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I Can Promise You I Do Not

This is Ellianna.
She is my sister. 
I know. 
I know people look at her and don't see the potential I do. They see her smile. And hear her infectious laughter. But others also see her disabilities -  her Cerebral Palsy, that makes it hard for her to walk  Her learning disabilities, her dyslexia, and dysgraphia that make it difficult for her to read and write, even when she painstakingly practices over and over. They see her cochlear and discover her profound deafness. Very few people take the time to learn her language and communicate.

With so many special-needs, the world looks at her and doesn't expect her to become anything or achieve anything of worth in life. 

A few weeks ago, I re-watched the movie, The Imitation Game. It is the story of Alan Turing, the creator of "Turing machines" - also known as computers. In the film adaption of Turing's story, we see him hunched over his desk, drawing sketch upon sketch, countless diagrams and ideas pouring out of his head onto paper - and the utter disbelief from his colleagues that what Turing was doing was actually accomplishing anything. How those diagrams reminded me of Ellianna's talent with spatial directions, her quick nimble fingers building lego structures without diagrams to help her, and her natural understanding of technology. Her mind is always turning, always questioning, always discovering.

"Sometimes, it's the people no one imagines anything of, who do the things no one can imagine.' ~Alan Turing, "The Imitation Game"

Turing's machine cracked the German Enigma code and together, the team's work shortened WWII by several years and save thousands of lives. 

Though I had already seen the movie several times, that night tears welled up in my eyes at the end of the movie when Joan Clarke, Turing's teammate during the war, visits him in his home. She finds him depleted of strength and his brilliant mind draining away. Joan has everything Alan does not - a job, a spouse, a normal life. Kindly and with a firm, steadfast gaze, Joan tells him:

"No one normal could have done that. Do you know, this morning... I was on a train that went through a city that wouldn't exist if it wasn't for you. I bought a ticket from a man who would likely be dead if it wasn't for you. I read up on my work... a whole field of scientific inquiry that only exists because of you. Now, if you wish you could have been normal... I can promise you I do not. The world is an infinitely better place precisely because you weren't." Joan Clarke, "The Imitation Game"

In that moment as I cried, Joan's words resonated with me in a new way. I realized her words are precisely what I tell Ellianna, whenever she becomes discouraged...when she asks why she doesn't have friends that come to visit...when she cries in frustration at not being able to communicate with others as she so longs to...and when others, looking at all she isn't, miss everything that she is and all she can do. 

No one normal could have done that...

Ellianna's Art for Orphans
Can you see the man on the bench amidst fall leaves?

Dear Ellianna. 
If you wish you could have been normal, I can promise you I do not. 

The world is an infinitely better place precisely because you weren't. 

Follow and write to Ellianna at: I Am Ellianna on blogger and Facebook!
Learn about her Art for Orphans and order her prints by contacting Ting Ministries.