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Born Just Right

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From tween advocate for limb difference and founder of Project Unicorn Jordan Reeves and her mom, Jen, comes an inspiring memoir about how every kid is perfect just the way they are.

When Jordan Reeves was born without the bottom half of her left arm, the doctors reassured her parents that she was “born just right.” And she has been proving that doctor right ever since!

With candor, humor, and heart, Jordan’s mother, Jen Lee Reeves, helps Jordan tell her story about growing up in an able-bodied world and family, where she was treated like all of her siblings and classmates—and where she never felt limited. Whether it was changing people’s minds about her capabilities, trying all kinds of sports, or mentoring other kids, Jordan has channeled any negativity into a positive, and is determined to create more innovations for people just like her.

Her most famous invention, aptly called Project Unicorn, is a special prosthetic (that shoots glitter!) made with the help of a 3-D printer. A real-life superhero, Jordan is changing the world with her foundation, Born Just Right, which advocates and celebrates kids with differences, and helps them live their best possible life—just like Jordan is today!

Born Just Right DYNAMIC DUO: A NOTE FROM JORDAN’S MOM, JEN
Jordan has always sparkled. Even before she started shooting glitter. People would walk up to her when she was a baby and notice a little extra shine in her eyes. It’s like she was always ready to change perceptions from the start.

Jordan and I are a team. I’m also her mom, so I have to do mom things (like say no sometimes). But we also have a relationship that is a little different because we travel and experience so many things together. First, we were together all the time when she was a baby. I didn’t know what extra things I needed to do for her when she was born, so I took her to a lot of doctors’ appointments. We traveled out of state often to build prosthetics starting when she was ten months old. We attended extra summer camps and events for kids with limb differences starting when Jordan was three. Her brother, Cameron, is four years older, and he got to come along with us sometimes. Their dad (my husband) would attend these events when he could. (My jobs have been a little more flexible through the years.)

I gave Jordan space to find solutions to her challenges. Maybe it’s because I talked to so many other parents of limb-different kids. I knew that I needed to step back and give her room to learn. That’s really hard when you see someone you love struggle. But giving her the chance to discover solutions has also given her brain the space to think up different ideas and have very strong opinions of her own. Yes, that means there are times when we argue. But I often realize she’s a lot like me: strong-willed, confident, and willing to take a stand on issues that matter.

When Jordan was a baby, I worried about what she couldn’t do. I had never experienced the world outside a typically formed body. Every time she figured out a new task, I felt a little less worried. These days, I never assume there is a “can’t” in Jordan’s world. She can do it all, with or without a prosthetic arm helping her out.

I used to be a journalist, and I documented my experiences with Jordan as she’s grown up in an online blog. That gave us more opportunities to talk to and meet kids and families across the country, and even around the world! It’s a gift to get to know so many people and learn from their life experiences. While Jordan and I can share the lessons we’ve learned through the years, it’s exciting to learn from everyone else at the same time.

Watching Jordan speak up for issues that matter to her was not something I expected as I’ve watched her grow. But she and I both committed to each other that we would do what we can to help others who may not have the same opportunities that have come Jordan’s way. I am proud to be by her side as she shares her thoughts and opinions of the disability world. We wouldn’t be on this adventure if she wasn’t in the lead.

Jordan Reeves was born just right, and cofounded a nonprofit with the same name. Ever since she was little, this teen has pushed through any expectations and proved she can do anything (except monkey bars). Through her activities and opportunities to speak and mentor other kids with limb differences, Jordan is helping change attitudes around physical differences. Jordan is currently changing what we think of as a superhero by designing body enhancements. Her ideas include a 3-D printed prosthetic that allows her to shoot sparkles for her alter ego, Girl Blaster. Jordan has shown off her work on the Rachael Ray Show, Maker Faire, TEDx, and many other events across the country.

Jen Lee Reeves is the founder and executive director of Born Just Right. She’s also a mom to Cameron and Jordan. She and her husband, Randy, have learned so much about what it takes to advocate for our children and how powerful it can be when parents work together in advocacy and support in the world of disability. When she isn’t working for Born Just Right, she’s a social media strategist and training consultant with her own consultancy. She also taught at the Missouri School of Journalism and managed an NBC affiliate newsroom. To relax, Jen loves to travel, enjoy sunrise runs in new cities, take photos of the lake in her backyard, and enjoy music and good food with her family.

  • Kansas NEA Reading Circle List Intermediate Title
  • Eureka! Excellence in Nonfiction Award Honor Title (CA)
  • CBC Best STEM Book List Selection

More books in this series: Jeter Publishing