Kelly and Zac were ecstatic to find out they were expecting after trying for so long. The pregnancy was easy and Kelly loved every day of it. After a long labor and delivery, Everett was born. After spending a couple of days in the hospital, they were excited to go home with their baby. As they were getting ready to leave the hospital pediatrician asked them if they noticed Everett looked different. “We were caught off guard,” Kelly said. A few days later, their regular pediatrician advised them to have some genetic testing done. Tests showed that Everett had Achondroplasia, a form of Dwarfism.
Parents Felt Fear for Their Child with Achondroplasia
Everett’s diagnosis hit his parents hard. They envisioned a “perfect” life for their child and this diagnosis was going to prevent that from happening. “I did not want our child’s life to be harder than what mine has been…It was a lot of wrestling with God over that,” Zac said.
Kelly had a difficult childhood in terms of not feeling accepted by those around her. Because she was ridiculed for petty reasons, she worried about the world accepting Everett. Kelly and Zac turned to God for understanding and comfort. “All we could do was turn to God in prayer and plead for Him to work in Everett’s life, and that’s what we did,” Kelly said. Once they did this, they could more easily love Everett and his Achondroplasia diagnosis.
Relying on God Enabled Parents to See the Joys
Zac is excited that he will have opportunities with Everett that are different from other fathers and sons. He remembers his friends talking about how talented their sons are at playing sports. While it’s true Zac won’t be able to bond with Everett over sports in that way, Everett will develop other interests. “For all intents and purposes, he is a perfect little boy, just more little,” Zac said.
Kelly has a lot of joy seeing Everett grow and develop. Seeing him reach milestones is exciting because they recognize what an accomplishment that is for him. Everett is head-strong and full of determination. “I’m thankful that God instilled him with those things because I know that they are going to take him far in life,” Kelly said.
Everett is the first grandson on both sides of his family. When he was born everyone was extremely loving and supportive. Their love only increased after he was diagnosed with Achondroplasia. “They see the beauty in him,” Kelly said. Since no one had any experience with this disorder, there were initial concerns with Everett’s health and life expectancy. Once they learned he would not have any serious complications, everyone was relieved.
Advice: You Can Find Peace Through God
When your child receives a diagnosis like Achondroplasia, it will feel like you are swimming through an ocean of worry. Praying is the best thing you can do for yourself in this situation. “That’s where you will find the stillness and the peace that is beyond your understanding,” Zac said. Turning to God enabled Zac and Kelly to process what their reality and future will look like with Everett.
In the beginning, Kelly did not spend time Googling facts about Achondroplasia. She used her time to focus on being a mom and bond with her baby. “I did not want his diagnosis to take over my life,” Kelly said. They have since branched out and joined support groups which uplift and encourage them on their journey. Everett is a gift to Kelly and Zac and your child is a gift to you. Nothing happens by accident. If your child has a disability, they are meant to have it.