When we found out our daughter would be born with Achondroplasia (the most common form of dwarfism), we were scared, upset and worried about what was to come. Had I known the JOY we were in store for, I would have realized I was just wasting time worrying.
Chloe is pure joy in a body made perfectly for her. Dwarfism isn't a bad thing, but the stereotypes surrounding the condition are. Those with dwarfism can do everything that average height people can. They have the same feelings and emotions. My hope is that by being vocal about her condition we show people how typical she and her peers are, and we can hopefully shatter biases and make her future brighter.
Recently, I have struggled with how much to share about our lives on social media. I have had questions of what I should share, what might be embarrassing to her someday, if being vocal even helps. Does sharing Chloe with the world help people to see her as a typical toddler or does it do the opposite, putting focus on her condition when we are trying to make people see how having dwarfism does not define a person? I think every mama-advocate must have those same thoughts and struggles, but we also have the same concerns of future happiness and acceptance. Reaching out on platforms such as Instagram to form a community, find support and to find ways of educating is so valuable. I just pray that all the #shoutingtheirworth is worth it in the end.
I have said from the beginning if I can change one person's view, and they change someone's (and on and on) that we did our part. If we made it so that one less person makes fun of her , one less stranger takes her photo when out with her family, one less person to call her a "midget".....then it's all worth it.
-Melissa Hess of @the_fourvaths