A child born with a limb difference is whole.
They have not lost anything for this is the way they were born. As a baby their developing mind does not understand or recognize that they are “supposed to” have two hands or ten fingers. They are equipped with the instinct to DO and learn
to do what they want to do; find comfort, hold a bottle, play, crawl, climb, walk. There is no self concern with how they look. People often say our children “adapt so well”, but as a baby it is not about adapting because it is all they have ever known. There is no altering of what they would have done- it is simply a matter of what they WILL DO
with what they have. Our children were born physically different but also with the innate ability to meet and conquer each task and challenge that comes their way long before they can even recognize what is viewed/assumed as a challenge by others. Sure, later in life there will be adapting, they will adapt to living in a world built for people who do not have limb differences. I say this will further foster our children’s ability to be problem solvers, creators and achievers. The necessity that comes with thinking outside the box and puzzle solving I think makes our children smarter, more creative, dynamic and mentally strong just by doing the day to day things most take for granted. Add pursuing a passion and now some truly marvelous ingenuity and drive comes into play. (Jim Abbott
, Nick Newell
, Tony Memmel
). Our children are not to be underestimated and certainly not pitied. Though to some people it appears that our children have lost something, the unseen is what they have been given. And just like their limb difference- they were born that way
Molly Stapelman is the founder of the Lucky Fin Project. Happily married, mother to 3 daughters (two ready-made, one from scratch). Molly founded the Lucky Fin Project after her youngest daughter, Ryan, was born without fingers on her right hand as a result of symbrachydactyly. The organization raises awareness and offers support to the limb different community. When’s she’s not hand making awareness bracelets and answering emails you can find her fighting for a leaderboard spot in spin class.