Buying clothing and other items for my son who battles achondroplasia is very painful for me, I just need you to know that thought abortion is never a choice for us we do understand people who have done and or considered doing it at a point in their lives, I do not support abortion but I have experienced the fear to what’s to come when you are uncertain and doubtful, just let me say it is not as bad as you think, you can do this! anyway, No judging here! you are forgiven and loved beyond measure by God no matter what.
After 6 years of shopping for my boy, I have gotten better at it so I wanted to share a few tips I learnt… I have been told there are specialized clothing stores that cater to people with the same challenge but I have not found one so far.
One of the things that I teach the kids is to love what they wear and to feel comfortable wearing it, I usually set a few choices within the budget and let them take their pick, then off we go to the fitting room and it is nothing but praises. I try my best to give a lot of compliments and to help them with the color combinations. Though I know my oldest son has the achondroplasia challenge, I try not to make it more obvious to the eyes by buying extremely short pants and shirts or extremely long items. I just try my best to make it easier on my son and to help him feel great and comfy with every outfit he gets.
– I never let his pants be too short, I like his pants to cover all the way down to is shoes, I make sure we get a little room in there for when he sits down. This year my son gets to wear a uniform… it is best if purchased in the store and not online.
– I get shirts that fit his shoulders well, my son does not like it when the short sleeves point to the sides or have a “bell” effect in his arm. I try to have every formal shirt fall comfortably like 4-5 fingers after his belt, same with every shirt or t-shirt. For uniforms, Old Navy is my favourite, the white short sleeves and long sleeves fit us very well.
-I love to encourage my boys to look great, comfortable, clean and neat and once they put on any outfits I always tell them how handsome and amazing they look. My oldest son is totally persuaded that he is a good-looking boy despite his challenge, he does not feel less handsome than a taller boy, this helps him make friends every where he goes, and though he is aware of his challenge, his self-worth is based on how special he is to Jesus, to mama, papa and brother, no comment breaks him, comments might hurt him but not to the point of destroying him.
Shopping is very painful to me because I do wish with all my heart not only for my son but for everyone who has a health challenge… I wish no one had to go thru such things. However, as I walk this journey with my son, I am totally aware of the power of God and His unfailing love, I know He listen to our prayers and that His will is for all to be made whole, so doing what I need to do, does not mean I have stopped believing. We do not have to give up hope. I continue to pray for healing and I always go to Jesus for everything about my son, Jesus is the answer and until our answer arrives, I will rejoice in my Jesus, my Hope.
Another thing that I wanted to mention is *friends, some kids are curious, some are not too kind with their comments and attitudes depending on their age and understanding, so we have found that the best way to help our son move freely among his friends is by teaching him what is good to listen to and what is not worth it, comments or chats that he can take part in and, comments and chats he needs to dismiss right away. Supervising who he is playing with and how the kids and parents relate to our son is a good thing too, this gives moms rest of heart when we know they’re playing without getting hurt or being labeled or hurt by comments or attitudes, we can not control every environment but we can control what happens inside our homes. We welcome every body to play with us at home but we are careful. I have had to stop a few friendships and visits to my house because some of his friends have given him unkind words and comments, “names”,… some of them had invented a game to call my son and then run away from him and as my son followed them crying because they were too fast these 2 kids laughed at our when he fell down, or it seemed funny to them to make him run behind them… remember that in a earlier post I mentioned that kids with achondroplasia fall more than taller kids due to the length of their legs… So things like that can be nicely avoided, no need to hurt anybody’s feeling but no need to plant negativity in our situations either. We still have a relationship with kids who have not being kind with our son but play time is supervised by me, except when play time is with friends we know, keep it nice, until our son condition improves we continue to educate others about our challenge and continue to set good healthy boundaries that keep us and others safe. It is all going to work out very well.