Lola - Dublin, California
Lola was born on January 30th 2003. Much to her father (Bill) and my
surprise, Lola was born missing a majority of her left hand, something that
wasn't detected on the ultrasounds we had had during the pregnancy. Because
the occurrence of this is so rare (1 in 100,000 births), even the doctors
were shocked and didn't really know how to explain it. Obviously the shock
and anxiety during the days, weeks and months following her birth were
Once we arrived home from the hospital I went into research mode. I spent
every free second on the Internet trying to get as much information as
possible. I searched for other families with children like Lola and finally
after several weeks of searching, found an organization dedicated to parents
and children with upper extremity deficiencies or "differences". This group
was exactly what we needed, we found several parents in the Bay Area and all
across the country that we could share our concerns with. In speaking with
these families who's children ranged in ages from birth - up, not only did
we find that these kids/young adults are just like every other person their
age, we found that a majority of the parents look at this as a blessing and
wouldn't want their child any other way.
Now, 12 months later, little Lola is 1 year old and continues to amaze us.
I must admit we feel not only blessed with such an awesome little girl, but
we feel as though God has entrusted us to care for and raise one of his very
special angels. Her hand, although a relevant concern, no longer
monopolizes my day. To date, it has not held her back one bit, and I know
for a fact it won't in the future either. The funny thing is, after
spending quite a bit of time with other children affected by similar
differences, it's apparent that two hands are really over rated.
Since Lola's birth, my goals have changed a little. I resigned from my job
and now spend a majority of my time being a mom. I am also taking this
opportunity to make a difference. I know there's a reason for everything
and this is my opportunity to get the word out about individualism. One of
my goals is to help change the perceptions of people who are different. I
feel this overwhelming need to educate everyone (adults and children) to let
them know that although that person with a funny limp or that child that
talks funny may look or sound different, they are just like everyone else on
the inside. Never in my life have I felt so passionate about getting the
word out to everyone. I feel the need to change the world before Lola or
any other child is negatively affected by someone's ignorance.
My husband and I have learned and grown so much this past year because of
our little Lola. She like all children are gifts no matter what
differentiates them from the rest. Many suggestions stick out in my mind
related to parenting children with differences. The following suggestions
were shared not only by other parents but also other people with limb
differences whom I've had the pleasure of spending time with.
To communicate with Lola, you may contact her parents via email.
- Love and adore your child and treat them no differently then you would a child with no difference.
- Lead and teach by example when educating others about your child's difference. (Remember, they will learn from you how to educate people in the future)
- Be honest with your child regarding their difference.
- Never downplay their emotions and never say you "completely" understand what they are going through related to their difference. (Unless you can sincerely empathize with them, you probably don't truly understand)
As parents, we should teach that in life, one should
celebrate the things that set them apart from the rest, it's what makes you
unique in the world.
If you want to be a SuperHands Kid or Hero, or know any inspiring stories that would be a benefit to this site's viewers, please send me an email.