April is Limb Difference (or Loss) Awareness Month. During this month I like to share experiences of my 18-month old daughter Livy, who was born symbrachydactyly. That’s a fancy word for having a limb difference on her left hand. We found out about Livy’s diagnosis when I was 20 weeks pregnant. Initially I was devastated and didn’t know much about limb differences. Since then, our family found the Lucky Fin Project and we have been connected with others who share their stories (the good and the not so good) of living with limb differences. We have found great inspiration and comfort in this community.
Now that Livy is 18 months old, she’s walking…or more like running, talking more and becoming more independent. It’s really amazing to see all the ways that she is growing and coming into her own, specifically with her limb difference. People are always amazed that she can grasp and pull things with her “special” hand. This makes me laugh because, duh. Of course she’s able to do all that and more. I’m always glad when others notice her hand and strike up a conversation about it. That is all we really want: to have questions asked and to be included. It’s been a wonderful learning opportunity for the children at Livy’s daycare and whom we see at playgrounds, fairs, etc.
Talking to children about differences is important. It’s something we work on regularly with our children. Kids can be so kind and open hearted and luckily that has been our experience so far.