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‘I’m standing here and yet you’re talking to my mum about me!’

Our daughter, Linda, is 14 and completely perfect. She makes us feel special, loved and needed and yet everyone else thinks there’s something wrong with her.

Yes she does wear hearing aids, yes she does have educational delay, yes she does struggle with her speech and yes someone was so unkind to her that whilst she was in the care system her brain was damaged but does that make her imperfect? No it does not.

So why does this fast, demanding, often unkind and regularly unthoughtful world we live in give people a license to feel they can ask ‘what’s wrong with your little girl’? A question they tend to ask in front of her.

Do I sound cross and am I being a little candid? Maybe I am a little but then I’m her mum and although I pick my wars, I’m in the trenches with my girl and god help anyone who comes across ‘no mans land’ and cross the line!

Linda is adopted and on the day we brought her home at 23months old, she weighted 15lb. On that day, we made a promise to her that no-one would ever hurt again and that we would dedicate our entire lives to ensuring that she would reach her potential.

It’s been an incredibly tough twelve and a half years and we don’t pretend that parenting Linda is easy; it isn’t. She spent months and months in hospital during her early years with us and her anger and frustration at her delay and attachment issues has been a period in our lives that has marked us all. However, we have conquered so much as a family that, as a team, we are completely unbreakable and we are immensely proud of what Linda has accomplished.

However, through all those dreadful years of trauma, the hardest times were always at the hands of unthoughtful, ignorant people. We’d be on holiday simply minding our own business and someone would wander over and ask ‘what’s wrong with her’. She’d be stood next to me in a queue desperately trying to speak to the assistant and they’d reply to me and not her ………..and I could go on.

So, if I could change the world it would be to remind people that kindness is a free currency and that they should spend it regularly. Further, I would love to put it to people that I chose my daughter because of her needs and that maybe their children wouldn’t have been on my ‘wish list’ and that I would pick her again and again over their ‘perfect’ children because, quite simply, my daughter is perfect for me.

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