Did this really happen?


I certainly wasn't expecting this day to arrive so soon. Madeline is just three and a half years old. How could she possibly understand? But she does. Insert sigh.

Of all places this could've happened, it happened to take place at church. I volunteer in Madeline's class at church. I do this as a way to help foster trust and help her feel safe in the class before eventually "leaving her there" without me during the service, which will happen at some point in the future. We have been attending class together for about four months now and see a lot of the same kids.

She plays well with the other kids and participates in the singing. For bible story time, though, she sits on my lap on the floor with the other children around us. This one little boy sitting in front of us kept staring at her. Okay, this is not unusual. It happens all the time. However, most of the time, Madeline is oblivious to the stares because she's listening to the bible story. Not this week.

This little boy asked her what happened to her arm. Again, no big deal. Madeline promptly answered, "Dat way I born. Dat way God made me." His staring continued, as did his question. She finally got so fed up with him that she. hid. her. arm. *SNIFF* Oh, how my heart broke into a thousand little pieces for my precious baby girl.

I quickly told the boy, "She doesn't like it when you stare at her arm. It's not okay. Turn around." Thankfully he listened. But the damage was already done.

As if that was NOT enough, a little boy sitting on our right kept getting up to look at her arm and kept asking the same question, "What happened to her arm?" Again, she answered him the best way she knows how, "Dat way I born. Dat way God made me." Nope, that's not enough. He got right up into her personal space to get a real, close look at her arm. Again, she hid her precious, little arm. Okay. Enough already. I respectfully told this boy the same thing I told the other one.

As soon as the boys sat back down, I took Madeline's arm from behind her back and placed it in front of her. I told her it was okay and that she shouldn't hide her arm. I told her that God made her extra special, and she shouldn't be ashamed of that.

There's no doubt she is keenly aware of her limb difference. And up until this point, I thought we had prepared her for answering the same, basic question she always gets. But now it seems it's not enough. We need to help her deal with the "perpetrators" AND her emotions when the stares and questions get to a point that they bother her. Wow. I was not prepared for this to happen at the age of three, let me tell you.

Lord, help us to equip our daughter with all the wisdom, love, and support she'll need to live the life You have planned for her. Help us to prepare her for the stares, the questions, and the eventual ugly and mean comments all because she was born differently. We know in Your eyes, she's just perfect. Help her to trust in this truth. In Jesus' name. Amen.

(By the way, she's sporting one of cousin Leah's princess outfits. Just darling if you ask me.)

7 sweet words:

Hoots Momma Wednesday, August 31, 2011  

Bless you sweet blog friend. My heart is breakig too. We have had some questions too with libbie and her braces and with her arms. I don't know the answers but the good thing is she's aceepted at home by her family.

Tina Michelle Thursday, September 01, 2011  

*hugs* I think she handled it with grace and the best a little kid could. She will figure it out with such a great mama there to help her. Wow, what a beautiful smile she has!

Grandma (Bammy) Thursday, September 01, 2011  

Wow - what a girl!! she is just perfect!!
You tell 'em, Madeline..
Lots of love
Your Grammy

Toni Friday, September 02, 2011  

We went through some of this too, but I have to say, it does lessen as they grow older. I know at times it is so hard to resist jumping in to protect them, but I learned with Jaelyn that it is best that I empower her to speak for herself. She's 7 now, and someone asked me a couple weeks ago what happened to her arm, so I directed them to ask her. She boldly said "I was born this way," and that was enough for this little boy. However, she then turned to me and said "It's okay Mom!" Who would've thought she would be comforting me in this, but she certainly did:)

Deb Friday, September 02, 2011  

Love and hugs to you and sweet Bei Bei.

Colleen Cocci Saturday, September 03, 2011  

Mama bear, you did well! HUGS to you and beautiful Madeline :-)

Melissa C Sunday, September 04, 2011  

When will this world learn that difference ARE what makes us beautiful. Madeline did a great job explaining what "happened to her hand".


About This Blog

This blog is a place where we have shared our lives with family and friends while we waited to bring our daughter, Madeline, home from China and while we actually traveled to China for her. It is also a place where we will continue to share our life experiences, as we try to glorify God and raise our two precious dumplings from China.

And now we wait to bring Havi home from China.

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