I am so happy to announce the first recipient of the Heart Strides Corazon Award- Molly…and Matt and Phoebe, from West Seattle. As you know, our award is given to Moms, though we know there will be times when they share this moment with others, that’s what Moms do, we share, we know we are stronger together, that’s why we love them and honor them in this way while we do our best to celebrate their families. I’m so grateful for the Heart Strides Award Committee that volunteered their time to review nominations, I believe it to be true that it was not an easy task. So many amazing Moms and amazing families doing incredible things to inspire and put all the good they can back into this big, beautiful world. I see these Moms, read their stories and just can’t help to feel deep gratitude for all of them.
Here are a few words from Molly and a link to their blog, please head over there, say hi and catch up on what they are doing, you’ll be glad that you did. The first word that popped into my mind when I was digging around their blog was “real” and it just made me smile. Shine on Molly and Matt, can’t wait to see where Phoebe takes you next!
Two weeks before Phoebe was born, we found out she had Down syndrome. When we got the diagnosis, we were devastated. We felt so much grief and loss and disappointment, because we, like so many people, knew very little about Down syndrome and felt that we would be missing out on a “normal” parenting experience. Phoebe was born and in the weeks following her birth, we got to know Phoebe and we learned a lot about the resources available in our area to parents of children with disabilities. With the help of Early Intervention services, kids with disabilities have so many more opportunities they may have not have had 15-20 years ago, when there was not as much research and technology available. We’ve learned that we should never limit Phoebe based on what society thinks she can or can’t do. I believe Phoebe can do ANYTHING, and so far she has proven me 100% correct!
Being the parent of a child with Down syndrome, a lot of people seem to feel sorry for me, or they give me sad “you’re so brave” looks. There is nothing sad or pitiful about mine and Matt’s parenting experience. Our child smiles, plays, laughs, rolls around, chatters, blows raspberries, gets mad, cries, sleeps, and eats. These are the joys and challenges every parent experiences. While Phoebe may be unique (I don’t care for the word “special”), she is our little warrior, and should never be pitied. Matt and I feel lucky every single day for having such an amazing daughter.
Matt and I are thrilled to receive this award from Heart Strides so we can help send positive messages to and about parents of kids with disabilities. I’m also a runner (I ran my very first half marathon last November!) and I love that Heart Strides gives moms a chance to take care of themselves and be healthy by providing new running/walking shoes. Being a parent has been the best thing I’ve ever done, but it’s also been the hardest. Running has been a fantastic way for me to take breaks, regroup, and make time for me. It’s only by taking care of ourselves and each other that Matt and I can be the best parents to our spectacular little girl.