What’s wrong with “wrong”

Here’s where You get to hear me rant a little:

Words are a big deal. Even the tiny little ones that slip out when we fail to think before we speak. Especially the ones that slip out. The words we choose to use to describe others reveal a great deal about our attitudes towards them, and the words that we hear spoken about us from a very young age can influence our perception of self for the rest of our lives.

So if you have “heard that there is a problem with the baby,” or if you feel compelled to ask me “what’s wrong with him?” if you just want to let me know that you’ve been “praying that God will fix his brain” or if you feel like anything you say at all about him must be said in a hushed tone as if it is some terrible secret… Please STOP for a moment and consider that our son is a human being, not a disease or condition. Even an unborn child can hear spoken words, and while they may not yet understand them or tone with which they are spoken, these words set the foundation for how they will come to view themselves in the future.

There is nothing wrong with Zeke. He doesn’t need fixed. His arrival is being anticipated with all the joy and excitement that two parents’ hearts can contain. He is, to us and God, a perfect, unique and beautiful child and that is all that he will ever hear pass our lips. His brain may have formed differently than most people’s, and he may (or may not) face some unique challenges because of it. As he grows, he will show us who he is and what he is capable of accomplishing, and as his parents, we will learn from him and respond by being the best support system we can for him, whatever that means. (which is, after all, what every child needs)

Of course we appreciate that others are concerned for us (which is why I respond as politely as I can when faced with unappropriate comments) and are grateful for all the prayers and kind thoughts that have been sent our way. As Zeke’s parents, we have concerns too. We worry about his health since medical complications are commonly associated with ACC (although all indications have been and still are that he is growing and thriving and healthy!) We worry about challenges he may face (and worry that worrying too much might cause us to label him or limit his potential!) We worry about how others will treat him. Most of all we worry about ourselves and our effectiveness as parents (and work to prepare ourselves, better ourselves, grow, adapt….)

I also understand that many times, well-meaning people simply don’t know what to say. I’m sure I am guilty of sticking my foot in my mouth on more than one occaision (and if you have ever been on the receiving end of any of my unappropriate remarks, I sincerely apologize!)

I simply offer a reminder to THINK before you SPEAK. Make it intentional. Make it a habit. Apologize when you mess up. And maybe someday, this world will be a better place ๐Ÿ™‚

While you’re at it, it never hurts anyone to spend some time educating themselves: google “people first language” and spend a few minutes reading what you find. Makes you think….


7 thoughts on “What’s wrong with “wrong”

  1. Oh Jodean I love this post. In front of my four year old child people ask me all the time “what’s wrong with.” He has perfect hearing. I usually put a puzzled look on my face and tell them nothing….he’s absolutely perfect.

  2. Well said. This is something that I’ve watched very close friends struggle with regarding “labeling” their child based on a medical diagnosis. Like the fantastic parents that they are, they wanted to provide their son with any available resource needed to succeed, which, in this case, meant having the diagnosis be more publicly known. This exposed them to well-meant (at least we think they were!) but hurtful comments from people. It’s always good to remember to think before we speak, and sometimes a little gentle eye-opening to our blindspots is also in order. Thanks for posting this!

  3. You are one super strong lady – I’ve been following your blog for a while and, as a mama of two boys, I can say with authority that it’s going to be a blast!! Looking forward to seeing pics of your sweet new son!

  4. Zeze is wonderfully made and is PREFECT just the way GOD made him! We love you all and can’t wait to see the newest member of your family!

  5. Hey! I found your blog from your comment on mine (thanks, by the way), and I LOVE this post!! Also, I’ve been reading back over your blog for about an hour, and I just wanted to say that I am so incredibly sorry and heartbroken for your loss of Hope. I will be praying for your pregnancy with this new precious life! And your oldest is precious! ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Hello,
    My name is Carri and i too am a mother to a son with isolated ACC. I am also a photographer! I found you via the angels around the world ACC network. Zeke is precious and sounds like he is doing quite well. I know exactly what you are feeling, wondering about his future. It was a very big concern on my mind until my son, Cade was born, and like Zeke did great. He gets therapy and his main delay was he didn’t walk until 21 months but now he is all caught up! He is 29 months old now. He is even advance in his eye hand coordination skills, and speech. I know how unsettling all the uncertainty can be but hang in there…..it will just come as it was meant to be. You can check out our family blog at http://www.beauprezfamily.blogspot.com
    Carri Beauprez

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