“The disabled body is the whole body”: Lessons from parenting a child with a disability.

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On this episode of “America This Week” Tim Reidy and Kerry Weber talk about the challenges, both big and small, faced by Christians beginning new stages in life. Two America articles— Tracey Wigfield’s “A Sorta Catholic’s Very Catholic Wedding” and Heather Kirn Lanier’s “My daughter has a disability. I don’t want Jesus to fix her”—provide topics for discussion. Kevin Clarke joins to offer his perspective.

Heather Kirn Lanier is this week’s guest, and she called in to speak to America about what motivated her to write her article about being a parent of a child with a disability. “In my first year with [my daughter], I would take her to church and she was very tiny…. And the common comment I would get from well-meaning parishioners were: ‘don’t worry, she’ll catch up’.... The pervasive message I got was that people would want a person with disabilities to be able to pass as a person without.”

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Speaking of Emily Rapp’s book Poster Child, Lanier emphasized that “the wounded body—the disabled body—is the whole body.” She later elaborated: “After learning about [my daughter’s] syndrome and acknowledging my own resistance to that I’m realizing: This is how God made her.”

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