Today is National Microtia Awareness Day. Today is a day to spread awareness of the rare condition that Nolan was born with.
In the first hours and days of Nolan's life, I was scared. Scared of what happened, scared of if I had done something to cause this, scared of how he would grow up, scared of how this would impact him, scared that other people wouldn't understand, scared that kids would make fun of his ear, but mostly I was scared of the unknown.
I was blessed to get connected with other parents of Microtia children very quickly. They shared they had the same fears that I did, but told me it would all be okay.
Now, only six months later, I am already getting to tell new moms of Microtia babies that it will all be okay. We share in the community of these exceptional circumstances and have gotten connected with amazing individuals.
Am I fearless now? Not at all.
I still fear that Nolan will know he is different, but this is a fear any parent would have for their child. I still fear that others won't understand, but we have an opportunity to teach them.
The one thing I don't fear is how he will grow up.
He will grow up just like any other child with two functioning ears. He will grow up to be a strong man with compassion for others. He will grow up knowing that just because you are different doesn't mean that anything is "wrong."
He will grow up without limits because Microtia is only a small part of who he is. There is much more to life than the size of your ear.