Just some beautiful thoughts..literally.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Cayman had fallen asleep in the waiting room outside of the Pediatrician's office.

Waiting is extra boring when she's zonked out. Awake, she keeps me entertained and busy whether it's playing or feeding but since she was asleep I found my antsy foot bouncing to each passing second. To help me wait more patiently I decided to pick up a magazine, something that I rarely do but find it a real treat when I take the time.

I made my selection, I opted to go with the Parenting magazine.

I came across an insert for the Cutest Kid Contest. I looked at each child's smiling face. Simply adorable!!

Then something happened that can never be good...the gears of my analytical mind began to turn. I looked more closely at the children, searching for a larger sized head, for crossed eyes, different shaped ears, etc. Not a single one had any noticeable characteristics of a typical child born into a special needs world.

I felt broken. I was reminded of how our society functions, putting so much emphasis on outward appearances.

I smiled so tenderly at my beautiful Cayman fast asleep in her car seat. She looked so peaceful, not a single worry in this world.

How will the world measure her, I wondered, with her bumpy forehead, low set ears, oblong shaped head, keyhole pupils, deformed thumbs, or her left eye that slightly crosses from time to time? Sometimes, the world treats such differences so coldly.

I fell silently into a prayer, trying to make sense of my thoughts that weighed on my heart like a ton of bricks.

I wish for rejection and pain to never reach Cayman, but I'm a realist. I try to accept the world as it is and deal with it accordingly. I know life is full of all kinds of experiences and unfortunately rejection is sometimes one of them. So, I pray for confidence for Cayman. I pray that as she grows up, she will not need the approval of others to feel good about herself. Their approval will only enhance what she already feels. I also pray that Cayman will take every experience in life as an opportunity for growth and self-discovery. I hope she learns and never forgets that the best kind of beauty cannot be seen in a mirror or won in a contest.


I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
-Psalm 139:14

31 Showin' Comment Love:

Monica said...

ah geesh, did ya have to make me cry first thing in the morning!

Cayman is being equipped with all the right tools, you are doing an excellent job.

Stephanie said...

Beautifully written by one beautiful mother who is wise beyond her years and will bless her families' lives eternally because of the goodness in her heart.

Michelle said...

Our children are beautiful. I believe that it is a much bigger statement on those that can't see that, than it is on our precious ones. Though I have to say, I have been amazed at how many people walked right up to me in the grocery store or mall and said "what a beautiful baby", even when his head was huge compared to body and he looked remarkably like a Roswell alien :-) I believe in the better nature of people and that most are wonderful. Those that are not were put here to learn from people like Cayman and Kristen. They are the ones to pray for, that they will learn to see the true beauty in the world during their lifetimes. Owen, Cayman and all special children were born with this gift - which is most of what makes them special.

Tsquared417 said...

I think the same thing...so often, Kristen...I think there is no possible way anyone could think Cayman is anything but beautiful!!

Grandma Cindy said...

Not only is she beautiful but she has a smile and personality that can't be beat! She is ADORABLE!!! She is just perfect! I feel SO BLESSED to have Cayman as my granddaughter. Give Cayman xoxoxoxo from Grandma.

Nicole said...

I actually did the same thing. I was on the Parenting website a few weeks back and looked at the baby contest, looking for a child with Down syndrome. You seem to be a great mother from what I read : )

Beth said...

I don't think Cayman will have the need for acceptance from people who are not willing to give it to her - because she is shown SO MUCH love and acceptance by her family!!!!! Cayman is a beautiful little girl - I honestly don't see all those characteristics you were talking about - I see a happy little girl who is defying all the odds (that were so largely stacked against her) and parents who love their child!!!!!

Great post - but not good to start the tears at work!!

Angela said...

Ah, Kris, you have an amazing daughter who has defied odds...and she has a mother who has one of the most beautiful spirits I've ever encountered.

I have no doubt that Cayman is going to grow up to be a confident, self-assured girl.

Look at all the people who have surround her with a vast outpouring of love, admiration and prayer in her short life. There is no way that it won't influence who she becomes.

And beyond that...who notices any of her so-called "imperfections" when you see her grin, or when her eyes catch yours and she starts babbling away...you can't help it...your heart is captured.

I hope to have an equally beautiful daughter someday.

Love you guys!!!!!!

Jennifer said...

