Eryn Austin, wearing a BlindNewWorld t-shirt, holds Primrose on her hip - facing her and smiling. Primrose is facing the camera and smiling.

We all have those definitive moments, those HUGE moments, in life when you just know things will forever be divided into before and after. Meeting our daughter Primrose was one of those moments.

Our family of four became a family of five through international adoption in January 2016. We saw a photo and description of our daughter on a Facebook adoption advocacy group and instantly fell in love. The photo showed her as an infant, her eyes the most piercing silver/blue – and the description included her diagnosis, blindness from congenital glaucoma.

For the first 23 months of her life, her glaucoma went untreated, so by the time we got to her, she was in great pain and was clearly miserable. Primrose’s blindness has often been overshadowed by other health issues. Her blindness is simply part of who she is – this beautiful and smart little girl, who loves to find the light wherever we go and navigates the world with her hands. She is not yet talking or walking, so we are learning to communicate in other ways, by touch, by question and response.

We get asked all the time, “Why did you adopt a child you knew would be blind?” Our answer is “Why wouldn’t we?”

She is brilliant, even with her developmental delays, even with a genetic puzzle we are still piecing together.

She is funny, even with no words.

She is intuitive and clever, even though she cannot walk yet.

She is everything anyone could ever want in a child. Loving, affectionate, curious, precocious, joyful – and our family simply would be incomplete without her.

All of her. Her complexities and her fierce hugs. Her silly singing and her determination. There is not one thing holding her back from life. Nothing.

And she continuously teaches our family that we put labels on things because it helps us to quantify them, put them in neat little stacks. But the labels are junk! We can do anything we want.

We can all be exactly who we were made to be – simply ourselves. No extra labels. No constraints. If we are willing to love one another, support one another, push one another, and remind one another, we are enough the way we are. Striving for more is simply a bonus.

Follow the adventures of Eryn, Primrose and their family on Instagram.

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