Unfinished {Part 2}


“What’s wrong with her eye?”

“What happened to her eye?”

“Is she blind?”

“Does she have a lazy eye?”

“What’s wrong with her?”

“Can she see me?”

“Is it going to fix itself?”

Those are just a few examples of some more of the things I have heard regarding Kennedy’s coloboma. Need to read up on what it is? Check out this post.

I realize those questions come because Kennedy’s condition is so incredibly rare, and she will most likely be the only person in their lifetime that they will meet like this. Regardless, hearing this hurts. I go through days of not even noticing her eye or thinking about it, and then I hear one of these questions, or someone acts pretty ignorant about the situation, and I’m truly saddened and worried for my little girl.

I love Kennedy so much. I love every single part of her, including her coloboma. I think it makes her incredibly special. It literally is a physical manifestation of how our lives and souls are never finished; how we are a continual work in progress. I just worry for how others are going to start treating her once she starts going to school where children become judgmental. Let’s face it, it is different and kind of weird. You can try and compare whatever birth mark you have to her eye, but the fact is that it is not the same. Every time I look at pictures of eyes or every time someone draws eyes, the pupils are always round. But what about Kennedy’s keyhole shaped pupil? How do I explain this to her when she later has questions after she learns that eyes are two circles with two little dots inside the circles?

I just worry about the future. I worry that kids will be mean. I worry that she will rebel and try and hide her face, retreat from others, and become socially awkward. I wonder if she will ask me for  a contact lens to hide her coloboma (I discovered this website that deals with cases like hers, and it’s pretty neat), and I will gladly let her have one. I just hope she doesn’t become ashamed of herself. Ashamed of what God made her, because God doesn’t make any mistakes.

Why am I writing this post? Why hash this out again when I’ve already posted about it before? I just think there is a lot to learn, especially with how we look and treat other people. Specifically when it comes to teenagers.

Throughout the school year, when Kennedy would come to rehearsal with me, some of my students would push her around in the stroller. She loves walks. Some of the other random kids that would be around after school would approach her and ask really ridiculous questions, just like the ones up at the top of this post. High schoolers are the absolute worst, aren’t they? My students were really offended and, of course, they felt hurt and came and told me. We had a thoughtful discussion about Kennedy and about how others pass judgment in high school. They shared experiences on how others have judged them before, even on things that weren’t as noticable as Kennedy’s eye. This discussion had a few of us in tears, and it felt amazing to just talk about this to them. Kennedy doesn’t even realize that she is already helping others open up and talk about these issues! What a blessing she is!

It makes me so happy to know that my students care about her so much. Kennedy really is a normal, beautiful girl. She has perfect vision. She truly brings everyone joy. The kinds of students that I have that care about her so much give me hope. Also clicking on the #coloboma hashtag on Instagram has made me feel so inspired (go look it up now!). I hope Instagram or something like it exists when Kennedy is a teenager so she can find her community. I’ve already found one little boy whose eyes are exactly like hers. It’s so crazy. So insane to think out of all the people in this world, I could find one little boy on instagram only months younger than her with eyes that are almost identical.

Like I said before, we are all unfinished. We are all a work in progress. We all have something that we feel we are different because of it. Kennedy’s is in the window to her soul. Perhaps that may seem bad, but I find it incredibly humbling.

32 Comments

  • Reply
    Jennifer
    May 15, 2013 at 7:31 am

    What a great post. I had to click on your link to read the previous one to find out about the condition. I think Kennedy is beautiful. I cannot stand the way people react to things they don’t think are normal. My daughter Emma’s ear has a crinkle look to one side. This is obviously normal, but her stepsister would keep saying what is wrong with her ear? That’s weird. And on and on. Seriously? It pissed me off. She has no respect for others in my opinion. I can’t imagine if there was an actual defect on my daughter how she would have reacted to her.

    I am happy to hear your class was upset about what others were saying. I think people don’t realize the stupid things they say until it’s someone they know personally.

