Adopted 8-year-old's hear their parents voice for the first time

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Reported by: Brittany Jeffers
Updated: 12/06/2012 9:57 am Published: 12/05/2012 6:28 pm

Two Sand Springs sisters heard their parents voice for the first time on Wednesday afternoon.

The 8-year-olds. Kate and Ruby Shasteen were both deaf but the world of sound opened up to them when their cochlear implants were activated at The Sholl Center in Tulsa.

The monumental day tops of a whirlwind year for the Shasteen family.

"It's been a year full of transitions for all of us," said Al Shasteen. Al and his wife, Chris, said they met the girls at an orphanage in Ethiopia.

"We were in Ethiopia adopting our son Will," said Chris.

Kate and Ruby stole their hearts. The Shasteens said when they met the girls they knew they wanted to adopt them into their family of seven.

"We believe that each and every one of those children was meant to be part of our family," said Chris.
Kate and Ruby aren't biological sisters but they share a profound bond.

"They are sisters and whether that is biological or not they are connected to each other," said Chris.

The girls underwent back to back surgeries in Oklahoma City on November 20th to insert part of the cochlear implant.

Chris told FOX23 she was so impressed with how her girls responded to the cochlear activation.

"It has been such a journey," said Chris, "You could just see it in their eyes, when they heard the sound you could see it in their eyes."

Speech pathologist, Nicole Steich, says that the girls have a long road ahead of them but are responding well. "They now have to work on detecting sounds, localizing sound, voice recognition and association," said Steich.

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