Stories of Hope
"I received my package of hope yesterday and I was so touched. I cried as I read the books and thought about the worth of our sweet son."
"It is so much more than just a care package"
"I received a telephone call that forever changed the course of my life. in three short minutes, I was delivered the news that my second child, who was 26 weeks, was going to be born with Down syndrome. My world, which had already felt so unknown and confusing, thanks to the pandemic, suddenly became clouded with what felt like utterly suffocating layer of dark smoke.
After truly struggling to come to terms with my son's diagnosis for several weeks, I began to seek out a sense of community and real life acknowledgments of this journey our family was about to embark on. Google quickly became my worst enemy, showing bleak and depressing futures that to this day still sting to think about. It was then that I turned to social media often typing in #downsyndrome on Instagram, grabbing for and attaching myself to the completely unexpected positivity that the hostage carries.
Somewhere along my search, I cam across Love That Surpasses Ministries (LTSM), an account run by mommas of little ones. The CEO's youngest child has Down syndrome. As I scoured the page, I quickly realized the this incredible ministry was on a mission to show the beauty and love that is life with Down syndrome. They create what they call "Bags of Hope" and nails them all around the country, and now the world, to families that are expecting little joys of life with an extra chromosome.
I immediately reached out, explained a shortened version of our diagnosis story and asked if I could be sent a Bag of Hope. It was shortly before this that in a moment of weakness and deprive, I had taken my sweet baby's ultrasound photo off our fridge, as I was beyond terrified of what our new life was going to look like when he arrived. I still remember the day I walked to the mailbox and inside was our very own Bag of Hope. These bags are so aptly names as they are just that, pure and undeniable hope.
I hurried back inside and sat on the floor of my little boy's nursery while tearfully exploring all its contents. Inside I found adorable baby items, testimonies of families of children with DS, a booklet featuring photos of babies and children along with heartfelt messages from their parents, and one of my favorites, a newborn sized onesie with "Perfection" printed across the top. Once I had finished looking through the entirety of my bag, I felt a rush of calm, of peace and ultimately, hope.
From that day on, I immersed myself in the Down syndrome community and began to feel so proud that I was going to be one of "The Lucky Few" - a term for this incredible extended family, coined by another Down syndrome mama. My little boy's ultrasound photos returned to our refrigerator and stayed until well after he made his grand entrance to this world, a mere six weeks ahead of schedule. We announced his diagnosis to the world in August of 2020, his due date, with him proudly wearing a LTSM "Perfection" onsie.
To say I am forever grateful to LTSM and the Bag of Hope they sent me, would simply be the greatest understatement. This little piece of hope gave me back excitement I craved so deeply during my pregnancy. It gave me connections that I so desperately needed in a time of heartbreak. When a family is sent one of these Bags of Hope, it is so much more than just a care package, it is a promise of love, happiness, community and of utmost hope for the future."