So beautifully put from a beautiful mother of a beautiful baby girl. :) I think your fears are legitamite. Unfortunately we live in a world full of cruel, stupid...er...uneducated people. I pray for you and for Cayman as she grows into a sweet young lady. I tell Emily all the time that she can be beautiful on the outside, but people still think she's ugly if she isn't beautiful on the inside. Most importantly, God sees her true beauty!
Hugs!!

Katie said...

BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!

I TOTALLY understand. I am surrounded by "prefect" babies everywhere I go. church, serving at church, friends, school, playgroups, family,etc.etc.

THANK YOU for your transparency and helping me to find a place of "complete" understanding!

Amy J. said...

I am amazed how well you put into words exactly what you are feeling. I am so sorry that a simple magazine made you feel so topsy turvy. It's moments like that, that can suck the wind right out of our mothering sails.
Cayman is a beautiful daughter of a loving Heavenly Father and no one can ever take that away from her...or you! :)

Josephine said...

She is beautiful, but I completely understand your fears. I have them too, especially as Avery is getting older and more aware of the way people react to her.
My hope for her is also confidence, because as long as she knows how amazing and beautiful she is, looks and comments from strangers won't matter. Cayman is growing up surrounded by people who love her and know she is beautiful, so she will be more than fine!

Cayman's Daddy said...

Isn't my wife awesome!!!

Tyler said...

I sometimes get the same feeling. I think our biggest challenge is raising our special needs children in a world that judges people from the outside. It is not fair. But as "we" all know, beauty comes from within and our kids appearances are just perfect. I know Cayman will grow up with confidence because you are a wonderful mom who will teach her those great attributes.

Diane, Tyler's mom

Tyler said...

I agree Mike, you are one lucky man.

Diane, Tyler's mom

Sarah M said...

Thankfully she has lots and lots of people who KNOW she's beautiful, in every way! And if she has half of Mike's self esteem, she'll be fine! :)

Cheryl said...

ANY contest would have a hard time beating the beautiful face (Cayman Cindy) in this post!!! Your acceptance and the fact that YOU see her as beautiful will take her FAR in life.

Grandma S said...

Did you receive the email I sent with the pictures of Cayman in her car seat on Saturday? No one could look at those adorable pictures and say she shouldn't be listed in that magazine. She's beautiful!

Lisa said...

What a beautifully written post. I know that with you as a mother Cayman will only feel the love and acceptance around her and have the strength and self confidence to deal with the outside world.

Great photo....she is a beauty :)

Carrie said...

I think Cayman is ADORABLE! I love the way her face lights up when she smiles!

The James Family said...

Kris - Cayman is so very beautiful!! I've been going through the same thing with Triniti - she has a big white spot on her leg and her eyes are crossed a lot.. but then she smiles or laughs and I forget about all those things. God made our babies so perfect. I know the kids in the cutest kids contest haven't touched as many lives as Cayman has. Cayman is beautiful inside and out just like her mommy!! :) I love you guys - I can't wait to see you!!

Alice said...

She looks just beautiful to me!

Grandma Cindy said...

I love this picture of Cayman. This look on her beautiful face I have seen so many times... usually it's when she is looking at her wonderful Mother. Could it be her "I love you Mommy" look?

Kacey Bode said...

Oh Kristen, you of course made me cry, I have felt that feeling oh so many times. It's just not fair that so many people in this world will judge our children on their apperance and not on their personality, their gifts. BUT, there are nice people out there too. Ella and I have done several talks at local elementary schools with Ella's school. It is so amazing. After these kids hear Ella's story, every one of them seems to be touched. They rush her at the front of the gym, all wanting to talk to her and shake her hand. They tell me "She is SO cute" "she is so nice!" Only one time have I been almost brought to tears, one little boy came up to me and said "she is really cute. But, I'm really sad that she has Down syndrome." I said "don't be sad for her. See, she is happy, she will be able to do everything you do. I'm not sad and she's not sad." It caught me so off guard that's all I could muster. He said "well, I'm still sad cause she has to work so hard." then off he ran. I got to thinking about it, it's not a horrible thing for another kid to be sad for Ella, NO i definetely do not want people to pity her, BUT it showed me that this kid had compassion and realized that she does have to work harder, he wasn't making fun of her, he just had sympathy. The point of that long story : ) is that I think that every new generation is more and more accepting of people who are "different" than them, they are exposed to more and I think that all they need is an explanation and to be shown that our girls are simply people. Hope that made since.

