September 13, 2018

Camp No-Limbitations

Anna went to a one week sleep-away camp at just 7 years old.  We felt so comfortable sending her because we knew she was in such good hands with Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, who ran the camp for amputees. They had medical staff on site all over and went over the allergy free menu with me extensively. She also had the privilege of attending with a friend from out of town, also named Anna, who has become a lifelong buddy.

I'm so thankful for this program and hope it continues to build Anna's self-efficacy and self-confidence as she grows. She is already asking me when she can go again! Thank you CHA and Camp No-Limbitations!

April 25, 2017

Swimming past challenges

Swimming isn't easy when you only have one foot. Anna has been taking swimming lessons from a swim academy since October. Our recent trip to Florida gave me the opportunity to see her beginning to swim for the first time without help from an adult. I'm so proud of her.

December 27, 2016

Leg #5

Anna's previous leg lasted almost 2 years and she received a new one this past month. Her new leg has a more flexible foot with a metal insert. I don't know any of the fancy terms, but she seems to like it :) Instead of being overwhelmed with fabric choices for her leg, I went to the fabric store and brought back 5 patterns I thought she might like. She chose this one because it was pink and "sparkly".  Here are some pictures and a video of her trying out her new leg.

May 9, 2016

Moving and Shaking

Look at her go! I'm so proud of her! I've been doing a lot of soul searching lately, and realizing (and admitting) that I too often project my emotions on to my daughter. Experiences I went through as a child- hurtful words, sad feelings, they are all a part of me, and I re-experience them when I see Anna in a situation that triggers those emotions. But Anna is not me. She reacts to things differently than I did, she will remember different things than I did, and she will likely bounce back from things more easily than I did (that is, if we are parenting as we hope to). Any parent knows that seeing your child be rejected, disappointed, or fail is heart-wrenching. For me, I've let it upset me TOO much. Worried about it TOO much. Because I bring my own baggage. I'm working to admit that many times, I'm the one who is most upset about something, not her. I worry more about what others will think, not her. I worry that her feelings are hurt and she will be scarred forever, whereas she is over it and moving on to the next thing. For a parent with a child with a disability, these tendencies seem to be further magnified. It's important to realize that our children are not us. Let's allow them a fresh start, a clean slate. Let's acknowledge our own feelings when they come up, put them in their place, and then be the encourager and supporter that our children need us to be.

February 29, 2016


So far, Anna has been able to do most everything other kids her age can do. But as she's getting older, I've noticed that children are starting to surpass her in certain ways. The other day, at a friend's house, the kids were all playing tag. The ground was sloped, which made it especially hard for Anna to run on because her foot doesn't bend which makes her unsteady climbing up a slope. I saw her chasing and chasing but she just couldn't keep up with her faster counterparts. I saw her get tired more quickly. Even though she had a smile on her face, my heart broke. I wanted to help her, to make her go faster like the other kids. I wanted to encourage her. I just wanted to 'fix' it. I decided not to say anything after, except that it looked like she had fun playing tag.

She said, "I was the only one who didn't get to run away from anyone! I had to catch everyone."

I paused and thought about what I should say, or not say. I told her that sometimes things like running fast are a little bit harder for her than the other kids because of her leg, but that she did a great job. I wasn't sure if I should have just listened to her and not brought up her leg... I struggle with knowing whether I'm focusing on it too much or whether it's a good thing to acknowledge her difference and help her frame it in a positive way. These are the questions I ask myself and will continue to ask myself as she grows and has more questions and situations arise.

She is starting to notice some of her limitations and that certain things are going to be a little bit different for her. When I think back to my own childhood, so many vivid memories arise of times when I struggled, and my sensitive nature made these times especially difficult. Ben says it's important not to project your past experiences on to your children, and he's right. But it's hard. I wish she could run like everyone else. Most of the time I feel proud and thankful for Anna's differences, but there are those moments when I wish she didn't have to struggle. This is a seemingly small incident, but it reflects the future in that I know there will be many more bigger hurdles to come. And she can overcome them. I just have to learn the best way to support and encourage her. It will take courage, support, and guidance. I pray that God will equip me with the wisdom and strength to guide my daughter- to know when to be there for her; when to talk and when to listen.