Many more thoughts surfaced. Many people had comments and questions regarding my last post so here's part two.
I don't want anyone to feel sorry for my kids. Like Manny. He is so cute, so alert, so alive. He's a flirt and will talk to complete strangers wherever we go. Today we were at Walmart and he was saying "Hiiiiii" to everyone. They would come over to see this baby.
They see him. They smile. They start to flirt back. Then the start to notice he doesn't move "right". And their happy coos turn into "awwww" and feelings of sympathy.
He is still the SAME BABY. Nothing changed. He's still just as happy, just as joyful, just as funny, just as cute as he was 2 minutes ago before you discovered he's a Quadriplegic. But your perception of him changed.
And trust me, he doesn't need to have people feeling sorry for him. Prayers to get even stronger, YES. But pity, no thank you. This baby is a survivor. If you were to see him, you should be rejoicing, thrilled, jumping for joy at all the things he has already overcome. You should celebrate these victories. And not just see how far he has to go.
Or Jacob. Have a conversation with him and celebrate that he talks. When we got him, they said he was retarded. They said he was deaf and mute. They said he would never communicate. So yes, it's a bit robotic sometimes and he might not look you in the eye. But do you see how far his journey has been??? He doesn't need pity either. He needs to be celebrated.
I could go on with the 4 kids in between as well. They all have their amazing stories of triumph too. Survival stories. Overcoming stories. Amazing feats. Defying all the odds.
So when I see a child with some kind of "special need" ... it warms my heart. I immediately begin to wonder what odds they've overcome. What special tricks they can do that was supposed to be beyond what they could do. I wonder if their family celebrates them.
I was talking to the Physical Therapist the other day. Mostly we spend the first 20 minutes or so showing her all Manny's new "tricks". Things he can do this week that he couldn't do last week. I work a LOT with him and it shows. And we got to talking about kids that she can tell haven't been played with or worked with since the last time she was in their home a week earlier. And to me, that's almost criminal. So I know that not all kids with "disabilities" or whatever you want to call it, get celebrated.
But that's my point. I'm not normal. I don't see the wheelchair or the cleft or the missing hand or the syndrome first. I see the kid. I see the victories.
I know most of you reading this are the "Choir" so feel free to sing the next verse of this message. But daily, I'm shocked at people (that should know better) and how they don't have this perspective.
And it's THEM that I pity.