Thursday, August 4, 2016

Raising the Perfectly Imperfect Child by Boris Vujicic (book review)

If you're unfamiliar with Nick Vujicic, then please check out his website, Life Without Limbs, before proceeding. Nick Vujicic was born without limbs - no arms, no legs, and two feet (one bigger, one smaller). His father, Boris Vujicic wrote "Raising the Perfectly Imperfect Parent" to inspire and encourage parents raising special needs children.

When his wife gave birth to Nick, they were unprepared to raise a child without limbs. However, through grief and uncertainty and a great faith in Jesus Christ, they managed to raise Nick - and his siblings - with great faith. Nick has become a very famous speaker, sharing encouragement and the light of Christ with so many people, especially those with special needs in need of inspiration.

I really enjoyed how brutally honest Boris was in his book. He and his wife actually contemplated whether they could care for Nick and, so considered putting him up for adoption. They eventually came to the conclusion that God would provide what they needed to raise their son. Most people would sweep that information under the mat, but I think it's important for those with special needs to know they aren't alone in the concern that they wouldn't be enough as a parent. I've often thought I am over my head when it comes to parenting (my special needs kiddo or my other kids)! He also spoke of Nick's attempted suicide and depression which must be a terribly hard thing for a parent to re-hash.

One thing I had highlighted in the book was this: "It is important to always keep open the lines of conversation with children and to actively engage with them as often as possible to get a read on their emotional lives. It's often said that you should listen even to the unimportant things they have to say so that they'll come to you with the truly important things later." I take flack sometimes for knowing so much about Star Wars and superheroes. This is precisely the reason I do. I listen to my children and take an interest in their interests. I hope this leads us to a connection, a relationship that will go beyond their interests into more important things as they grow up.

There isn't just encouragement in this book but also practical advice on being an advocate for your child. When you have a special needs kid, they often have therapies and medical needs - thus many appointments. Boris recommends keeping "detailed notes, medical records, and time lines or Nick's treatments, prescription drugs, allergies, illnesses, medical procedures, and all other medical matters. You can't rely on your physician to keep these records for you because records can be lost or destroyed." So true! It's important for parents to do their research on treatments, doctors, and other medical things. I've had to learn a lot about autism and epilepsy and sort through fact and fiction. It was interesting to read about how Nick's mom, a nurse by trade (her name is Dushka), had to really stand up for her son in a medical procedure. Without limbs, Nick overheats very easily and so during an operation, the doctors and nurses didn't listen to his mom and he overheated underneath those bright lights in the operating room. She made very sure to be more forceful during his next procedure to protect her son. No one knows your child better than you; be an advocate.

This was just an enjoyable read because I've seen what a wonderful life Nick Vujicic has lead. He loves the Lord, has a terrific wife and children - and those are things you wouldn't necessarily have believed at the start of his life. I think it's a good testimony to his parents.

Disclaimer: I received this book in order to write an honest review. Others may or may not share my opinion. 

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