And who are you? What is your relationship to AUF AUGENHOEHE?
Hello, I'm Gözde from Berlin. I am 30 years old and happily married to Abdullah since 2014. The first time I heard of AUF AUGENHOEHE was during my studies at the HTW Berlin. I studied clothing technology and sometimes they would introduce different companies to us, e.g. AUF AUGENHOEHE. At the time I simply thought of it as a very cool idea. I would never imagine that through my child I would get to know you better. Getting to know each other was simple, because a fellow student from my studies, Natalia was now in your team. And I simply wrote to her.
Who/how is your son? Feel free to introduce him!
What a coincidence. My son Yahya has brought me closer to you. Yahya was born in September 2018 with achondoplasia. I never say that Yahya is of short stature. Yahya has dwarfism. Yahya is sweet! Yahya is wonderful! Yahya is beautiful! Yahya is kind! Yahya is very smart! That's what makes him special and who he is.
How did you imagine being a mom? Did your son's dwarfism change your conception of motherhood?
Yahya has made my mommy life really beautiful –better even than I first imagined. Through Yahya's birth we were grounded. He made us strong, showed us what is important in life. I had to teach myself everything about achondoplasia. Now I am a professional thanks to the mothers on Instagram and the BKMF. The idea of introducing Yahya to different doctors at the beginning, was really scary to me and sometimes way much to handle. But now I got it. And I am glad that there are so many great doctors. My family and our closest friends have always supported us. Yahya is their favorite. He is just simply too sweet and charming.
How do you perceive your social environment? Do you feel that you and your child are treated fairly? Have you felt a change in the last few years?
In general we’ve almost made only positive experiences with Yahya so far. There were a few stupid situations, I admit, but …. One mother once said, that it's nice that Yahya will always stay my little one forever?! Well, I think that statement was really off the mark. In the first months after Yahya's birth I thought everyone looks at him differently because of his bigger head and I didn't really want to show him around. Now I know, that that was really stupid, but I had to grow with Yahya, I guess. Now I am just so proud of him and his development that I want everyone to see how strong he is and how good he can already walk. From my point of view Yahya is not only treated fairly in most situations, he is even preferred. The search for a place in a daycare center was super easy for us. Due to his integration status, that’s what it’s called, he got a place in a daycare center immediately.
Are there barriers for your child in everyday life? For example in school/kindergarten?
The day care center has made a few extra purchases for Yahya. For example a special stool was ordered, which was placed under his chair, so that he can sit safely and get off easily. At the moment there are no big barriers for him at the daycare centre. That will probably change when he is in school. But until then we still have some time.
Is there something you want to give to other people? For example a wish or a request?
At the moment it’s mostly easy with Yahya. Yahya is still very young, he will be two in September and his dwarfism is not really recognized. I am sure, this will change. My biggest wish is that he will be treated nicely, especially by people of the same age. That other people do not point their finger at him. So, it is my husband’s and my job to make Yahya strong and self-confident enough to handle complicated situations. And I know we can do that.
How do you see the theme of inclusion and fashion? Do you think the fashion world is fair? What would you like?
I am that good position that I studied clothing technology and can sew and adjust many clothes for Yahya. It makes me so happy when I can make Yahya perfectly fitting clothes and I don't have to turn up the sleeves and leg length. I think that we might get trouble to get clothes that fit when Yahya gets older. But then there are AUF AUGENHOEHE and maybe other companies, and that gives me some confidence and less worrying.
What do you wish for Yahya?
My wish for Yahya is that he is happy and healthy, that he can overcome the hurdles in life perfectly together with us. The chance of having a child with dwarfism is 1 in 25000, that this happened, it's like winning the lottery. And we won the lottery. God has given us such a wonderful child.