Anything but Ordinary

Anna strikes a pose on the beach last summer.

Photo: Julia Ozab

My daughter is anything but ordinary.

She was born with a cleft, making her one out of about six hundred. She developed apraxia of speech, making her about one in a thousand (or maybe a hundred—I’ve read different statistics in different places). She’s dealt with both, making her one in a six thousand—or is it sixty thousand? I was never very good with math.

With an outgoing personality in spite of everything she’s been through, and given all the advantages of early intervention and treatment available in a “first-world country.” That’s one in a million.

With the last name of Ozab, perhaps one of the rarest names on earth. One in about half a billion.

And of course a unique individual, created in God’s image, and known and loved by him, which makes her one of a kind. Like all of us. Extraordinary.

But sometimes being different is a burden, especially at a new school.

“I just want to fit in.” That’s what she told me the other day. She longs to be ordinary for once, or at least a little less out-of-the-ordinary.

It’s tough, being different your whole life. To struggle to be heard, to be understood. And in a new school, surrounded by unfamiliar faces, it can be too much for a seven-year-old kid to handle.

And we need to do everything we can to help her find that place where she can be comfortable being Anna. Where she can be herself, but still fit. Like a piece in a puzzle.

Each one different, but all fitting together, in a place called “I belong here.”

Five Minute Friday

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10 thoughts on “Anything but Ordinary

  1. She definitely sounds like an extraordinary young lady! It’s a pretty delicate balance though, between loving being different and wanting to fit in, isn’t it? And so tricky for parents to help kids navigate through it all!!

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  2. Every child is unique, and created for a unique purpose by God. But I completely understand how hard it is for a child at school to feel different when she just wants to fit in. I was there not too long ago myself. It’s hard, but I pray that God will help her to accept who she is and that, as a unique person, she is uniquely gifted. I also pray that she will find good, wholesome friends who will accept her for who she is, support her and stand by her in tough times. God bless 🙂

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  3. christywillard says:

    A friend of mine’s daughter has apraxia of speech, too. I have seen how hard it is to be different and yet how beautifully accepted she has been at school and at our church youth group. She may not be able to express herself poetically, but in so many ways she is just like any other girl. She loves, cries, desires in all the same ways an “ordinary” girl does. But she is so special in all her own ways.

    Christy @ A Heartening Life
    http://www.ahearteninglife.com

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  4. Dear David
    I think your daughter’s desire to fit in and to be accepted is a very normal desire! After all, we were all created for community. I pray that she will soon find her feet in the new school and that she will see herself as the special little person she is not only in your eyes, but also the eyes of her Heavenly Father!
    Blessings XX
    Mia

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  5. Oh, but tell her that while she longs to fit in I am so glad she is just the way she is, beautiful and with an amazing story that gets better every day. And someday, probably sooner than she thinks, her story will help another girl or boy. She will be the only one who can do it because she knows, better than anyone else, what it means to find a place to belong. You go Anna! ROCK on! Thanks for sharing her with us David.

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