My daughter is amazing. I want to write her story, but I never know where to begin. She is passionate and well-loved, spunky and sweet. She demands that her desires be met (we don’t call her Diva for nothing!), but she also says “hi” to everyone she meets with a sweet voice & outreach of the hand.
When she was born, her skull was not closed. Some of her brain matter was outside of her skull and had to be removed. Other parts of her brain had not formed in the typical way; one of the results is that she is functionally legally blind. She had been exposed to alcohol and drugs in utero. She spent her first seven years in environments that were less than ideal, sometimes left alone for hours at a time. She came to us withdrawn, fearful of those around her hurting her yet again.
I don’t think anyone would call her withdrawn now.
Unfortunately, there are many who would still believe that she is incapable. That is the world in which we live. There are some who cannot see the way that her traumatic life experiences affected her, because they see her as not much more than — I’m not sure… A pet? A baby? An inanimate object? It probably depends on the person. They barely tested her at school this year, labeling her as “untestable” (instead of wondering if perhaps they shouldn’t use pictures to assess the child who is legally blind?).
She is anything but incapable.
She has 30-40 words, can navigate her way around the house, and is taking her first steps. She knows the lines to her favorite television shows, sings along to Shabbat services, and gets into arguments with her little brother. She cheers for herself when she stands on her own, and her pride is obvious to all those around her. She works hard because she is a survivor. She will surpass anyone’s expectations, except for ours. I expect her to be nothing but herself, beautiful and spunky. I will support her to achieve her dreams, and I will constantly push this world to be the same.