Friday, March 31, 2017

With Little, Much Can Be Done

We were in the beginning stages of our adopting our daughter, a little girl with limb differences of all four limbs. The idea of adopting a child with absent or incomplete arms and legs didn't scare us; it petrified us.

How would she walk? How would she eat? How would she write? How would she hug us?

With time, the answers to those questions became apparent. She does it just like everybody else or she does it in her own way. Duh!! But at the time, I couldn't see this or even accept this. It wasn't that I couldn't see the forest for the trees. I couldn't even see the trees!

But then one of the doctors we consulted with said something that greatly allayed my fears. We were asking very specific questions about feeding and transportation and everyday life and the doctors were answering those questions as best they could, which is to say very speculatively, because of my daughter's young age and because she was halfway around the world, not sitting on their exam tables. One doctor stepped back from the minutia and said, "With little, much can be done."

It was wise and reassuring. It was simplistic, but not patronizing. It was a statement of fact. It was advice that met us right where we were.

A little gumption, a little grit, a little grace can go a long, long way. 

Later, I was talking to a doctor who does medical missions and he said something similar. He explained that when he goes to other countries, he doesn't bring a lot of fancy equipment or gear. He works with what people already have. If you hand out shiny new toothbrushes, people will only brush their teeth so long as they have a shiny new toothbrush. When the toothbrush wears out, if they don't have the ability to get a new one, they stop brushing their teeth. You've impacted change only for the lifespan of a toothbrush. If the only available option, he said, is twigs and salt, you tell people to use that, because they'll always have access to that.

This isn't a message about "making do" or doing without. It's just a reminder.

With little, much can be done. 

1 comment:

  1. With little,much can be done....

    I like that.