At the mall yesterday, Namine gave us a lesson in acceptance.

As we entered the mall, we saw a group of people and a few golden retrievers. The people belonged to Grrow (Golden Retriever Rescue of Wisconsin), an adoption service organization. Namine is for the most part no longer afraid of dogs, so she asked if she could pet them. They were happy to oblige.

After Namine had gotten to pet the retrievers, one of the volunteers handed Namine a couple cards. One on side was a picture of dogs (the very same as the ones she’d just petted) and the URL for GRRoW’s website, and on the other was a little bio of each dog — one card for each dog Namine had gotten to pet. As we walked around the mall, Namine read all about the dogs she’d just met.

After she was done reading the dogs’ bios, Namine told me all about them. “Daddy, these dogs aren’t like other dogs. One was even born with a birth defect, like me!”

“Really? That’s interesting. What do you think about that?”

“Well, I was born different too. My heart has a defection, and I have to walk with my walker. So I’m not like other kids.”

I smiled at her word defection. “You mean ‘defect.’ Yes, you were born with several defects. Your heart, your legs. Is there something wrong with that?”

“No, silly. It’s just the way things are.” Namine paused. “But there are things that are the same between me and my friends, too. Me and Norah like to play together. We have play dates and we argue sometimes, but she’s my friend and I love her and she loves me!”

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