I enjoy being the mom of three girls, I am what you could call your typical “Girls girl” I have a passion for nails hair and make up clothing, bags, shoes…oohhhh yes I can shop for shoes… At the end of a shopping trip with me you would need new shoes. I guess my love for all things girly rubs off on my girls, and I notice Leah is a true moms little girly!!!!!!! If im doing make-up she want her make applied if im doing nails she wants those little nails done, there are times when she does her own nail paint and she gets angry when she smudges… which happens all the time because that fine motor coordination is still busy tuning (so mom always has polish remover in the house) and she love lip gloss the glossier the better so mom always has to wash the walls because at a lower level of wall space around the house you will find little lip prints often leading to the kitchen and stopping at the sweetie cupboard.
Leah loves having her hair styled (but she hate the wash) and we often sport around with one, or two pig tales, and there are times when we get a bit adventurous, she just loves it when I stick in some colored hair pieces (which I use on my photo shoots), at the moment her favorite is the blond and blue, so don’t worry its just a hair piece in the picture below no hair dye was used during the making of this post!!!!
We have reached a point where sometimes she does not want to wear clothing I set our for her and she sometimes chooses her own outfits which to me seem a bit Avant-Garde at times!!!!! But I guess she is becoming her own little person. I just love the look of excitement on her face when I get her a new clothing item, she just rips off whatever she is wearing at the current time in order to try on the new clothes, only problem is once the new clothes are on we have a struggle trying to get her to take it off!!! And because most of her new things are for the up and coming summer, it’s still a bit cold to be prancing around in summer gear. Because of our little body and head size we have no alternative but to try before we can buy …as all our little people moms know not everything out there is a good fit because clothing is made for average height humans… and unfortunately South Africa does not have a store that caters for little people. So our struggle at the moment is to find clothing, which has a stretchy, or buttoned neck hole, and some clothes we need to send for altering which cost quite a pretty penny. So I think I need to get my sewing skills up and running who knows Leah could soon be the proud owner of her very own little people designer fashion range… hmmm “little L haute couture”
Being the mother of a special needs child has to be one of the most challenging things to deal with in life. I remember when I was a little girl, I dreamt about my perfect wedding, the perfect house my perfect children. I’m sure that this is the dream of most little girls.
Well… things don’t always seem to work out the way you want them to. I was 20 years old and unmarried when I had Simone, I met Ashley and we fell in love and got married when I was 4 months pregnant with Nicole!!!!! (Sorry mom. Ha ha)we nevr had a honeymoon let alone a family vacation!!!!!!!!!!!! Ashley and I thought we were done with being “new parents” along came Leah, and we were given the news that she has Achondroplasia. After all this and lots of soul searching and tears I realize I can proudly say I have no regrets about the way things has turned out, this was and is the plan set out for my life and my children came into my life with perfect timing each of them giving me a valuable lessons in life and love. I know in my heart that Leah was sent to my family with a specific cause. She has taught us the meaning of unconditional love, support and acceptance. So on the whole my life could not be more PERFECT, and if I had to live it all over again I would not change a thing. (Okay one thing …….. maybe I would be a bit thinner!!!!!!!!!!!)
Leah’s Achobdroplasia has made us more aware of the day to day issues people with disabilities have to deal with, it has also made me realize what parents of special needs children go through on an emotional level. After Leah’s birth I was pretty much left in the dark I did have a chat with a genetic counselor but was informed of all the things that “can go wrong” with kids that have Dwarfism and this left me utterly traumatized, fortunately I met Tonya from “What is Normal” now “Knoahs Ark” and from there I was introduces to all the other Little People Blog moms and dads, it is there were I found my priceless support and information. One year after Leah’s birth I plucked up enough courage to start “Raising Leah” with the goal of raising dwarfism awareness in South Africa and to let new moms and dad see that life can be very normal even if your child has a special need.
I have met the most amazing people over the past 2 years; we have been there for each other through happy and sad times. I have learned to appreciate life on a different level and to take one day at a time. I know that the future holds many challenges and as Leah gains more understanding there are going to be difficult questions ahead, but If I dwell on the future im going to consume so much energy trying to plan for something that might turn out to be totally different to what I am expecting…. So I say to heck with that, we will deal with those issues as they arrive and for now im going to enjoy my girls while they are still mine to enjoy, pretty soon they will be all grown up and they wont need mom and dad as much as they do now.
So my mission for now is to raise awareness about Dwarfism especially in South Africa, besides our blog, Leah’s story has been featured in 4 leading magazines with the hope to inspire and make people aware of what dwarfism is and the challenges individuals face living with this condition. I would like people to realize that little people have as much right to a “normal” life as any other average height person. I have to admit that I do get annoyed with parents who decide to enroll their achon kids in special school because they believe that their child will be subjected to teasing in a mainstream school situation. You as a parent need to take a stand and raise the issue with the teachers and students and the parents of the school even if it means addressing your grievances in a meeting with the whole school. The public needs to be made aware and its not going to help your child cope in the real world if you shy away from society, after all your child learns from you, and if you the parent believes in your child they will definitely start to believe in themselves and they will know that they can achieve anything possible in life.