Jeannie Ewing is a Riley mom and creator of the blog “Love Alone Creates”. Below are her reflections regarding prejudice.
It's been a little over a year since I've given birth to our second daughter, Sarah, who was born with Apert Syndrome. I often tell people - and myself - that, while this isn't the life we would have chosen, Sarah has certainly blessed our lives and touched many people we have met. Even so, I frequently confront my own inner guilt and feelings related to having a daughter with a rare chromosomal anomaly; often these are ugly admissions, but I believe that authenticity and emotional transparency are critical when sharing our story and our journey with others.
Initially Ben and I wondered why God permitted a child who would endure such harsh judgments from the world to be born at all. We then realized that we, too, had our own judgments about humanity - what we should look like, who we should be - and we inadvertently projected those judgments onto Sarah, who doesn't yet know she is different. That is the beauty of having a child who is different: while still an infant, they innocently and naively believe they are like everyone else. And because of this, they force us to face our jaded hearts that have been tainted by cruel expectations of ourselves and others.
Sarah has humbled us in many ways, because she has nothing to hide from the world; her little smile speaks, "Here I am!" with all the love she has to offer. At times I realize she really is like us in many ways, even though her appearance will give away her differences. And while I am ashamed to admit that I didn't want to have a daughter who would look different, looking back now I am grateful for who Sarah is and wouldn't want her to be anyone other than who she was born to be.
To read more about our personal journey on Confronting Our Prejudices.