Author Sarah Kovac on Grace and Overcoming Disability
Sarah Kovac was born with Anthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita (AMC), a congenital birth defect that left her with arms she could barely use. She's learned to use her feet to drive a car, type on a computer, prepare meals, apply makeup, and change diapers. Kovac even typed her book, In Capable Arms: Living a Life Embraced by Grace, with her toe. She hopes that her story and ability to maintain her faith in the face of difficulty will encourage others. Here, we discuss her battles and her book. RNS: As you were growing up, what would you identify as the biggest challenges about growing up with AMC?
SK: I wouldn’t say the biggest challenge was the physical aspect of the disability, but rather the emotional insecurities that I had to learn to overcome. I believed I wasn’t good enough and that people didn’t like me. It was all in my head, but it took me years to begin to overcome this things. That was way more crippling than any physical disability.
RNS: How has living without the full use of your arms shaped you into the woman you are today?
SK: It has helped me tap into some critical thinking skills and emotional coping skills that I might not have had without it. For example, being able to discipline my son was a real challenge because he is physically stronger than me. I had to learn how to get him on my side and be able to work with him instead of just picking him up and getting him to do what I wanted. I have had to learn to accomplish things emotionally and intellectually instead of just physically.
RNS: What is it that most surprises people about your abilities?
That is hard to say because I'm not sure they always tell me. What surprises many people is that how natural it is for me to use my feet for things normally done with one's hands. Even when I was pregnant and was able to still drive with my feet up on the steering wheel. It is not something that I think about, and it surprises others that such things aren't a big struggle for me.