  • Reply
    ~Rachel~
    May 15, 2013 at 7:57 am

    What an adorably unique little girl you have! I think this condition just makes her more endearing. And I can relate first hand to rude comments regarding my kids…having one adopted and one biological has attracted idiotic remarks! I wish people would be more open minded. Quite frankly there are a lot of ass holes out there. 😉

  • Reply
    Sarah @ Life, Love & Dinner
    May 15, 2013 at 8:08 am

    This is such a great post and you have a wonderful outlook on your beautiful daughter’s differences. I have to admit, I had to look at the first picture a few times before I even noticed because I couldn’t get past how gorgeous and blue her eyes are!

  • Reply
    Annalilly
    May 15, 2013 at 8:25 am

    She is a blessing, for sure!

  • Reply
    thepaceofitall
    May 15, 2013 at 9:15 am

    What a sweet post about your beautiful daughter. I think it’s so sad that people say such hurtful things out of ignorance and I hope Kennedy learns to brush them aside and it makes her stronger, rather than letting people like that get to her. And she has just the right mama to teach her that!

  • Reply
    Darby Hawley
    May 15, 2013 at 9:39 am

    Meg you’re such a beautiful and loving mamma to Miss Kennedy! I find her eyes, both of them, to be so striking and gorgeous! She is going to be a heart-breaker!

  • Reply
    M_Murray
    May 15, 2013 at 9:42 am

    My daughter had a lazy eye and was wearing patches and glasses right after she turned a year old and when she was a year and a half she had to have eye surgery. Its been 8 month since she had surgery and people still ask me about it. She still wears glasses part time but overall has no more problems. Even though her eye is fine now it still bothers me that people still ask about it. It is mostly people who knew she had a problem. This was a great post and you have accepted all the challenges that are going to thrown at you head on and because of that and your confidence your daughter will have an easier time with it. All she has to tell people when the time comes is this is how God wanted her to be made so she would be special. She may get made fun of for it but her real friends will know and treat her just as she should be treated.

  • Reply
    Life With Lauren
    May 15, 2013 at 9:44 am

    Such a great post. She is absolutely beautiful and perfect just the way she is. I hate that people can be so rude.

  • Reply
    Amber
    May 15, 2013 at 9:55 am

    Kennedy is such a sweet, gorgeous baby. If anything, her “imperfection” makes her even more perfect. It adds character & makes her even more special! She’s got a spunky personality like you – I know she won’t let it get her down. She’ll make it fun! 🙂

  • Reply
    Lindsay @ Trial By Sapphire
    May 15, 2013 at 10:00 am

    I think it is so amazing that comments about Kennedy’s coloboma led to such a wonderful teachable moment for your students! THAT is one of those school days that they will remember. I still remember life lessons like that from high school.

    And you know what? I don’t think Kennedy is a normal, beautiful girl like you said. She is an extraordinary, beautiful girl. EXTRAORDINARY.

    I’m not sure how often moms are told as their children age, so I’m just going to tell you: You are an amazing mom. This post proves that.

  • Reply
    Amy
    May 15, 2013 at 10:23 am

    She’s such a beautiful girl and I think it’s one of those things everyone initially notices, and that’s the hardest part. There is immediate judgment and unfortunately that’s human nature.

    We’re all unique.

    As someone with a birth mark on my face that is pretty big, I have experienced the ups and downs of self-esteem. Some people look at me weird, some people don’t notice it until later on.

    I’ve considered getting it removed before, but I decide that I was born with it for a reason. I do put makeup over it, and I have gone through phases of trying to only take photos with the other side of my face.

    It’s just another part of learning to love yourself. She will have her own journey – and as a beautiful girl with amazing supportive parents she will learn to grow strength and character from judgement.

  • Reply
    gayle t.
    May 15, 2013 at 10:53 am

    Meg! Oh my goodness, this post brought tears to my eyes. I love your heart, truly.

    I know that it is easier said than done, but do not worry. You know that the Lord loves Kennedy even more than you do, which seems impossible, but it’s true. He will work in her and through her, just as she is now.

    You are helping Him to lay a foundation in her life so that she finds her identity in CHRIST, not in her unique trait in her eye. I do not know what it is like to be on the receiving end of these questions, but where there is ignorance, there is opportunity.

