Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Dealing with the Comments

It happened again!  Same place, same pool – in fact, I was actually wondering if it were the same kid.

If you’ve been following this blog, you would remember that I wrote about an incident that happened to us last year while we were at this same beach resort.  This weekend, while spending some time with family, it was as if we had a replay of events.  

Hamilo Coast in Nasugbu Batangas
There was this very lively chatterbox of a boy who decided that I was to be his playmate at the pool.  Actually, I was more of a passive sounding board to him, which was not new to me since Kuya does this to me almost all the time.  Apart from showing me his treasure (15 pieces of shells taken from the beach area), the little boy asked me what my order was for his make believe fast food resto. As with my kids, I decided to play along and ordered French fries.  Would you believe he charged me $450 for it – yes, in dollars!  (Perhaps he forgot he was in the Philippines).  Of course I told him it was too expensive and that was when he noticed my little girl. 

He asked me “why like that” pointing to Nina.  I asked him what he meant about the “why like that” comment and he repeated it and then as if to explain further, put his hands on the sides of his face and pulled them down, adding that her eyes were like that of a puppy's. 

at the indoor playground
Look, I know my daughter is cute, I will not object to that, but she is definitely not canine looking! 

Again, being at a loss for words, I simply told him that of course she did not look like a dog and that we all look different from one another.  Perhaps he felt that a long lecture was next or maybe his attention span could not take anything more than that and the little chatterbox moved away in search of some of the pebbles and shells that he threw into the pool, much to my relief.

Some time after that, while I was out of the pool and Nina was with her Yaya, I heard some kids ask her as well why Nina looked different and because I told Yaya to be tactful in dealing with those comments, she turned Nina away and commented that in fact she was a beautiful baby while giving her a kiss (great job, Yaya!)

I know we could have done way much better but incidents like this always catch me when I’m off guard.  In as much as I know I need to explain to them (the young ones most especially) that all children are made differently and that Nina was born with Aperts and went through an operation, but sometimes too much information might distract them from the lesson that I want them to learn.  Perhaps I arm myself with witty counter-statements that would at least create a impact on these kids so that the next time they meet someone who looks different, they would know what to say.  So how would you do it?  Do you have any witty lines in mind?

With Kuya and her cousin Migs

Oh yeah, a few minutes after I ranted about the incident on Facebook, I saw this post on a friend's wall.  Everything happens for a reason so I know that I was meant to read this post:  

Wherever we go, there will always be people who will judge us (physically, mentally.. everything). It will HURT... but this shouldn't bring us down because God made us this way. All we have to do is to pray for those kind of people, surrender them to God (no evil thoughts.. for it will not bring glory to God..It will not please Him) and be thankful to God for designing us the way we are now. 

~"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know them well." - Psalm 139:14

It's a difficult learning process - for me especially.  But I know I'll get there.  But it is without any doubt in my mind that my daughter is a wonderful work of God and that in His eyes (and in mine) she is perfect.  No matter what other people may say.

Hey, I still need those witty comeback lines so that I don't punch someone's face the next time this happens, so help me God!  Leave a message if you have any :)

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Hopes and Dreams

Aside from this blog, I created the Apert Manila blog  hopefully to give Filipino parents of Aperts children with a touch-base / resource page.  Janina's doctors then suggested that I diversify the page to address not only the concerns of Apert families but all those with Craniofacial Syndromes.  Unfortunately, I realized that blogging is way much harder than I thought it would be.  Although I've managed to come up with posts on this page, to my great regret, it has become almost impossible for me to come up with the informative / educational posts on the other blog.

Hopefully I will be able to find a way to create more posts for both this blog and the Apert Manila blog.  Our dream is to eventually start a support group for families dealing with any kind of Craniofacial Syndromes.  Perhaps in the long run, we would even be able to help support / fund the surgeries of needy families to give their children a better chance.

Our household help told me one time that Janina was very lucky to have been born to our family.  They explained that had she been born to a family from their province, she would not have the opportunity to get the surgeries and medication that she needed.  They said that many times, children with disabilities from their provinces would either be left untreated or at worse, left for dead because the parents could not afford to bring them to the right doctors.  The thought saddens me because after seeing the joy that our daughter has brought to our lives, it would be a pity of other families would not get to experience the blessing that their child, regardless of his or her condition, would bring them.

So wish us luck in our endeavor and pray that we will have the strength, the means and the resources to put all these into reality.

For the meantime, please go on reading Apert Manila and do let me know what else we can do to improve it.  If you know of any families dealing with Craniofacial Syndromes, please encourage them to get in touch with us through this blog our through my Facebook page.

Monday, September 10, 2012

How Do They Do It?

I just realized that it's been a while since I last made a post here.  The truth is that I've made several drafts on my laptop and several more in my head.  But then things just start coming in and everything seems to need more attention and then before I know it, either the topic is outdated or I've complete forgotten about it.  Which makes me wonder... how do mommy bloggers do it?  How do they manage to write up a lengthy and interesting article while managing their household?  I often convince myself that I can write something while the kids are asleep.  But even during those times, the more "important" stuff still gets in the way.

Take for example the fact that last month (August) was Breastfeeding Month.  While it was during the time when I was weaning Nina from breastfeeding, we still managed to join a group that had Breastfeeding pictorials taken - just to have a momento of such a special time in our lives.  I had started making my post on that, but as you may have guessed, something else came up and the post got shelved.

So, to all the mommy bloggers reading this post, I tip my hat off to you for doing something that for me seems impossible!  But I hope that time will come when I can figure out your secret so that this blog will be alive more often.

Until that time comes, here are some photos taken from that event, just to let you know that we're doing wonderful (although quite busy).  Hopefully, I'll be able to come up with an interesting update soon.

For now, enjoy the photos and remember, September is Craniofacial Awareness Month!