Kids Like That

Micah Pederson by Micah Pederson Additional Needs

Micah Pederson

Micah Pederson

I am a mom to two children biologically and many children through foster care. My husband and I have been married three years. Our foster home is a...

Dear Sir,

I heard you refer to my children who happen to have some additional needs as: Kids like that.

In fact, I have heard these words tucked within tainted opinions multiple times when referring to my children, their classmates, or other individuals who have additional needs.

“You must be such a special person to adopt kids like that.”

“What’s the life expectancy for a kid like that?”

“I would never take a kid like that on vacation.”

“I’m just not used to being around a kid like that.”

I can’t quite know what you mean when you use this phrase that attempts to define my children and categorize them with pre-determined worth and purpose polluted with dashes of ignorance and close-mindedness.

Therefore, I must ask: Are my children truly kids like that?

To answer this question I must pose a different question: Kids like what?

If by kids like that you mean individuals who are as beautifully unique as each crystal snowflake that graces the earth with its glorious presence….then yes.

If by kids like that you mean abundantly brave warriors, thrown into the midst of battles they would never choose but navigate while still spreading kindness like confetti and hope like rays of the sun….then yes.

If by kids like that you mean children who often understand the most important things, who are unafraid to cry when life is hard, laugh every chance they get, and love loudly…then yes.

If by kids like that you mean humans beautifully and wonderfully knit together by the hands of a good and creative God…then yes.

If by kids like that you mean the little ones who have grown their mama in endless ways and added every kind of color, magnificence, and meaning to her life….then yes.

If by kids like that you mean the ones who remind me each and every day to extend grace and unconditional love to “people like that”—people like you—who use words as daggers whether knowingly or not…then yes.

So yes. I suppose my precious children are kids like that.

I will always fight for my kids like that.

And despite your ignorance and lack of tact, I will fight for you—the “people like that”—too.

By people like that, I mean people who sometimes say really cruel things.

By people like that, I mean people whose ignorance has deeply cut the hearts of my children and me.

By people like that, I mean people whose own experiences have shaped their hurts and their need to lash out.

But by people like that I also mean the people who are worthy of the grace and understanding I advocate for toward my children.

People like that who are human.

People like that who are worthy of unconditional love.

People like that who are still created by a good God and gifted a unique personhood and purpose to pass on to the world.

The truth is we are all people.

People just like that.

Sincerely,

Mama of the kids like that

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