Sadly missing from the reunion were all the guys, namely Stephen. At least they indulged us and reunited on their own for a friend’s wedding earlier this year. Maybe Trey, Dieter and Stephen (still so dreamy) had a drama-free weekend in Cabo (you know, without the legendary Stephen-Kristin tiki bar meltdown).
At the time, hearing the doctor tell us that all of her limbs were “deformed, misshapen and in some cases missing bones altogether” was a gut punch that knocked the wind out of us. I literally couldn’t breathe as I sobbed with my face buried in my hands.
The times are, well, changing…
It’s strange to look back at that ultrasound appointment now and realize how differently I view the entire situation. Yes, my daughter’s limbs are quite different — thus the common term used to describe her disability as having “limb differences.” Her left arm stops above the elbow — a short round nub. Her right arm is a little longer, but still short with no elbow and a small, atypical hand. Her legs are also both shorter, and different lengths at that, but she does have two feet, which she uses for most fine motor skills like writing and assembling lego spaceships. Yes, the doctor was correct about her limbs, but other than that, he didn’t tell us a damn thing!
Ultrasound machines are not “future predicting machines.” If that ultrasound had been really accurate our appointment might have gone something like this:
Where does it all end?
You may not navigate this interaction perfectly, you might fumble for words or be at a loss, but most people will appreciate your effort and help you in the process. I’ve gone into many, many classrooms to teach children about disability — about my daughter — and I have seen their curiosity and hesitancy turn to acceptance and inclusion in a matter of minutes simply because we took the time to talk about it. In my experience, education doesn’t just make a difference, it makes ALL the difference when it comes to teaching our children about disability and fostering a community of inclusion.