The M Word

All photos on this blog are courtesy of a Nikon D3100 camera that has been gifted to the FullPlateFamily.  I have always used a Nikon camera, but never properly.  Thanks to some really great upgrades and some proper instruction, my pictures are so much more crisp and I can capture my baby’s faces so much better, before they are no longer babies.  This photo, however, was taken in Mighty’s homeland.  So, I have no idea what kind of camera was used.  The other pics were shot well before I had my fancy new camera.

I love looking at these dimples.  They make me smile.  In case you didn’t know.  We’re adopting again.  We’re currently waiting for Mighty’s Letter of Acceptance (LOA) from the government of his homeland.  This would give us permission to start processing Mighty through immigration in the U.S., to begin making him a U.S. citizen.  It’s hard to tell in this picture, but Mighty has Dwarfism.  This is the reason he is available for adoption.

Our kids recently got the chance to hang out with a few kids who look like our Mighty does.  Prior to this play date, I reviewed respectful language with our kids.  I told them that just the way Dolly had been born with a broken heart, these wonderful kids had just been born a little smaller.  I asked if the kids liked it when someone commented over and over about the fact that their mama is white.  

FYI, they don’t.

No one likes to be incessantly reminded of what makes them ‘different.’  

Mighty will be our first child with a visible special need.  This will take some getting used to for our kids.  We talked about the need to educate people about Little People and children with Dwarfism. We talked about how to refer to Mighty’s condition.  

We talked about NEVER using the word midget.  My kids have heard it before in movies and on TV, but they’ve never really considered how offensive it might be.  I told them that some people with Dwarfism have compared this m-word to the n-word.  They were shocked.  

Here is a really great post about the m-word and why its historical origins make it offensive.  Any word that gets its origins from making someone with a difference into a circus freak isn’t okay with me.  So, we don’t use it, and we’ll choose to teach others not to as well.  I’m sure families with children with cognitive delays hate the r-word and no one sane would refer to another child that way.  We feel the same way about this word.  

Some little people choose to refer to themselves as a dwarf.  We won’t be doing that when it comes to Mighty.  If he chooses to refer to himself that way, that’s his choice.  This is his diagnosis, he has to own it.  It’s a personal choice.  I come from a pediatric nursing background.  I was taught, very early on, that a child was NEVER their diagnosis.  When I worked on a pediatric inpatient unit, I would hear other nurses refer to the children as “the Rhabdo in bed 11” or “the CFer in 4.”  That child is more than their Rhabdomyosarcoma or their Cystic Fibrosis.  

They are a person.  

I am not offended when people refer to others as ‘dwarves.’  It’s just not what I feel comfortable with.  Mighty is a person who happens to have Dwarfism.  Part of the reason he is Mighty on this blog is because we hope to empower him to be ‘mighty’ in his advocacy, not necessarily for others because that’s not his job, but in his advocacy for himself.  Life is never going to be easy for him.  People are ignorant and sometimes hateful.  

When I think about that, I get sad.  Then I remember what a good thing it is that he’s got eight brothers and sisters who have his back.  

I can’t wait for this group to become NINE members strong.  

who hates it when people tell her how ‘lucky’ her kids are.  In this case, Mighty is one lucky boy to have such amazing siblings.    

2 thoughts on “The M Word

  1. Another fabtabulous post, my friend! I am also not a fan of being told how “lucky” my kids are. However, loving them as I do, I do feel that they are blessed to have each other – three siblings to share this nutty life with. And I am so, so blessed to have each of them! Having met your kids, I agree wholeheartedly that Mighty’s lucky to have them all at his back. Ain’t nobody gonna mess with that boy more than once!

  2. Excellent post, friend! And outstanding job relating the m-word to both the n-word and r-word. The m-word always rubbed me the wrong way, so it’s never been part of my chosen vocabulary, but I had never heard it equated that way and it’s poignant. I will be sure to point people to this post should I ever hear that word being used! I can’t wait to see your beautiful, Mighty boy in your arms forever!!! ♥

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