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Down Syndrome Awareness Month

Zac: Down Syndrome Awareness Month

Meet Zac.What is it like to have a child with Down Syndrome?

This 22 year old young man loves watching typical boy movies such as The Fast and the FuriousRocky, and The Avengers.  He can play them non stop for long periods of time just enjoying the plot lines.

Young Man with Down syndrome

When he’s not watching his favorite films, Zac is hanging out with his amazing girlfriend Kelly.  They like to go on lunch dates, bowling, and out to play putt-putt.  They also spend lots of time enjoying each other’s company through Facetime.

Picture of people with Down Syndrome Holding Hands

Zac’s tender and empathetic heart is toldly sold out for Jesus.  He loves being at church and hugging everyone present.  Worship music makes him come alive.  His mama often finds him praying and while she can’t always understand his prayers, she knows that the Lord does.

Should I abort my baby with Down Syndrome?

Zac’s smile and tender heart proves what his mama would most like to tell a mother expecting a child with Down syndrome.

That there will be times when things are hard but that just makes every milestone that much more special. They give so much more than they take.

They give so much more than they take.

Family with a Child With Down Syndrome

Zac, thank you for giving some of your time to let me get to know you.  Your laughter and joy made my cheeks hurt from smiling.

Photographer with Down Syndrome: Meet Kelly

In my two years of work with people in the Down syndrome community, one of the most common refrains that I have heard is:

I wish people would just look at me/my child as a person and not a diagnosis.

Can you imagine being labeled and limited because of an extra chromosome that you had no control over?

Down Syndrome Photographer
I want you to meet Kelly, a young woman I met because of her diagnosis, but who lives a life far beyond her diagnosis.Photographer with Down syndrome

Kelly is 27 years old.  She is active in a job that she has enjoyed for 10 years as well as the YMCA Recess program. Kelly has a boyfriend named Zac who absolutely adores her. You can see how special their bond is below.

Can people with Down Syndrome get married?Picture of people with Down Syndrome Holding Hands

Her mama Peggy adores Kelly and has walked alongside her helping her achieve her dreams.  Their relationship shows just how much a gift Kelly has been to her mama… and how much a gift Peggy is to Kelly.

Mama with her child with Down Syndrome

 

Kelly also aspires to become a professional photographer.  These images are from two separate sessions in our studio.  Both times I handed over the camera to Kelly.  The first time she took a few snaps of me, but the second time she wowed me by getting these beautiful images of her boyfriend Zac.  The eye contact and the joyous moments she caught… breath taking.

Photographer with Down Syndrome Kelly Vaughn

Kelly, I am proud to have met you and can’t wait to continue watching you flourish as you pursue your dreams.

 

Anya: Celebrating People with Down Syndrome

Meet Anya.

Celebrating People with Down Syndrome

This vibrant 16 year old adores the color pink.  She came dressed to the hilt in her “Night to Shine” dress from a recent event.  She won me over instantly with her shy demeanor coupled with her fabulous 50s style and shoes.  How amazing is this dress?

What is it like to have a child with Down syndrome?Low cost mini sessions for people with Down Syndrome

I seriously wanted to steal the shoes so much that I had to take a picture of just the shoes!

Pink Ballerina Flats

Anya loves to enjoy Icees and pizza.  She also adores her brother Sam.  They play games on the Wii U together.
Young Adult with Down Syndrome

Anya also loves singing loudly to her favorite tunes behind closed doors. She also enjoys watching movies on her iPad and fighting bad guys with her imaginary friends.

Parenting a child with Down Syndrome

Anya, your shy smile made my day.  I’m so glad that I was able to meet you and make you feel like the princess that you truly are.

Living with Down syndrome

Newborn Pictures Greenville SC : Baby Zane

Greenville SC Newborn Pictures

Meet Zane who came for Newborn Pictures Greenville SC.  This little bundle won the award for best hair in the history of all newborns here at Quiet Graces.  We didn’t style it or anything.  It just stuck up like this! We called it “baby Elvis hair.”  And it’s to die for!Timeless Newborn Pictures Greenville SC

Zane has a remarkable story.  His adoptive mom Randi always wanted to adopt a little one with Down Syndrome.  It had been her dream since just 12 years old.  When the time was right, Randi connected with the National Down Syndrome Adoption Network. Randi’s little girl dream was coming true!
Newborn Baby with Down Syndrome Pictures Greenville SC

After a year of waiting, Randi was matched with Zane’s amazing birth Mom.  Their relationship is beautiful.  Gifts and goodies are mailed to Zane.  Beautiful words are spoken between both of them to encourage and support. Their match was clearly a miracle of grace.Simpsonville SC Special Needs Newborn Photographer

Zane came to see us at 1 month old which is the perfect age for newborns with low trunk tone or hypotonia.  All children with Down syndrome have hypotonia which make them super flexible but also very difficult to keep in a pose. Their little bodies just don’t stay put in the same way as other newborns.  Greenville SC Timeless Simple Newborn Photographer

Zane’s mama Randi and I are very passionate about Down syndrome awareness.  Did you know that between 75-90% of babies diagnosed in utero with Down syndrome in the USA are aborted?   The list of those ready to adopt are around 100 strong, but most expecting mamas don’t know about the beautiful mamas ready to adopt. If you’re an expecting mama, please feel free to contact me here and I can put you in touch with Randi or Amanda to hear their stories.  Down syndrome isn’t scary, but it can seem overwhelming at diagnosis.Newborn Photographer Simpsonville SC Baby Detail Macro Pictures

Do you have or are expecting a special needs newborn?  We’d love to help you plan your custom session with us.  We want to help you show just how beautiful your baby really is.  Contact us today!Simpsonville SC Newborn Baby with Down Syndrome Greenville SC

Bryn: Greenville SC Tween Photographer

I wish you could meet Bryn.  Her very presence tears down the stigma of Down Syndrome.  As soon as you meet her, you realize she’s just like you were as an adolescent.

Greenville SC Child Tween Photographer

Brynn and her mama bickered over clothing choices.  They laughed over personal jokes.  And Bryn told her mama to stay put {with all the sass you can imagine} when she came to record herself telling me a little about herself.

 

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One of the things that I hear all of the mother’s saying during the Down Syndrome minis is how much they wish that people would acknowledge their children as people first.  Each child with Down Syndrome is unique and has their own personalities, dreams, wishes, and experiences.  They appreciate all enjoy being spoken directly to in a normal conversational manner.

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Listen to how Bryn’s mama describe’s Bryn:

 

Bryn loves music! She knows the words to all songs on the radio, ipod, etc and the artist. She enjoys hanging out with her friends. Her favorite is shopping, the mall, downtown or the Shoppes at Greenridge. (She has a very busy social calendar) She has her own Instagram account and her own call phone. She likes boys….alot! Her BFF is Erin, she calls her Ernie. They’ve been together since first grade.

Our children are more like their typical peer than different…I wish people could see past the Down syndrome and see her.  I wish people would not believe that all people with Down syndrome are the same. Each have their own strengths just like their peers.

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