Adorable 7-year-old Zack Robbins was adopted by his mother, Jill, along with his brother, Kyle, when they were just babies. The two were adopted from China, but Zack carries one distinct difference to his sibling – he was born with one “small” hand.
Jill still recalls the day her two boys entered her home and explained that she has always stressed the fact that Zack is not limited by any means. If anything, his limb variation is one that sets him apart in a positive way, making him unique. His right arm has not completely formed and has been this way since birth.
But it is not her adopted son’s physical difference Jill is worried about. As she wrote on her blog, Ripped Jeans And Bifocals, Jill explained that more than anything, she fears how cruel other kids can be.
“I’ve never held him to a different standard or told him he can’t do something because of how he’s put together,” said Jill in an interview she gave ScaryMommy. “I try to teach all my kids that people come in all different shapes and sizes and to treat people kindly. He’s made the way he is and we can’t do anything about it – although he does wear a prosthesis sometimes,” she said.
The mother of two wanted to pass along the message of how crucial it is for parents to teach their children that not all people look the same. Since her son recently expressed his fears of going back to school, Jill decided it was time to approach the matter head on. In her post, Jill wrote about how she also had trouble understanding her son’s limitations at first:
“We adopted Zack when he was two and we honestly thought his limb difference was no big deal. We’ve spent most of the last five years telling him to “put that down” and “stop climbing that.” (But) he plays soccer and flag football. He does martial arts. He colors. He helps me in the kitchen. He carries his own laundry basket from his bedroom down to the laundry room.”
Then she went on to state her request for other parents:
“Here’s my take-a-way: Ask questions and be curious about people who look different that you look. But before you stop to ask questions, consider that there is a living, feeling person on the other end. And, if you have a child who is different, in any respect, keep paying attention to what they’re experiencing, thinking, and feeling. Their perception of being taunted or ostracized MATTERS. Listen. And please… don’t let your kids be jerks. Talk to them about differences and inclusion.”