I was taken aback earlier this week when a person who I recently got to know found out I have a daughter with a limb difference. She immediately said: “OH! I’m SO sorry. That must be so hard.”
But it isn’t. And her reaction took me off guard for some reason. Maybe it was the overt pity. Maybe I just haven’t heard it from someone right in my face in a long time. I’m sure there’s people saying pity-type sentences behind our back because they don’t know us. They don’t know Jordan. I think what really got me was how after I said it wasn’t a big deal, she kept wanting to make it out to be a big deal. “Aren’t you disappointed? Didn’t you have a hard time with it?”
Sure I have had struggles knowing how our culture treats anyone who is different in any way. But am I disappointed? Never! Are you kidding me? I realized there was no way to convince this person that it really is okay to have a child who doesn’t fit a standard mold. I stopped participating in the conversation. But for some reason, it left me feeling a little strange.
Later this week I started having a conversation about a little boy named Bennett. His mom and I have talked a bit since he was born with complications from Cystic Fibrosis. At 14 weeks old, he has survived amazing challenges and he’s even smiling! I feel like my experience with Jordan has given me a gift to be able to reach out to other moms, let them know they can mourn and they can be the moms they were blessed to be – as caretakers and advocates for small and wonderful children. To me a missing part of a limb is not the end of the world, but becoming a mom to a child with a missing limb has given me the strength and understanding to offer support to so many other parents. Bennett’s mom is incredible and strong and I’m proud to be able to watch and support her growth and support to her awesome little boy. I would never walk up to her and gush about how SORRY I am. I would gush over how I know she has the strength and ability to be an amazing mom to a child with a difference.