Just because Hope Giovanna can't talk or move doesn't mean she's any less of a person!
I hear you talking about her behind my back: I hear you talking about her when I go to the store, to the dentist's or doctor's office, to the post office, to her school, to the bank, out to eat--wherever.
I hear the hurtful comments, see the pitying stares, and I am here to tell you this: stop doing it; it makes me uncomfortable! I feel like I'm being judged or am on some kind of trial!
Let me explain a few things about my daughter so you don't continue making false judgements or accuse me of bad parenting. My daughter was born brain damaged: this is why she cannot talk, cannot move all that much, or do anything for herself.
Hope may be six, but she is like a baby. She cannot feed herself, dress herself, use the toilet, or do anything normal six-year-olds do. Yet she IS able to fee emotion, knows how to receive love and give it back to people in her smile, her happy noises, or her hugs, and can let you know how she is feeling or what she is experiencing via her word board, which is how she communicates.
Yes, caring for her is a twenty-four-hour job, but it is a job I wouldn't trade for all the money in the world. I am her mother, and she is my child. Even though she is severely handicapped, I still have a fierce love for my daughter; I can't imagine putting her into an institution or a hospital and just leave her; to do that would destroy the bond between us, and I want a much better life for my little girl.
Hope deserves all that life has to offer, the good or the bad; and I want to be there with her as she experiences it all!
I see the ugly faces or the stares you give to her whenever we go out to eat. I hear the ugly comments you make. "Don't bring her in here!" "Oh, the poor little thing!" "Such a waste; such a tragedy." I've heard it all, and frankly, I'm getting sick of it! Enough already!!
I hear you calling her names, horrible names, names like Vegetable. Imbecile. Severely retarded. Moron. Stupid. Idiot. Don't you realize how damagning those names are to her--let alone, me?? I can't tell you how many times I've heard my baby crying at night because of some comment some joker made about her. Hope may not be able to talk, but she CAN hear. She's not that stupid!
Next time you see her, all I ask is this: please, please treat her as any child would want to be treated: with dignity and respect. Hope is not an object: she is a person, first and foremost, a person who was born severely handicapped! She deserves that much!