When You Look at Her

When you look at her, I don’t want you to see her disability. I don’t want you to see weird. Different. Gross. Not normal. Unusual speech. Slow walking. Weird walking. Stupid. Dumb. Hand flapping. All the things she can’t do.

When you look at her, I want you to see HER.

Her beauty
Her chocolate-brown eyes that always smile
A gorgeous head of thick, brown hair
Stylish outfit

A girl who…
loves without abandon and doesn’t know how to be mean
loves Disney movies and Spongebob and her family
wants to hang out with friends
plays with her brothers
jumps on her trampoline
sings at the top of her lungs
dances and doesn’t care who’s watching
lights up a room with her smile
laughs freely
makes jokes and is really funny
understands more than you know
has friends and family who love her

When you look at her, I want you to see a girl who…

wasn’t supposed to talk and yet here she is saying “Hi! What’s your name?”
wasn’t supposed to walk very well but is running over to you to say hello
works 100 times harder than anyone I know and doesn’t complain
has been working on her name for 13 years and can finally write it

When you look at her, I want you to see that she is loved. Deeply and by many. She is cared for thoroughly and with pleasure. She is treasured. Revered. Inspiring. Lovely. Funny. Feisty. Smart. Amazing.

When you look at her, just see her.



25 responses to “When You Look at Her

  1. Yes, I see her, just her. she is beautiful and wonderful and amazing. So are you.

  2. Every mother’s anthem, a prayer, really. We all beg that the world looks at our extraordinary children and just sees them, the beauty, the joy, the enormous love they bring to every single person who takes a moment to get to know them.

    Olivia is so very, very beautiful and so incredibly blessed to have such a warrior of a mama who fights for everything for her and who loves her with such ferocity.

  3. Love Love Love this post!!!! what a gorgeous picture.

  4. I love this picture of Olivia. You’ve truly captured her essence.

  5. We all see her because of you. You wont’ let us see anything else. I loved the term “Warrior Momma” someone used above. You are. She is lucky to have you & what a gift she is to you. To so many of us. Love you & her!

  6. I dont remember seeing her any other way!!!

  7. When I look at her I see the image of God reflected back to me through her eyes and smile. I see the touch of God’s mercy and grace and I see His love written all over every part of her. If we are each created in the image of God, I believe she was created on one of God’s really good days! Oh to be such a free spirit and allow your soul to move your body to create happiness within yourself. When I walk into my classroom I am like a celebrity and hear my name being called from across the campus. I am gifted with the opportunity to experience unconditional love over and over every single school day and it is MY LIFE that is being blessed, challenged and changed… all for the better and the good of others.

  8. I love this post. She is such an amazing young lady. You make it easy for everyone to see her. It’s not a wonder she is loved by so many πŸ™‚

  9. Absolutely beautiful. All of it…your words, her face, and most importantly, her amazing spirit that you described so perfectly. πŸ™‚

  10. For some reason, I have tears running down my face. You have said exactly what I wish for, for my girl. I know there are hard days, but Olivia is nothing but beautiful. SO thankful that you are here to express what is true.

  11. That’s exactly what I see- a little girl who is so beautiful, wears the stylish clothes around (you’ll have to tell me when your next garage sale will be πŸ˜‰ ), and is a joy to everyone around. It is just amazing that she can do all those things that the doctors told you she wouldn’t be able to do. You plan on writing a book, right? You really need to do that! πŸ™‚

    Whoa- just saw your google map! You are reaching so many people and you are such an inspiration!

  12. BEAUTIFUL BEAUTIFUL BEAUTIFUL. Olivia and you!!!! And might I say she is looking very pre-teen in that picture, so grown up and SO BEAUTIFUL!!!! Wonderful post!

  13. Hi Tiffany,
    I am so glad to have found this. You were one of the first people I ever talked to when Cooper was born with CDC. Olivia is a beautiful girl!!! I would love to re-connect. Are you going to the conference this year? Are you still in Calif? Now, I will have to read all of your posts, there goes my cleaning….LOL! You are an amazing mom….I finally gave up the writing because Cooper hates it. So we just use the iPad for typing it. πŸ™‚

  14. I hope my daughters have a friend like Olivia, who is loved. “Deeply and by many.” What a beautiful girl!

  15. My dear bloggy friend,
    After three years of reading your blog, I want you to know that is exactly how I see her. I see a physical beauty who is out-shined by her own spirit. Every picture you have shared shows a girl so alive, so filled with soul and humanity that I feel almost sad that I haven’t had the great pleasure to meet her in person. And as to being loved, no girl can smile like that if she does not feel completely and totally enveloped in love. Yes, my friend, that is what I see.

  16. Olivia’s amazing…
    beautiful…just like any other child

  17. Lovely words about your little girl. I am certain people see her.

  18. I see exactly what you describe. And I absolutely adore seeing her through your eyes! She is beautiful. Inside and out.

  19. beautiful tribute for a beautiful girl. I am CERTAIN everyone who knows Olivia does indeed see all of those wonderful things!

  20. This one gives me goose bumps, every time. You are such an amazing mother AND writer!!

  21. Again one of my favorites! And she is normal Tiffany she is your normal πŸ™‚

  22. When I see a picture of Olivia all I see is her smile, in her eyes as well as at her mouth.
    What a beautifully written post πŸ™‚

  23. Absolutely beautiful. Olivia and this ardent plea from a loving mother.

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