearts.

First came Louis (now 18), then Melody (17), Neressa (15), Oliver (13), Quintina (12), Russell (10), Stephane (9), Timothy (7), Vicki (4), Wendy (2) and now Yale (3 weeks old Tuesday).

The Frinks can’t quite explain why they wanted such a large family, except to say it is rooted in love.

‘‘God has blessed us with 11 wonderful children," Mrs. Frink said.

Mr. Frink added, ‘‘Love is more important than money."

The couple support their children on Mr. Frink’s $68,000 salary as a computer analyst for the state’s Administrative Services Department, for which he has worked since 1988.

They live in a four-bedroom house. ‘‘It’s crazy. We don’t have enough chairs for our table," Mr. Frink said.

Family and friends tease the Frinks but say they are loving parents.

‘‘I keep telling him he needs to get fixed," said his co-worker Brenda Hairston. ‘‘His reply is, ‘Why fix it if it is not broken?’ You can’t argue with that."

Others praise them for their independence.

‘‘Deafness is recognized as an official disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act, and they could apply for government assistance," said Jodi Mainous, who interprets services at the High Street Baptist Church on the North Side, where the family worships. ‘‘But they don’t. They don’t use their deafness as a handicap or crutch."

The Frinks have never been genetically tested but have come to expect that any more babies will be deaf.

As much as 60 percent of early hearing problems are caused by genetics, said Dr. Gail Herman, chief of molecular and human genetics at Children’s Hospital and a professor at Ohio State University.

Deafness can be caused by a mutation in any of 100 genes. However, one gene — connexin 26 — is associated with 70 percent of profound deafness. If the Frinks both have a mutation in the same gene, then all of their children likely would be deaf, Herman said.

The couple would welcome a baby with normal hearing. Yet they acknowledge it is probably easier for them to raise children who are deaf because they can easily communicate with them, guide them through development and understand emotions or problems that arise because of their deafness.

They are adamant that their children attend regular schools, so they learn how to function in the hearing world. All but Oliver, who has a learning disability, attend Upper Arlington schools and receive help from the Franklin County Educational Service Center. Oliver is enrolled in the Columbus Hearing Impaired Program, which is part of Columbus Public Schools.

In Upper Arlington schools, interpreters accompany the children to classes. Tutors are available to help with language development.

‘‘The Frink children are all beautiful, smart, successful students," said Lisette Tedeschi, who teaches hearing-impaired students at Upper Arlington High School.

‘‘Louis is a fountain of knowledge and smarter than almost anyone I know. Melody is a real leader — a straight-A student active in sports and social activities," Tedeschi said. ‘‘And Neressa is a bundle of sunshine who is really thrilled to have such a large family."

Twelve hours after Yale’s birth, the children crowd into their mother’s hospital room to meet their newest sibling. Mr. Frink, who loves surprises, hasn’t told them the baby is a boy.

Joy spreads through the room as he places Yale into his wife’s outstretched arms.

Melody cries. Louis and Oliver high-five. Stephane and Vicki jump up and down. Russell and Timothy shoot Dad a thumbs up because Yale helps even out the boy-girl mix (now six girls, five boys).

Neressa touches her heart. Wendy climbs across Mom’s belly and presses her face against the baby’s. And Quintina touches his button nose.

He’s perfect, they all agree.
http://www.dispatch.com/news-story.p...102-A1-00.html
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Unread 01-29-2006, 04:26 PM   #2
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That's a lot of kids! My friend is deaf and has 9 kids and lives here in WA. She is single mom, also! She works hard and her older kids take care of their kids when she's at work. It's amazing!
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Unread 01-29-2006, 04:29 PM   #3
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Cool. Their 10 children are all deaf but not sure about 11th new baby, will have test next month.
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Unread 01-29-2006, 05:16 PM   #4
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See EyesBlueDeaf's Thread: Unspoken Bond
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Unread 01-29-2006, 05:21 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mookie


See EyesBlueDeaf's Thread: Unspoken Bond
Oh ok, I didn't see that. Thanks.
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Unread 01-29-2006, 05:24 PM   #6
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That is awesome that the family is all Deaf ... I can't imagine how much they gotta pay right before the start of the school year... the kids need new clothes & new shoes then at Christmas time to buy presents for the kids... Whew !!!! I am sure they had many close calls with the finanical situation. God Bless

Last edited by Heath; 01-29-2006 at 05:44 PM.
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Unread 01-29-2006, 06:02 PM   #7
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i saw this before.. wow!
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Unread 01-29-2006, 09:28 PM   #8
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goshhhhhhhh!
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Unread 01-29-2006, 10:56 PM   #9
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I think that's too many. It's your kids, don't make your kids take care of your other kids. I'd rather have 3 or 4 kids.
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Unread 01-29-2006, 11:10 PM   #10
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Holy Smokey!!! ....


