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Just The Way You Are - Introductory Article

Just The Way You Are

                Welcome to the first piece in a series of articles on special needs, disability, and the people whose lives it affects. My name is Lacey Buchanan and I want to thank you for taking the time to allow me to share with you something that is near and dear to my heart. If you enjoy it, please continue to follow this column, as I will submit articles often. If you ever have any ideas, questions, or concerns please e-mail me at
                I would like to start my first piece with an excerpt from a story. In a children’s book by Lisa Tawn Bergrenm , a curious baby polar bear asks her mother where she came from, which leads into an adorable discussion about her mother’s pregnancy. “Umm, Mama? I was wondering . . . Did you ever want a different baby? One like Samuel the seal or Fredrika the fox?” “Never,” Mama said. “Never, ever, ever. Your Papa and I wouldn’t trade you for the world.” “Why?” Little Cub asked. “Why? Because God gave us you.”

             Having a child is one of the greatest joys in life. But sometimes, that joy can turn quickly into other emotions, such as fear, sorrow, mourning, depression, and anxiety to name a few. Why, you ask? Nothing can break an expecting couple’s heart more than a phone call from the doctor with news that they are concerned about the health of the unborn child. I know, because in August of 2010, my husband and I received that call. Six months later, a bouncing baby boy, Christian Taylor Buchanan, was born to us. He was diagnosed with blindness in both eyes, a Tessier cleft lip and palate, a clubbed foot, a hypospadias, and a cutis aplasia on his skull (if you don’t know what these are, just Google them).

             We were devastated to say the least, but that is not why I am writing this article. It has been since Christian’s birth that I have come to realize how little most people know about disabilities, the lives of people who live with disabilities, or how to handle situations in which they come in contact with someone who is disabled.

              It is also astounding to me the lack of compiled information on the topic for people who need to be educated on the subject. Even as Christian came home from the hospital and we were sorting out how to make sure he had all of his medical supplies, got the medical care he needed, and even just how to do the proper things to make sure he developed correctly, I found that all of the information I came upon happened by chance.

               For these reasons, I asked the Cannon Courier if I could, and they so graciously allowed me, to write an article so that I can do my part to educate the public and to help those seeking out information on the subject to find what they need.

            How did all of this come about, you might ask? It all began when I started taking Christian out to places in the normal course of our daily lives, such as the grocery store or a restaurant.  It didn’t matter where we went really, we always received the same reaction. People would stare at Christian, whisper behind my back “Look at that baby,” and some even got the courage to ask me what was wrong with him.  It got to the point where I would put a blanket over his carrier, and when people asked to see the baby, I simply refused. Then one day, I changed my mind. I was not going to hide the face of my child, the child that I thought was the most beautiful thing I had ever laid eyes on. Although I realized the severity of his facial deformities, I knew it wasn’t me who needed to change what I was doing, but others that needed to change the way they thought about people with disabilities.

                And so, for Christian, and for every other person out there who has to live with a confinement that most of us will never know and wouldn’t have the strength to bear, I am fighting. I am fighting for the stares to turn into smiles. I am fighting for the whispers to turn into words of encouragement. I am fighting for the “What’s wrong with your kid?” questions to turn into respectful, caring questions. I am fighting so that those who live with a disability will feel like they belong in this society, not as outcasts who are looked down upon. I am fighting so that they may know that they are as important as anyone else, so that they may know that they are as valuable as someone who has perfect use of their legs, or eyes, or mind, because I believe with all my heart that these things are true.

              So about that children’s story that I introduced at the beginning of this article, I never got around to telling you the point.  I read this story to my son last night and it resonated with me. No matter what difficulties we have to face, and no matter what things my son will never be able to do, I would never, ever, ever want another child instead. Why? Because God gave us Christian.



  1. I have to say you are such a strong person. And your son is adorable! God has a plan for him and for you!

  2. I just saw your video on Godvine and can't stop crying. You are such an have such a beautiful heart! Beautiful baby Christian is so blessed to have you as a mom.

    I will continuously pray for you and your family for strength and God's dependence to shield you from the darkness of others from this world, as well as pray for all of those people out there that have said and will say hateful things to your family. I hope that they see the beauty of life in God's gifts rather than poke fun and judge what they can't understand.

    ❤ Happy Mother's Day Lacey! ❤

  3. With Mothers Day coming up I had to comment and say that I couldn't think of a more deserving person to celebrate Mother's Day! You are truly an inspirational person! Thank you for sharing your beautiful story with the world!

  4. I watched your video and cried. Not from sadness but from the LOVE that I saw in your eyes as you kissed your beautiful little boys head. I have two little boys and both are healthy, active, rambunctious, and into everything. I love them with all my heart and I couldn't imagine life with out them. I saw that look in your face, as you "told" the story of Christians birth. It gave me a start to see the date of his birth, He is only five days older than my youngest, Logan. THANK YOU for sharing your inspiring story of love and acceptance.

  5. Happy Mothers Day to you.....I watched your video and bawled like a baby. We, too, got the same msg after our first ultrasound saying all of these things were going to be wrong with our son....after seeing a high risk specialist, tests and the wait until he was born....he was fortunately only born with bilateral clubbed feet. But I know how you felt.

    Thanks for sharing your story.....Christian is BEAUTIFUL!

  6. Lord bless you and that beautiful child .

  7. I have twins boys (born two months premature) with soooo many problems. After watching and crying over your video, my boys' problems seem like nothing. Lacey, you are an amazing mother and Christian is so lucky to have you! I thank you for not aborting (murdering) your precious baby boy. God bless you and your family.

  8. god bless you and christian.u both r so beautiful.

  9. I've just started reading your blog. i started at the beginning and am working my way to the end. and i felt compelled to tell you this, i think your baby is so cute! most people say that the average baby is cute, but i hardly agree. I think Christian is so cute! and his joy is so evident on his face! :)
    Thank you for sharing your's and his story. it truly has been a blessing to me! :)
    God bless!

  10. i saw your video and just want to say what a wonderful.mummy you are and how you have inspired me. your son is so beautiful. he is so lucky to have such a wonderful mummy and daddy. your story will change lives. i just want to be a better mum to my kids. all they need is our love. thank you xxx

  11. I would like to just say, I saw.your video and now read your blog and you are such an inspiration. Theyre many woman who abort their children for selfish reasons, and hear you sit, a young woman with possibly more of a reason then any, but instead chose the most unselfish thing you could do and bring such a beautiful baby boy into this world and love him as much as u clearly do. God will give your family many blessings I am sure as Christian is definitely one of them. I pray that the Lord shields Christian from the evils that human beings can be. May he fill your lives with beautiful, supportive people. You are a beautiful person and your son will grow to be one too with a mother like you. God bless

  12. God Bless you, Christian is a sweet and beautiful boy.


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