It’s not unusual for nervous parents to count a newborn’s fingers and toes to make sure their child is normal. But what is normal? What happens when there aren’t ten fingers and ten toes?
Is every life precious, or is it only when everything is “normal”?
Kenny Sanford tackles that question in “Why Are You Crying, Daddy?”, the story of Kenny and Jane Sanford’s son, Todd, who was born with hydrocephalus and spina bifida.
Despite daunting physical challenges, young Todd carves out a unique love-space within his family and community. His winsome personality and keen interests — from monitoring the weather, to studying and meeting politicians, to enjoying family vacations at the beach — endear him to all who meet him. Todd’s life makes a difference in the world.
By publishing Todd’s story, Sanford hopes to demonstrate the value of all life, even life that someone else might not count as valuable. “In our family, what some would count as a tragedy, we’ve been able to see as a blessing,” he writes. “I offer these stories as a testimony to how God has blessed and sustained our family and gives value to all life. It is my hope that these stories will also mean something to others.”
Sanford grew up in rural South Carolina with a mentally challenged brother, and he learned early in life about some of the difficulties special-needs families experience. When he and his wife became parents of a special-needs child, they were able to draw strength from those experiences, he said.
The Sanfords appreciate opportunities to volunteer for humanitarian organizations that proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ. They are active members of Two Mile Swamp Baptist Church in Cope, S.C.
“Why Are You Crying, Daddy: A Story of Love, Laughter and the Sanctity of Human Life” can be purchased directly from the author at firstname.lastname@example.org or at online booksellers including BarnesandNoble.com and Amazon.com. Sanford is available to speak for churches and other groups.