Lana and Zhade

I am the proud parent of an extraordinary, multiply exceptional human being. As is often the case some people, do not see in my precious child what I do. I still remember with a raw ache one of these times. A highly trained medical professional described my daughter in terms that tore through to my heart. This professional described her using the ‘R’ word, and the ‘N’ word, and many other words equally offensive to my heart before asking if I “seriously wanted to do anything to save it because things like that do not contribute to society”.  This professional, like too many others, could not see past her disability, her medical machinery, her medical tubing, her ethnic heritage, her being adopted, or the challenges she so bravely lives with every day of her odds defying life.  Since that painful experience, I have vowed to help people, through whatever means possible, unlearn some of the dignity denying, humanity harrowing or pain provoking interactions with others in the world around them. My wise daughter said to this doctor, albeit using augmentative technology to articulate her thoughts into words, “You have a lot to unlearn”! In spite of myself, I smiled through my tears as I realized unlearns powerful messages have found their way into my daughter’s heart and soul! Thank you for the powerful unlearn messages you are able to articulate! It sheds light and hope on our world, and opens eyes to messages that can change so many of our lives. Recently, I was out doing errands with Zhade, my daughter, in her power chair and the fetus poster hung on the back of her chair below her vent, feeding pump, suction machine, oximetry, and oxygen tank. As we were sitting eating breakfast someone, who was sitting behind us, came up to me and commented that Zhade “was hardly a convincing pro-life argument”. . . . This took my breath away for a moment! I reached around, took the poster off and showed it to them. I showed them the world map in the baby, and said to them that “we are all, no matter how, where, when, to whom, or with what challenges, children of the world and of life itself.” What they had, I suspect, intended as a cruelty to us, instead left them with tears in their eyes and without words in their mouth – thanks in large part to the poster that had a message more profound than words. Lana and Zhade