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My Daughter's Limb Differences Are Nothing to Feel Sorry About

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Please, do not have pity for people who have differences or for the parents of those children.

I am very accepting of people acknowledging Emersyn’s limb difference. In fact, I actually welcome and appreciate it. I am used to strangers discussing it with us and I really love the opportunity to educate kids and parents on limb differences. What I don’t appreciate are comments such as, “I feel so sorry for you, I can’t even imagine ” or, “that poor girl.”

I understand people mean no harm with these statements and most likely are just saying these things to fill awkward moments. But please, don’t spend one second feeling sorry for me because there is absolutely nothing to be sorry for. I wouldn’t change a single thing about my daughter. And definitely don’t refer to her as a “poor girl.” She is so completely able and so incredibly strong. She’s not old enough to understand now, but someday she will be able to comprehend these comments.

Adorable little girl going down a slide, her right hand is missing

I know it’s natural to say things such as, “I’m so sorry” when you hear or see certain situations, but let’s not make people feel like there’s something to be sorry for when it comes to their differences. Let’s focus on the positives and point out their strengths. I’ve had friends on social media share things about their children (from finding out their baby has to wear glasses to having a child diagnosed with autism) and I see so many comments about feeling sorry for these parents and their children. That sends the message that there is something wrong with these children and I would never want these kids to feel that way.

These are things I did all the time before learning so much from my daughter. So I wanted to share some things I’ve learned from being on the other end of these conversations. Let’s not just be accepting of differences, but let’s embrace them and understand the strength it takes to overcome them!

Originally published: March 26, 2018
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