Dwarfism Awareness Month

October is Dwarfism Awareness Month. Growing up with Rachel and her family has brought so much joy and understanding to my life. I cannot think of a family with more compassion in their hearts and zeal for life. My simple hope is that we will stop pointing fingers and start intertwining them. 

(Use the hashtag #dwarfismawareness on social media to continue the conversation)

Words from Rachel Webster:

I have experienced it all. I walk down the street. 

Sexual interrogation. The big group of men on the Seattle street corner. "Hey little momma, wanna come home with me?" "Ooooo I wanna have some fun with you! Come over here!" 

Mocking. Ridiculing. "Its a midget!" Yeah, "IT". Dehumanizing. 

My favorite. One person notices me, smirks, tries to hold in their laughter, and then quickly taps all of their friends to join the party. From over two decades of lip reading,  "Look, look, look!" Better yet, sometimes they don't bother to hide it at all. I get the face right next to me in a crowd, completely shocked. And then a scream, "Whoah!!" Or the child AND adult who follow me around the grocery store, hiding behind corners hoping I don't notice them gawking.  

And then if I'm in the mood, I shout back, "What are you staring at?" Or to the little child, "It's not polite to stare. I'm little just like you." Their response? The look of "How dare you!" Or the flabbergasted parent who has just joined the conversation and can't believe I would ever say such a thing to her child. So I'm just supposed to take it. Because no one knew any better. 

I know I'm not the only one. What about people in wheelchairs? People who are deaf and blind or both? People who have been burned or have lost an eye or don't have any arms or legs? People who struggle to talk and walk? The list is endless. And then there are those who's differences are not noticeable from the outside, but constantly battle fears from the inside. Are they just supposed to take it, too? Because no one knew any better?

The answer is no. I want to tell everyone to be kind, for we are all fighting a hard battle. I want to shout it from the rooftops! It's so ironic to me that the world has such a definition of PERFECTION. And it is all based on physical appearance, yet 99% of us will never fit into society's elite category! It's impossible. SO maybe you should just start accepting me even though I will never be 5 feet tall and the person in the wheel chair will never walk, and that woman over there will never have ears that hear, and the man's leg is never going to grow back. Did you even acknowledge that I am a human with goals, dreams, strengths, weaknesses, likes and dislikes? I have a heart that loves and a mind that thinks and lungs that breathe. 

Isn’t it ironic that we all strive to be unique yet want to fit in at the same time??? Each person has something about him or her that stands alone, it’s just that some of our differences can be seen on the outside for all the world to either judge or accept. Being different is what makes us all beautiful and we should praise God for creating us each individually.
My hope is that society regards every human being as having potential to contribute to the good of all.
— Nancy Webster
We have the best of both worlds. I’m so grateful to have a son and a daughter; one of each stature. It’s a great learning experience. Although some parents may be nervous raising the two differently, I wasn’t. We love them both unconditionally.
— Chris Webster
Be kind. It’s so easy.
— Nancy Webster
Take one day at a time, everyone has their own Goliath, I can do anything I want as long as I have the desire to do it.
— Nancy Webster
STRONGEST MOTIVATOR -

As a 27 year old, I have learned a lot. My parents being my strongest motivator. I am so lucky to have parents who know exactly what I have been through, because they have experienced it, too. They have seen 1,000 tears. Over and over again, “This world is so mean, mom. No one understands. No one SEES me.” And their greatest advice, “Tomorrow is always a new day. New people. New chances. Better moods. Greater motivation. A good night’s rest.” And always, “Everything is going to be okay.” Because, it always was.
— Rachel Webster
WHEN I REALIZED I WAS LITTLE -

Growing up in a family where both my parents are little like me, and my brother is the one who stands over 6 feet tall, I felt like I fit in pretty well. And then I met the world, and they didn’t have quite the same opinion as me. “Look at that midget, mommy!” “That’s a little girl over there!” “Is she a baby?” “Why is she SOOOO small?” I was perplexed. Why were kids nearly my height saying this about me? Didn’t they think I was just one of them? Then it happened, I remember the first time I saw myself on camera. Do I really waddle like that? Do my arms sway vigorously back and forth like that? My face. The face of a 12 year old in a body of a 5 year old. Yes, I looked different. I was different.
— Rachel Webster
I wait for the day when we can just pass each other on the street and its just understood that we are all a little bit different. The child doesn’t look at me like a monster, but instead smiles. I’m not immediately rejected on a date because of my size. The manager doesn’t blink an eye when he greets me for my interview. In a world populated by diversity, we could all use a lot more understanding.
— Rachel Webster
Emotionally I struggle, too. As a 27 year old, seeking a romantic partner, it’s so hard to find someone who sees me. Who gives themselves a chance to get past my physical appearance so they can really discover who I am. I’m sure so many who are “different” can relate. To you and myself, I am continually reminded of the wise words of Jim Carrey, “If you go around saying it’s impossible, no one will ever love me, a good man is hard to find, then you’re saying to the universe you don’t believe in abundance - and this universe that created the stars, galaxies, Niagara Falls, the Grand Canyon, and the duck billed platypus, is quite capable of finding someone for you who has the capacity to love you no matter what your situation is and will not only do that but think of it as a blessing. So, convince yourself that you deserve to be loved first of all.”
— Rachel Webster