CHECKLIST CHARLIE

When the sonogram is a diagnosis

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Their family fields honest questions from curious kids with joy and humor.

Of course, kids have questions. All moms know this truth.

“Will’s blades have flames on them, so we’re not exactly subtle,” she laughs. Blades are fancy prosthetic legs that athletes use.

Katie Butts knew her child had “limb differences” before she knew he was a son. Even before she knew the right lingo for limb differences, she and her husband celebrated the arrival of this child they loved already while he was in her womb.

“My mom will tell you it was an answer to prayer for her because, standing outside our room, she heard laughter. Of course, that was after the epidural,” Katie laughs.

Katie posted a sign on the hospital door warning people not to offer sympathy. “This is a baby we’re celebrating,” the message went.

With their doctors’ assurance that the condition was not genetic, they prepared for the birth of a beautiful second baby, only to be told that she, too, had unrelated medical conditions.

“She does not have limb differences. They’ve never been able to find links between their conditions.”

Over ten years later, their family is still celebrating.

With experience that includes children’s hospitals, diagnosis, surgeries, travel, appointments, and insurance, how does this busy mom find energy to encourage other moms? “I’m a professional napper,” she claims.

You might assume that their double surprises would overwhelm and discourage their family, but nothing could be farther from the truth. Instead, their two beautiful, active children find ways to connect with others in all walks of life. They both do so with their own unique brand of graciousness.

“If its Will, he’ll usually challenge them to a race and beat them,” she says of her son’s ability to start a friendship in almost any setting. Ellie’s approach is less dramatic, but every bit as loving.

Katie shared some hilarious stories in a recent broadcast of Fireside Talk Radio. Like the lady at the airport who scolded her harshly for putting her baby in a bag upside down before realizing it was just two baby prosthetic legs. Oh my!

Mainly, though, Katie shares great advice for all moms. She names beloved women who came to comfort her when she was on the floor vomiting with grief. She counsels all moms to seek out women who understand their journey.

“We allowed people to come into our sorrow and heartache and our celebration. Let peo-ple in,” she says, adding, “They’ll carry you when you can’t stand up.”

Katie may know the world of children’s hospitals, a world most of us never want to know. In the process, though, her family epitomizes the daily decision to celebrate life with joy. Happy Mother’s Day to you, dear reading friend, with joy to all.

Cathy Primer Krafve, aka Checklist Charlie, lives and writes with a Texas twang. Contact her at CathyKrafve.com.

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