I wonder if the parents have time for themselves....
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Unread 01-29-2006, 11:14 PM   #11
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Wink

Vampy, No kids are too much, If you don't want too much then don't have too much, but there's nothing wrong with this couple or anyone else for all that matters that has a lot of kids.

I gotta say I'm impressed that nothing stops this family from having too many kids, It's all about love, caring and sharing.
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Unread 01-30-2006, 05:16 AM   #12
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I am impressed. That shows how much love they have for each other. Congratulations for them !
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Unread 01-30-2006, 06:12 AM   #13
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Congratulations to that wonderful and beautiful family!
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Unread 01-30-2006, 10:58 AM   #14
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WOW, I'm impressed!
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Unread 01-30-2006, 11:33 AM   #15
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Heh... I can just imagine how the proposal conversation went:


Jeff: I'm getting married.
Lisa: To someone else?
Jeff: No, we're getting married.
Lisa: We are?
Jeff: Yup.
Lisa: Says who?
Jeff: Says me.
Lisa: Oh. OK. When?
Jeff: Um... Next year?
Lisa: Sounds good.


Now if only more people proposed that way... They'd have something to laugh about afterwards.
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Unread 01-30-2006, 11:56 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VamPyroX
I think that's too many. It's your kids, don't make your kids take care of your other kids. I'd rather have 3 or 4 kids.


It is a sweet story about the couple and their 11 children but I personally think it is not fair for the older kids because they are receiving less attention from their parents who are too busy concentrating on the younger children.
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Unread 01-30-2006, 01:42 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ^Angel^
Holy Smokey!!! ....


I wonder if the parents have time for themselves....
Maybe their oldest children watch over younger ones while their parents go out on date or whatever.
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Unread 01-30-2006, 07:55 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ButterflyGirl


It is a sweet story about the couple and their 11 children but I personally think it is not fair for the older kids because they are receiving less attention from their parents who are too busy concentrating on the younger children.
That's true Are you also from a large family, too ? Smile
(thats what happened to me when
I was the third oldest of a very large family,
not enough attention from my parents
because they were too busy with other
younger kids)
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Unread 01-30-2006, 07:59 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IcedTeaRulz
Maybe their oldest children watch over younger ones while their parents go out on date or whatever.
That's true I was the third oldest from another
large family I already learned how to watch
younger kids while my parents went out
on dates... I already learned how to be
responsible at a very early age. That's NOT Fair.
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Unread 01-30-2006, 08:46 PM   #20
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Wow that is just amamzing and beautiful! I think it's wonderful they have so many! As long as the kids are well cared for and being loved, it doesn't matter how many they have. My paster's wife has 2 deaf parents, they had 8 kids but all 8 were hearing, not one was deaf, that is something.

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Unread 01-30-2006, 09:11 PM   #21
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That is a whole bunch of little ones!
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Unread 01-30-2006, 09:26 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Y
That's true Are you also from a large family, too ? Smile
(thats what happened to me when
I was the third oldest of a very large family,
not enough attention from my parents
because they were too busy with other
younger kids)
No I am not from a large family but my Dad is. My Dad is the 2nd oldest out of 9 children. He told me stories about how hard he had to do to help his parents out with the younger ones. What a childhood he had
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Unread 01-31-2006, 06:37 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VamPyroX
I think that's too many. It's your kids, don't make your kids take care of your other kids. I'd rather have 3 or 4 kids.



If parents want a lot of kids then take care of themselves instead of use their children as Nannies.... It's them who bear babies, not children... The children has the right to enjoy their freedom and focus their future life and education etc.
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Unread 01-31-2006, 06:37 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ButterflyGirl


It is a sweet story about the couple and their 11 children but I personally think it is not fair for the older kids because they are receiving less attention from their parents who are too busy concentrating on the younger children.

Yes, I second that.
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