Would you do it again?

I wanted to write a brief answer to this question… I’m not so good at brief, but here goes.

It comes from more than one parent who beg to know: after your experience in the media, would you do it again?

Yes.

My answer online was this:

If I had the choice, I would do it all over because the faces of our babes brings a normalcy people literally do not expect. I was attacked for the most part… And what was said against Addie was towards me and never to her. You HAVE TO PREPARE YOURSELF. From behind a computer screen, people can be ugly. They lose their humanity and compassion and have a false sense of power. No one controls you or your emotions. Be strong, know that what good comes from advocacy, true advocacy from the heart, will ALWAYS outweigh the negativity.

But it’s more than that. It’s the fact that I did bring change. The hundreds (thousands?) of people who made horrible comments didn’t change that. One mom. Me. I changed it. I made a video, I emailed it. I called to check up, was placed on hold, told change was made, and blogged about it. That’s it.

The threats, the harsh words, the emails, letters and comments- those didn’t come from me. They didn’t come from my community. They came from faceless screen names, behind hidden IP addresses. They came from people who left no return address, fake emails, dummy Facebook accounts, private profiles, and never-used YouTube accounts.

I will never be pleased that anyone saw Addie as exploited, which is why all of her images are watermarked on this site and why I will take legal action if her image is misused (no, that’s not a challenge, but I will protect my daughter). This site is for family to live life with us from their parts of the country, for friends to keep in touch, for people looking to read a bit of humor or a lot of sarcasm, for people looking to learn more about dwarfism, parenting and living on a really tight budget and an unlimited resource of love.

Seeing Addie’s face, her beautiful, but different, body- that’s not something I will hide. Her belly is full, her sleeves are rolled and her hats are 4T while her age is still under 2… but her smile, her bright eyes and her first steps? Those bring a normalcy to dwarfism. A human aspect. She’s not magical (well… not in that way, but she is to us as her parents). She does what all kids do- and some stuff they don’t, and she’s not. Sometimes we are forced into a role of “poster child”, and while I don’t wish this for Addie in a detrimental way, I do hope that people think of dwarfism and think “I know a kid with that, and she’s just like my kid, or sister, or cousin or neighbor.” There is nothing mysterious or scary about dwarfism, but there are changes that need to be made and advocacy work left to be done.  I hope this face brings our community closer to the equality we so strive for.

As for the question… I’d do it all over again. And again. And again. Because the m-word in one less place is 1,000 more educated, aware, and compassionate people.

Does dwarfism look different to you?

Does dwarfism look different to you?

Comments

  1. Sherel Apodaca says

    Bless you! My 2 year old grandson has dwarfism, that is just part of who he is. He may be somewhat smaller than other children but he is just as, if not brighter, just as, if not more stubborn, and just as, if not more loved. Your Addie is a beautiful blessing.

    • martinkadelux says

      So true! Dwarfism will not define a person unless we let it as their care givers. I was so concerned with Addie not walking, but I never stopped treating her like she could do it, and she did! I know that isn’t the case for everyone or for all children with dwarfism, but it is the idea that we can nurture and cultivate a bit of change in our own thinking to encourage less “different” thinking and talk.
      All children are blessings and we the blessed to have these babes in our lives <3

  2. terri mercer says

    My daughter Bek has Achondroplasia. She is almost 20 now. I say YES.!!!..i would have her again in a heartbeat. You are not alone!!
    YOU GO GIRL!!
    do you facebook? would enjoy following her journey. Bek has had many medical problems in her life. I hope Addie is healthy. I can see she is happy.

  3. Mikki Carnevale says

    Hi brave, passionate MOM…I, too, have a daughter with achondroplasia. I am a fierce lioness when it comes to her… I loved this child before she was even born, would talk to her and came to know her little ways very early on…I had no idea she was going to join us as a little person… when I found out.. I just kind of got surprised and actually said, ” wow, that’s so amazing..who’d have ever thought of that??” I wasn’t upset, I wasn’t sad..I just was so in love with my beautiful daughter and that’s ALL I knew. Our LP babes are amazing and fun, totally individual and emphatically normal…I just never see any difference between her and any other child..she’s just my Angelina. By the way..that means “little angel”…a name that was chosen for her the moment I realized I was expecting. Turns out…well, you know the rest of the story!! God Bless you and your sweet Adelaide…she’s gorgeous and incredibly fantastic.

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