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