Saturday, June 4, 2011

Excuse Me, She Isn't a Rabbit's Foot

For some strange reason, Filipinos, particularly the traditional ones, have this belief about children with special needs supposedly bringing luck to the families that care for them.  I was never bothered about this idea until Janina came into our lives.

A few months after she was born, hubs and I attended our usual family gathering.  A particular relative (I'm not saying who...) repeatedly kept telling me that Janina would surely bring us luck.  It actually came to a point where she casually "asked" for my baby.  Knowing that she only meant well, (plus the fact that I had been taught to be respectful to the elders) I took no offense at any of her comments.  But on hindsight, thinking about it made me feel bad that society would consider a person as a "lucky charm" above everything else rather than as a human being.

It is without a doubt that my daughter has become a blessing to us, not because we became instant lottery winners (although that would not be so bad, come to think of it), but because she has taught us to become appreciative of things that we would have normally taken for granted.  We are blessed because out of the billions of people, we have been chosen to care for this precious little angel.  It isn't going to be an easy task - we are well aware of that.  But when you think about it, there is a sense of pride in the idea that you were deemed worthy to take on such a big responsibility of being her parents, of making sure that she gets the best care, of being given the chance to become normal - like everyone else.  Having Janina has taught me to be more understanding and sympathetic to the plight of other people, most particularly mothers of children with special needs. She has brought our families closer than ever. And most of all, she gave me, a renewed sense of purpose.  Because of her, there is a drive like no other, to find a way to make other people aware of what Apert Syndrome is so that they will come to understand those who are diagnosed to have it, and hopefully treat them no differently from you and me.

So please, my daughter isn't some lucky charm like a rabbit's foot or a shark's tooth.  She is a blessing -- not because of what she has given to us but for what we hope to be able to give her.

1 comment:

  1. Very well put!! We also think Josie has been such a blessing in our family. She has really made us stop and appreciate everything and everyone around us!