Piper Joy: Down Syndrome Awareness Month
Do you remember sweet Piper Joy from last year’s Down Syndrome Mini Sessions? At just under two week old, Piper was the youngest little one with Trisomy 21 that I photographed in 2015.
Piper’s story is incredible. She is a rainbow baby after many losses. And she is wanted, doted on, and simply adored by her parents.
I could write a novel about this sweet girl, but her Mama Lori already did! So I’ll simply share her words with you.
Piper loves snuggles in the morning after she wakes up. She loves watching her doggies run and play. She loves when we talk and sing to her. When Piper sees either of us once we get home from work she greets us big smiles. She will laugh and giggle when we kiss her hands and feet, or when we kiss around that little neck. She plays with her toys and loves her pink Maraca. She enjoys meeting new people and she affects all those who meet her. Her smile is infectious, and complete strangers have been unable to resist holding her, once they do that, they love her. What do we love most about her? I guess we would have to say from the scares we had during pregnancy, to the prenatal diagnosis, all the way to now…we love her ambition and drive, the fact that she works so hard to achieve her milestones and she never quits trying and she never gives up. She has taught us how to be better parents and individuals in general. She has shown us our truth and what it means to have a special needs child, and we wouldn’t change it for the world.
When people see Piper we want them to see faith, hope, love and acceptance. We want them to see her beautiful little self and feel the love, warmth and acceptance she has for them as she freely and selflessly gives them her beautiful infectious smile. I want people to think after meeting Piper that if someday they have a special needs child that it would be a positive life change and not a negative one. We thank God every day for creating her just for us, but, he didn’t really create her just for us, because we have seen how she has affected and touched many people and will continue to do so for the rest of her life.
What would I say to a mama who just received a Down Syndrome diagnosis? I guess I might say something like this: “I imagine you may be scared, sad, maybe even angry, and that’s ok and very normal. Try not to dwell on those emotions for long. Take this time to learn as much as you can about your baby, because you and they deserve it. Just as with a typical baby, your son or daughter will have ups and downs, set backs and achievements. Because you’ve chosen to keep your gift and give him/her life you will soon experience a love for this child that you’ve not had for another. We love all of our children very much, but when you have a special needs baby, it is different and the emotions although very much the same as for our other children, are special in their own way, you will be a better person because your baby will open your eyes, your heart and soul to a life you couldn’t imagine you would have.”