I just found the above poem- and could not have needed to see it more! While we have been having a ball with Hope- and she continues to amaze and delight most everyone she meets- I have had to deal, for the first time, with the reality of her special need. The bottom line is- kids can be mean. We have had a few comments from kids that have just put a dagger in my heart--you know -"Ewwwwww what is wrong with her feet??? Gross!!"-or "Her hands are so freaky- are you going to get them fixed?" It just is enough to make me break down and cry on the spot.
Should we be prepared?? Yes- we should. Are we?? No- I do not think you can ever be fully prepared for mean things to be said about your child. I think that we just have to learn how to deal with it without feeling like you could break down every time. These are not the first, nor the last things to be said- and we need to learn from it and move on. It has been a great lesson for our other children, however- if anything good can come out of it. Hannah and Joseph are VERY defensive of their siblings and very upset about some things that have been said- but we have chosen to use this as a learning experience. They are learning compassion, and how to deal with adversity, and most importantly, to treat others the way that you want to be treated.
Right now- Hope is sheltered by a language barrier. She understands "feet" or "hands" but not the awful adjectives that were put in front of those words. In time- and very quickly I am afraid- she, too will get what is being said. This crushes me. Hope has a strong and wonderful self-assured spirit about her. She is beautiful and strong and everything that you would hope for in a child. I do not want her changed by this. I want her spirit to remain intact- and for this strength to superceed the mean spirit in others. This is what I hope and dream for in her---she is our PERFECT child- and she deserves for the world to see her the way that we do- as a complete little soul, that has the same heart and mind as the children that were born "whole" of body.
I am sorry for the soapbox rant- but I had to get it out.
Much love to you all-- I have included some FUN pics from the holiday weekend- including Hope dancing up a storm at the pool- what a riot she was!! YMCA and the Hokey Pokey are her two favorites!! She is such a joy!!
Darrrin, Amy & kids!!!