Mary Ann Parisi’s adopted son Michael was being bullied at school. So she decided to write a Facebook post explaining some of the issues Michael has faced in his life, including being born premature, to remind others to be kind to one another.
In her post she wrote:
“Michael was born at 26 weeks. Just over 3 months premature. I am not his bio mom. But in every other way, I am his mother. He spent the first 3 months of his life fighting to survive. Shunts, blood transfusions, etc. His mother left him 3 months later. He has survived failure to thrive and numerous other health issues to become the strong, healthy boy he is.”
“He didn’t learn to talk till he was 3 years old. Walking was very delayed. He didn’t have teeth till after his first birthday. He was so very behind. But he loved. Oh how he loved. To this day, his smile is the best thing ever. There is not one person he doesn’t like/love, including those who tormented him today.”
“He forgives and honestly, he forgets too. There is not one judgemental bone in his body. I strive to be more like him daily but fall very short. You called him brace face today, before you were picking on him because of his eating habits. Did you know he physically can not control the food staying in his mouth. Or how very bad his hand/eye coordination is. Those braces are just one of the many steps he will endure, to help align his lower jaw that never fully developed. So he doesn’t spill his food or chew weirdly anymore. So you won’t pick on him.”
“Kicking his chair, calling him stupid, ugly, brace face, bucky beaver. Telling him to sit down and shut up is not the way. You don’t have to like him, but you do have to respect him. He’s a fighter, that’s a very small portion of his story. Share, teach, grow. Most importantly respect those around, you never know what they have been through.”