(Guest post by Alisha Marie Peters – Alisha blogs at The Moments That Change Everything)
I am a regular mom in many aspects. The biggest being that I worry about my child constantly. Most who know my daughter would probably think I worry about her health, her well being, her never-ending surgeries, and of course I worry about those things. How could I not? But, those who know her, also know that she is probably one of the strongest, most resilient children to ever grace this planet. So those things don’t threaten my thoughts as much as the looming question of, will she have friends?
I don’t have to tell most of you that survived junior high and high school how vital good friendship really is. In fact, most of us thrived on it in those awkward and relentless years.
A good friend can make you laugh at even the most unlikely of times. They can pick you up when you are down, be a shoulder to cry on and a source of advice when you need it the most. And I worry that my daughter will not have this. Why? Because unbeknownst to her, she has been ostracized already, and not just once or twice. She has already been seen as “different” to some of her peers, and it literally shattered my heart. I worry about the day that it will affect her the same way. It baffles my mind that anyone can see her as anything other than how her parents see her- perfect, beautiful, sweet, loving and endlessly happy. I wouldn’t change anything about her, right down to her missing DNA 😉
But, wonderful friends are everywhere. And thanks to the Chromosome 18 Registry and Research Society, we have been connected with families all over the world who like us, have children as unique as ours.
That is also the beauty of the annual Chromosome 18 conferences, where you get to physically meet these families. Where our daughter can feel at home, and just like any other kid. There’s no judgment or criticism, just accepting and happy, loving friends.
Here are some of the friends we’ve met along the way.
Our family is eternally grateful for the connections we have made through the Registry!