    I read this post, and this does not happen to me, ummmm, EVER, but I KNOW, I absolutely KNOW that God is going to do amazing things in her life because of her uniqueness. I truly, in my gut, believe that she will learn to love her difference, and that will allow her to minister and love others in a way that is the way Jesus loves.

    Continue sharing like you have! She will learn to respond to others how she sees others respond. One of the #1 best things you can do for her is to just love her like Jesus does, and I think you’ve got that down pat.

    Like I said, I love your heart, and I am so humbled and grateful for the way you share your thoughts. Never ever stop being honest about your feelings, doubts, fears. Bring them into the light, and in the light, they will lose their power. 🙂

    Many, many hugs to you…
    Gayle | Grace for Gayle

  • Reply
    Katie
    May 15, 2013 at 11:16 am

    It’s funny, but I don’t even notice it when I see pictures of her anymore. It’s just part of who she is and what makes her special!! And I think it’s great that she was able to start a conversation amongst some high schoolers about being different and being judged for it!

  • Reply
    Meghan
    May 15, 2013 at 11:20 am

    Oh Meg, I love this post. First of all, I barely notice it at all, and I think it gives Kennedy a special character. She’s unique:) And I love that you have turned this into a teachable moment for your students. By doing so, they will go out into the world and not pass judgment when they encounter someone who is a little different than they are. You are an amazing mother, and teacher!

  • Reply
    Jamie
    May 15, 2013 at 1:40 pm

    Her eyes are gorgeous. I’ll bet with a momma like you, she’ll never be ashamed of her pretty eyes.

  • Reply
    Sarah @ More Sangria, please!
    May 15, 2013 at 1:53 pm

    I think its so beautiful and hopefully it’ll be a great conversation starter when she gets older. I hate how people ask those questions in front of her! Would they ask a parent whose child has down syndrome if they will live on their own as an adult, or more personal questions? Didn’t think so.

  • Reply
    Shelley
    May 15, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    This post made me cry 🙁 I worry about bullying and meanness too. Kennedy is beautiful!!

  • Reply
    tara
    May 15, 2013 at 7:34 pm

    she is perfectly beautiful and is a lucky little girl to have such an amazing momma behind her! love you both! <3

  • Reply
    Heather
    May 15, 2013 at 8:26 pm

    Kennedy is such a beautiful baby! I think the most beautiful women have something that set them apart and the colomboma will do that for her.

  • Reply
    Haute Mommy
    May 16, 2013 at 11:23 am

    Meg this brought tears to my eyes. First of all, of how sweet your students are. Then secondly, I can only imagine what it’s like to have to field all of the inconsiderate questions about your child and wonder if it will go on her entire life.

  • Reply
    Nikki
    May 16, 2013 at 1:41 pm

    I just read your touching post about your daughter’s eye. I was born with a cataract which left me legally blind in one eye. On top of that I have one blue eye and one brown eye. When I was younger, my eye wandered and it was quite noticeable. Now that I am older, my eye is stronger and I don’t have that issue. Throughout my life, I have had different feelings about my eyes and whether or not it made me insecure. I wore a brown contact in the blue eye in middle school as I remember boys on the bus commenting on my different eyes. I also have memories of being called lazy eye by mean girls at school. Now, I am told my eyes are my best feature and people love that they are different. Raise your daughter strong and confident and she will learn to embrace what is different as what makes her beautiful. I promise every kid is make fun of even without something that makes them different. As long as she has a strong sense of self on the inside she will be seen as the beautiful girl she is. Good luck and thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    LesleyEpstein
    May 16, 2013 at 7:56 pm

    I’m an optometrist and have met a few teenagers now with a coloboma. I only have one that wanted the contact lens but it was mainly because she was a little light sensitive. All of them said that it didn’t really bother them and they rarely even think about it anymore!!!
    You’re little girl is so adorable btw!!!!

  • Reply
    Brooke Tolly
    May 21, 2013 at 9:09 pm

    What a wonderful post! I think it’s a blessing that she has coloboma! She is going to be such a strong girl/woman because she has you as a mom!

