While their daughter is perfectly healthy, Tanya and Adam — Honey-Rae's loving parents — know that such an overt birthmark will impact people's perception of her, and they desperately wanted to find a way to minimize that. They thought by tattooing themselves with the same birthmark, they could help her feel less alone and truly connect with any judgment that may come her way.
Parents tattooed their legs to match their daughter's birthmark and make her feel less alone http://t.co/oZkcLZ54du— Mashable (@mashable) February 26, 2015
"Most people might think it's very extreme, but to us it was the natural thing to do to ensure our daughter never felt different or alone in the world," said Tanya to The Mirror. "Adam and I decided straightaway that we wanted Honey-Rae to feel special, that her birthmark was something to feel proud of and not embarrassed by."
That is one of the most special and wonderful things I've ever heard. When I first saw the picture of all three of them standing together, sporting their matching birthmarks, I stood up and gave them a standing ovation. Moreover, the trip to the tattoo parlor was Tanya's present for her 40th birthday. She gave herself four hours of painful, half-body needle prodding so that she could create ever-lasting family solidarity. Sounds like a pretty wonderful gift to me.
However, this wonderful ending came out of a great deal of worry and emotional upheaval. For the first several months of Honey-Rae's life, her mom covered her legs when they went out in public, fearing the judgmental stares of strangers. Unfortunately when she finally relaxed a bit and let her daughter's leg show, her fears were confirmed.
"I was [standing] at a checkout till, when I saw an old couple whispering and staring at Honey-Rae's leg. It was [the] first time I had taken her out without covering her up, and it confirmed all my worries and fears. People are cruel without even realizing. And I knew if adults could be that insensitive, then kids at school would also be unintentionally mean." After that day, the couple started putting their tattoo plans into motion.
The actual process of getting the tattoo was a bit painful for Tanya, but only physically, since she was having it done over a few others she'd gotten previously. But once it was all over and her daughter got to see what her parents had done for her, she was certain they had done the right thing.
"When the swelling went down, I showed Honey-Rae, and she gently touched it and smiled as she said, 'Match,' pointing to her own leg. If I'd have needed any reassurance that I'd made the right decision, that was it." Well, now that I'm a giant puddle of tears, here are a few more shots of this adorable family embracing each other in their extraordinary unity.
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