I just read this article on CNN.com.
It is about a Children's Show Host who has received criticizm for being on the show. Why? Because she is missing the lower part of her right arm. Parents have called the station complaining of all things,"it is making me have to talk to my child about disabilities!"
I nearly spit my coffee out this a.m. when reading it.
At the same time, I'm not shocked at all.
While much of the time we run into the most amazing people who treat our kids and us as normal.(THEY ARE NORMAL) There are just as many times that we don't. And that includes those in our own family! Life is painful enough without having to add to it, those who lack not just compassion, but common decency.
This brings me to another issue. The issue of adoption in general. The orphanages are full of children with simple disabilities. They are not "less than", they are "differently abled". :) These kids are the hugest blessing, yet they sit in orphanages and rot as "damaged goods". It is not a heroic effort to adopt a child with special needs. They ALL have special needs, just as individual as each child is an individual. Some are just more obvious than others.
I know of folks who will go over the giant pond and get to an appointment, only to turn away a perfectly HEALTHY child, because they have a physical impairment.
We still, as far as we have come in recent years, have an aversion to the handicapped in our society. Many see them as a "burden". I remember when we were in the Embassy in Kiev Ukraine, an obnoxious AMERICAN man standing in line looked at our daughter and said, "Oh great, how much is THAT going to cost me?" I cannot express how angry I was.
Mike was whispering in my ear,"down girl, down girl", because I was fishing in my purse to hand the guy a quarter for what it MIGHT possibly cost him in his lifetime if she were to ever need special assistance. So far, that has not happened, and I don't anticipate it to happen as she is a hard working, wonderful, and smart person. But guess what? IF she were to ever need any help, she is an AMERICAN CITIZEN just like him. Heaven forbid he ever become disabled in an accident!
Any help our children have received up to this point has been completely from private donation. Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children, receives ZERO dollars from Tax Dollars paid to the government. Instead they have fund raisers and many, many generous donors. We do what we can to give back too. It will never be enough, for all they do. They not only care for the most disabled of children, but if YOUR child were to break a bone or hurt themselves playing sports, they would care for them too; FREE of Charge, without asking for one penny. They are a tremendous example of what the Church SHOULD be doing world wide, nation wide, and in our communities.
As the mom of more than one child with disabilities, including biological and adopted children, I can testify of the tremendous blessing ALL children are in our lives, no matter what special needs they may come with.
I am thankful that they have been a stepping stone of teaching for our other children in the area of compassion, helpfulness, and tolerance towards those who are different than ourselves.
American's pride themselves that we have curbs and doors for the disabled and we joke about the drive up ATM machines with Braille on the key pads, but truthfully, had LAWS not been passed to make these things happen, we would be no different than many places on this earth. Our curbs are lowered, and there are many wonderful people who do care, but in the general population at large, those who have disabilities are shunned, treated poorly, embarrassed by loud mouthed people, stared at, glared at, and complained about.
Even lately, with some of the talk about money going to those less fortunate, I have seen on blogs and other media the complaint that "we have to care for all these people!"
Well guess what! Scripture COMMANDS that we care for the poor, the elderly, the widow, the orphan, the sick, the hungry AND those who are in prison. That "WE" is we as a country and we as individuals.
I pay taxes and if that is what my taxes go for, then GREAT! I'd much rather they go to help a poor person with an education or to get a wheel chair than to some stupid Bridge to nowhere or somewhere.
Ok, I'm calm now. It's just that a missing arm is not the person. A missing leg is not a person. We are not defined by our "looks", we are defined by who we are as people INSIDE. Who is your PERSON? It is the one who speaks, thinks, feels, is it not? Do you think, speak or feel differently than another person, just because you are missing a leg? NO.
For those going on their appointments soon.... PLEASE consider the child with Cerebral Palsy, missing limbs, spina bifida, cleft palate, arthrogryposis, clubbed feet, restrictive band syndrome,... they may turn out to be the biggest blessing in your entire life. You just don't know it yet. Don't make decisions based upon fear. Educate yourselves BEFORE you go, find out if there are private organizations that would cover medical costs, find out what these conditions ARE, and then make a decision. Don't just say no, because of fear. Some of these conditions are not minor, nor are they correctable, or may be minorly correctable. But there is a little person's life at stake. Please pray and consider ALL those files placed before you in a careful manner.
“I pray because I can't help myself. I pray because I'm helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time- waking and sleeping. It doesn't change God- it changes me.”
― C. S. Lewis
― C. S. Lewis
I believe in the sun even when it's not shining. I believe in love even when I don't feel it. And I believe in God even when He is silent. (quote found on the wall of a concentration camp)