On a bright sunny day, a girl with dark mischievous eyes ran outside, eager to take on the world. With a box of sidewalk chalk, she bounced down the driveway meeting up with her friends to draw her creations. Her parents smiled out the window, happy to be back in their old neighborhood, filled with old friends that treat her just like any other kid, because SHE IS.
And yet, at the very same time,...she IS DIFFERENT, and DIFFERENT is OK.
This girl got up, independently used the bathroom, dressed herself, brushed her teeth, did her own hair, ate bowl of noodles (rapidly) and then donned socks and shoes by herself. For a “normal” 7 year old, no big deal. Try having a left arm that ends above the elbow with two digits that don’t function as “fingers” (i.e. no knuckles), a longer but short right arm with fused elbow, ending with paddle hand (no fingers, no thumb). Oh, and she also has an amputated right leg. Her left leg is “normal”, except for 2 fused toes. She is LEFT-footed; everything someone would do with their dominant hand, she does with her left foot. No one taught her, she instinctively did it herself. She was born this way, she is limb different.
Wait, WHAT? Yep…She can do ALL of that. And, she does A LOT more. She swims, builds Legos, paints, does Kung Fu (Yeah…actual Kung Fu) wakeboards, gymnastics, dances…cuts and polishes her own toenails…(YEP, you read that right). No one taught her, she did all of this on her own. She eats noodles with chopsticks between her toes. How can I verify this?
I’m her MOM.
The first time I saw her use her toes, I was flabbergasted. When we met her in China, she still had both feet. The right leg was much shorter, thinner and right foot had only 4 toes. Her ankle was in a perpetual pointed position of atrophy. About one year after our adoption she underwent a very extensive surgery to correct misalignment of her hip, femur, knee, tibia (she has no fibula) and had a Boyd amputation, all in the same surgery. It lasted 8 hours and she was in a cast up to her chest for 7 weeks.
Since Selah has BOTH upper and lower differences, BOTH congenital AND surgical, I have the unique perspective to help you navigate this journey. I’ve gathered resources, networks and support over the past 5 years that can benefit you. Consider this your central HUB for limb differences. It’s designed to make your life easier and give you the support to know you are NOT alone on this path. You’ll have Up’s...Down’s… Wonder’s… and @#$%%^$!
If you have found your way here and have concerns about your family / child’s future, rest assured. You WILL get through this. It WILL be OK! NubTribe was created to help. No one’s path will be the same. Was our journey easy? No… And, you know what, even if I could change it, I wouldn’t make it easy. If so, I wouldn’t have met some of the most incredible folks on earth. You will find no other community as authentic, kind, loving, caring and giving than this one you are entering. I am called to do this work and am so passionate about YOU and your families. It is SO important that you feel welcomed into this tribe. It is a close knit family, and we help one another through this. Your kids will THRIVE, and when they do, they will mentor others. You will see, and you will beam with pride at how they spread their love and resilience to the next generation.
Welcome to NUB TRIBE – Your Central Hub for all things NUB, a place where you can BELONG. This is for YOU.
~ Karen, Founder