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Justin - Waxahachie, Texas

Just like many of the parents who have a child born different your first thought is how can they do this or that? My reaction was very similar. When my son Justin was born on October, 2003 with an underdeveloped left hand having short fingers and only a thumb. I thought how will he be able to play basketball, baseball, tennis, football, wear a wedding ring, etc. Then I remembered my Aunt Joyce, she was born with a simialar left hand only she did not even have a thumb. She could do anything even pickup a needle off the floor and tie her shoes.

I knew that as Justin grew he could go to her about his frustrations and since she was a teacher she would be able to help him. It wouldn't hurt that she would be available for me to get advice.

I was also concerned about my reaction to people who would see him for the first time. However everyone was supportive and he soon became everyone's favorite baby, now he is spoiled. People told me about the movie Nemo, they told me about Radar from M*A*S*H (did you know he was missing 3 fingers on his left hand, they did not film it on the TV show but if you look close enough you can see) and a banjo player with the Gather's Gospel singing group (he had only a thumb, not sure which hand because I was only told about it) which was an inspiration to me.
Now almost 3 years later I have learned that God gave me this child for a reason. "I can do anything through Christ who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13" I hope Justin will remember this verse as he gets older. Many members at my church pray for him to have strength and confidence to face any obsticals.

So far he can do anything he wants including climb fences, swing from bars, dress himself, color with his LEFT hand and get a good swing in on his older brothers :o) At 2 he is doing things that so many children don't do until they are a little older. When he was 6 months old his occupational therapist could not teach him anything new. He is already trying to tie his shoes.

He deffinately does not want to be different and I try to question him about his hand to help him with responses when people ask him. My Aunt's responses used to be "my hand was eaten by a bear", "I used to bite my nails", "this is what happens if you pick your nose". Can you tell she was an elementary school teacher :o)

Updated Photos: May 2007

I hope Justin's story is an inspiration to other families like ours who love their children as much as we do.

God bless
Amy

To communicate with Justin, email his mother, Amy.

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