I have NO doubt whatsoever that Cayman will have incredible self confidence. She has amazing parents, who love her with all they have. Besides she is just SO stinking CUTE!!!! That picture of her is so angelic! I have tried in the past submitting Ella's pictures for just such a contest of course never being contacted, I've kind of given up on that, it still saddens me.

Anyhow hugs for you and a smooch for Cayman!!!

Bobbi said...

Hi Kristen!

I haven't written/commented in a while and apologize for that. I do check your blog often, and so does Dan and Jordan. We are so happy with the progress in Cayman's life. She is truly beautiful and brings a smile to our faces each time we see her. You and Mike are doing a wonderful job! I admire you both! Cayman is very lucky and was meant to have you two for parents! What a gift you have been given and what a gift she has received. I feel bad I have not met her yet, but am hoping to someday in the near future!

Take care & thank you for taking time to share your life with us all. It is nothing less than inspirational!

All our love!
Bobbi, Dan, Jordan (and the boys!)

Bobbi said...

Hi Kristen!

I haven't written/commented in a while and apologize for that. I do check your blog often, and so does Dan and Jordan. We are so happy with the progress in Cayman's life. She is truly beautiful and brings a smile to our faces each time we see her. You and Mike are doing a wonderful job! I admire you both! Cayman is very lucky and was meant to have you two for parents! What a gift you have been given and what a gift she has received. I feel bad I have not met her yet, but am hoping to someday in the near future!

Take care & thank you for taking time to share your life with us all. It is nothing less than inspirational!

All our love!
Bobbi, Dan, Jordan (and the boys!)

Bobbi said...

Hi Kristen!

I haven't written/commented in a while and apologize for that. I do check your blog often, and so does Dan and Jordan. We are so happy with the progress in Cayman's life. She is truly beautiful and brings a smile to our faces each time we see her. You and Mike are doing a wonderful job! I admire you both! Cayman is very lucky and was meant to have you two for parents! What a gift you have been given and what a gift she has received. I feel bad I have not met her yet, but am hoping to someday in the near future!

Take care & thank you for taking time to share your life with us all. It is nothing less than inspirational!

All our love!
Bobbi, Dan, Jordan (and the boys!)

Bobbi said...

Hi Kristen!

I haven't written/commented in a while and apologize for that. I do check your blog often, and so does Dan and Jordan. We are so happy with the progress in Cayman's life. She is truly beautiful and brings a smile to our faces each time we see her. You and Mike are doing a wonderful job! I admire you both! Cayman is very lucky and was meant to have you two for parents! What a gift you have been given and what a gift she has received. I feel bad I have not met her yet, but am hoping to someday in the near future!

Take care & thank you for taking time to share your life with us all. It is nothing less than inspirational!

All our love!
Bobbi, Dan, Jordan (and the boys!)

Bobbi said...

Hi Kristen!

I haven't written/commented in a while and apologize for that. I do check your blog often, and so does Dan and Jordan. We are so happy with the progress in Cayman's life. She is truly beautiful and brings a smile to our faces each time we see her. You and Mike are doing a wonderful job! I admire you both! Cayman is very lucky and was meant to have you two for parents! What a gift you have been given and what a gift she has received. I feel bad I have not met her yet, but am hoping to someday in the near future!

Take care & thank you for taking time to share your life with us all. It is nothing less than inspirational!

All our love!
Bobbi, Dan, Jordan (and the boys!)

Bobbi said...

Hi Kristen!

I haven't written/commented in a while and apologize for that. I do check your blog often, and so does Dan and Jordan. We are so happy with the progress in Cayman's life. She is truly beautiful and brings a smile to our faces each time we see her. You and Mike are doing a wonderful job! I admire you both! Cayman is very lucky and was meant to have you two for parents! What a gift you have been given and what a gift she has received. I feel bad I have not met her yet, but am hoping to someday in the near future!

Take care & thank you for taking time to share your life with us all. It is nothing less than inspirational!

All our love!
Bobbi, Dan, Jordan (and the boys!)

Anonymous said...

When I was pregnant with my son, now 13 months, I used to get American Baby magazine, and I also received some older editions from a friend. I think it came free with something for pregnant moms. Anyways, I remember there were at least two issues where the children they featured as their "cover model" had down's syndrome. I remember thinking about how wonderful that was. Not every child born is the typical kid, and they did a wonderful job of recognizing that every child is simply beautiful. Perhaps you should send them a picture of beautiful Cayman! By the way, I certainly smiled when I looked at that adorable picture of her smiling!