special needs mom

‘My daughter Penny is not a ‘mistake.’ She is perfection.’: Down syndrome mom explains the difference between ‘inclusion’ and helping special needs individuals ‘belong’

“People often feel awkward asking questions about my daughter. Penny gets sidelined from activities and events because they don’t know how to welcome her. The message of inclusion is, ‘We want you here with us.’ But belonging emerges from a deep desire to not just include the ‘other,’ but to love and be loved.”

‘My disabled child is not an ‘angel.’ He is not ‘celestial’ or ‘heavenly.’ He’s just like you, fully human.’: Down syndrome mom claims son ‘wasn’t sent here to teach you or me something’

“People often refer to my disabled son with angelic, heavenly labels. I’m his mom. I’ve seen things. I know better. When we project this ‘heavenly’ identity onto people with disabilities, we unknowingly strip their humanity and make them more ‘other.’ My son just wants to be loved for exactly who he is.”

‘Don’t take her home with you,’ I was told. ‘If you have other kids, she’ll be a detriment to them.’ How wrong they were.’: Mom keeps baby, now world’s first ‘working model’ with Down Syndrome

“I’d never taken Madeline to a fashion show before because she was always sick. When her health increased, we walked in as I thought to myself, ‘What have I done?!’ I knew full well my daughter would want to be on that catwalk, too. Sure enough, after the show, she turned to me and said, ‘Mom. Me. Model.’ I’m the type of mom to do whatever I can to make things happen. Little did I know what this all would turn into.”

‘Who wants a single mom with a deformed monster?! NO ONE!’ Pregnant at 18, my abortion was the next day. A flip switched.’: Mom raises son with missing limbs despite abusive partner’s pressure to terminate pregnancy

“Pregnant at 18? Hard. Finding out your baby has no arms or legs? Earth shattering. I tried to distance myself from my baby, but I woke up screaming, holding my belly. I would give birth to a vegetable. As I laid there, it hit like a thousand ton of bricks. I screamed to my baby boy that I love him, and I just wanted to do what’s fair for him.”

‘IT’S A GIRL!’ Suddenly I hear the words, ‘What about the cleft,’ and then deafening silence.’: Mother discovers shocking diagnosis after daughter’s birth

“My baby’s face was still hidden. I shot straight up, and that’s when I saw my baby girl for the first time. The world stopped. ‘Babe look…’ All I heard was silence. ‘Babe look,’ ‘babe look.’ My mom was screaming at my husband. His eyes were glazed over. ‘Everything’s okay, she’s perfect and she’ll be okay.’”

‘The day my baby died, I won tickets to build her a bear. ‘Can I still use them even though she passed?’ Their response? ‘No. The guest must be present.’ My heart shattered in a million pieces.’

“It felt like the perfect thing to do in order to honor and remember her. All I wanted was my baby back. I wanted to be like all the other moms who get to cuddle and snuggle their baby after they are born. A simple no would’ve been okay, but their words felt like a stab to the heart.”

‘I got the test results. I felt I let my husband down. Like I somehow failed to give him the ‘perfect’ baby. The silence was deafening. I kept thinking, ‘Why me?’ Then I thought, ‘Wait, why NOT me?’

“I had a woman sob in my arms out of sympathy. I remember telling my husband, ‘Do you think we’ll ever laugh or be happy again?’ I figured I had 3 choices. Give up, give in, or give it everything I’ve got. I had a little boy growing inside me who I needed be strong for. I went with option 3.”

For our best love stories, subscribe to our free email newsletter: