Eighteen years ago my life changed SIGNIFICANTLY. For most women, the birth of their first born is life changing. In that way, I am no different. But what is different is that my daughter was born with trisomy 21, better known as Down Syndrome.
I was scared. But mostly because I didn’t know. I had never been in close proximity to anyone with Down Syndrome. I had no understanding of what I was afraid of; I just knew this wasn’t what I expected and according to genetics and society’s standards my new daughter wasn’t “normal.”
God in His goodness spoke to my heart the day I walked through the threshold door of that hospital into the great big world. He gently whispered in a still, small voice that my heart knew was His, “Show ‘em Jen. Go show the world Addie. Show them what I think is valuable. Go out in to this world and show off her worth!”
It’s been eighteen years of me advocating for an inclusive world that will embrace my daughter for who she is. We’ve come a long way. But there is so much more work to be done. This is why I was so grateful when the Lucky Few Foundation began, and I no longer felt alone in my endeavors. The Lucky Few Foundation decided to tell a bigger, more inclusive Down Syndrome story. They understand how important stories are in strengthening our collective humanity, and they are telling some of the best stories out there. These stories work to connect the world through compassion that is sowed when we see an individual over a diagnosis. Because knowing and understanding Down Syndrome is not the same as knowing and understanding a person with Down Syndrome.
This month Addie and I are part of raising funds to help connect YOU to people with Down Syndrome and their story. We are partnering with Brooke Thomas, founder of LOVE OUT LOUD. This movement enables people to amplify their impact through generosity. You can listen to the LIVE OUT LOUD podcast and hear my interview with Brooke and Heather Avis describe how people with Down Syndrome reflect the goodness of God and what makes us “The Lucky Few.”
“When we work toward a world where everyone belongs, all people, including you and me, are supported and embraced.” ~Heather Avis