  • Reply
    bailey k.
    June 8, 2013 at 11:10 am

    What an amazing post! This is truly uplifting. We all need to see how things in our life that may be different can be such a blessing to others and to ourselves! Your Kennedy is so beautiful and unique. And your students sound like the best students ever!

  • Reply
    shannon riddick
    June 11, 2013 at 7:42 pm

    Again Thank you!.. How amazing it is to read this from another mother’s heart. I just posted on your first Unfinished post. My baby Madison has the same condition. i am in tears. 🙂 good ones.

  • Reply
    Stephanie
    June 17, 2013 at 6:58 pm

    So, I randomly found your blog when I was googling coloboma and I have to say your attitude is a breath of fresh air! My daughter is 14 months old and has a unilateral coloboma in her right eye…Aside from the feelings of guilt and responsibility, I worry about how she’ll be treated by other kids and if I’ll be good at instilling the kind of self confidence she’ll need to smile and walk away when someone says something mean.

  • Reply
    ABC's of Me :: Meg | Houston Moms Blog
    September 15, 2013 at 7:01 am

    […] My daughter, Kennedy, has a coloboma of the iris. Basically, it’s an extremely rare birth mark that makes the pupil appear keyhole-shaped. You can read more about that here. […]

  • Reply
    Kris
    November 3, 2013 at 11:15 pm

    Thank you for sharing! Kennedy is a beautiful child. Kids will be kids, everyone has something special about them that make their peers will comment on.

    I do believe that a cosmetic contact lens may be beneficial when she is old enough. Not to mask her “condition” at all, but having a functional contact lens that gives her a true pupil to enable her to focus light and images near her foveal center without the aberrations and glare she has now. The earlier she can try it, the faster cone development at the macula will occur, and depth perception and near accommodation (ability to focus up close) will improve.

    Again, thank you for sharing!

  • Reply
    Anna
    April 15, 2014 at 6:16 pm

    I know this is an older entry, but I thought I’d comment in case it would help at all. My eyes are very similar to Kennedy’s and I’m in college now. Elementary school is the hardest, because kids ask some really insensitive questions, but if you always show Kennedy that her eye is a positive thing, she’ll learn to think so too. My mom used to tell me that I had an “Angel Eye” and it helped a lot with counteracting the meaner kids that I ran into. Overall, I was never really bullied for my eye, though. I realized after a while that kids were just curious about it since it is pretty unusual, and the only way they really knew to show that was by asking questions that often came off as rude. I started to really love my eyes in middle school, and I’ve loved them ever since. I actually fix my hair sometimes to try and draw attention to my eyes. Hope that helps a bit and I wish you and Kennedy the best of luck! 🙂

  • Reply
    Unfinished - Meg O. on the Go
    May 4, 2015 at 9:53 pm

    […] And for the record, everyone notices how beautiful she is. I happen to agree with them. Read my follow up post here! […]

  • Reply
    Tonia Ferguson
    May 17, 2016 at 8:59 pm

    hi, I know this post is years old, but it was the first thing on the internet that I found that gave me some peace about my own 11 day old daughter. She slept so well, that the nurses couldn’t get her to open her eyes when they did the routine checks in hospital, so it wasn’t until we had been home a few days that I noticed one eye is not like the other. I too had a c-section, but there were complications and they had to use a vacuum assist leaving a hematoma on her head. I had no idea what was wrong with her eye (birth defect, caused by the suction, something else?) until I ran into your blog. We have an appointment with a pediatric ophthalmologist for a few days from now to find out how far back it goes. I have been worried and a little stressed, but knowing that Kennedy can see and seeing how adorable she is, will help me to wait patiently and trust God with her well being. Thank you for sharing!!

  • Reply
    We're Not Alone
    January 16, 2017 at 12:58 am

    […] about this when Kennedy was a baby. You can check out the first post I wrote here and the second here. I felt so alone when I wrote that first post. Colobomas happen in 1 in 10,000 people. The chances […]

  • Leave a Comment