Hey friend! Continuing in our celebration of stellar guests we’ve had on the Heal Podcast in the first two years, Ellie Sanazaro comes in at number 24. Guys, I’m so glad I get to re-promote this episode! Since we talked, Ellie’s Instagram and book have blown up, and she is making huge headway for inclusivity within the realm of children’s books and beyond. I’ve personally bought her book, Image Bearer, not only for our own children’s book library to read to our daughter, but I have bought it as a gift for others, too.
Ellie Sanazaro became passionate about the topic of inclusivity when a few months into her first pregnancy, she and her husband were told that their daughter would be born with a disability. While the blood test was not meant to be diagnostic, they were told its ability to detect genetic abnormalities was 99 percent accurate. Their daughter, Rosalie, was supposed to be born with an extra chromosome, which would mean she had Trisomy 13. Well, surprise of all surprises – when Rosalie was born, she actually did not have the extra chromosome the test said she would. So after preparing their hearts and minds for a much different life, the Sanazaros had a neurotypical daughter.
But God didn’t leave it there! Because God had stirred up such a passion in their hearts for parenting a child with disabilities, a few years later they ended up feeling prompted to adopt a son with Down Syndrome, an abnormality that comes from a full or partial copy of chromosome 21. Now Mr. Finncredible, as they call him, not only enlivens their family with joy, but he gets to share his joy with all of us through their Instagram at @mrfinncredible.
Take a listen to Episode 61 to hear Ellie talk about how we can instill a biblical view of disability in the next generation from the start. Her book, Image Bearer, has illustrations of real kiddos who have different physical differences, and you can even ‘meet’ those image bearers online at the Image Bearer website. I can't help but believe that if we got resources like this into our children's minds, perhaps we could better educate our world on inclusion and our true identities in Christ.
Listen to learn more about:
· How Ellie and her husband were led to adopt a child with disabilities, but it took a few years for them to feel prompted at the same time.
· How God changed Ellie’s heart from one that leaned toward relief for not having a child with physical limitations to a heart passionate enough about all children bearing God’s image that she wanted to adopt a child with special needs.
· What it looks like for us to live everyday lives with more inclusivity – tips on how to interact with parents of children with special needs, how you can introduce your kids to children who look and act differently than they do in a respectful and healthy way, and how to start by changing your own attitude to one of more diversity and inclusion.
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Favorite Quote from the episode:
“You hear parents say it all the time when they’re pregnant: ‘Oh, we don’t care if it’s a boy or a girl, as long as the baby’s healthy.’ And the thing is, if you put your hope in that, it can really let you down. And really, God can and does use babies who aren’t healthy, who aren’t able-bodied or neurotypical. God uses all those people and so I just think as parents we have to be careful with putting all of our hope in that idea of having a really healthy child because there’s no guarantees.”
Links from our conversation:
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