Published on March 20th, 2019 | by Millennium Magazine Staff0
Hoping All Children Can Find their Limitless Purpose
Even before I became a parent, I knew I’d do anything possible to keep my child safe and healthy. I’d want to be sure he or she felt loved and accepted.
When I was expecting my second child, we learned that our baby had a heart defect that would require open heart surgery and that she would have Down syndrome. We were immediately told of the challenges and limitations she would face based on others’ experiences. Some even suggested we not continue our pregnancy. Thankfully, we had the love and support to know that we would give her every chance and opportunity to thrive instead.
This year on World Down Syndrome Day, we chose to celebrate our daughter in a different way. Lila is a seven-year-old little girl who is energetic and hard-working. She loves playing outside, doing puzzles, helping with laundry – and she has bright blue eyes and a smile that can light up a room. She also happens to have Down syndrome.
This year though, after our experiences in securing the inclusive educational opportunities she and every child deserves, we knew we needed to do something more. More for our Lila, more for other children who learn differently, and eventually more for other children who need added resources or support to reach their full potential.
We’re launching an effort that was
born in our hearts the moment we chose to believe our little girl was more than
the myths and misperceptions associated with her diagnosis. Early on, we
decided our Lila was limitless – as long as we loved, supported and challenged
She’s certainly risen to the challenges she’s faced, but we’ve found that others around us are often less likely to see past her diagnosis. The systems and services intended to help her actually limit her.
Services and acceptance for those with disabilities have come so far, even in my lifetime. But our journey has proven that there is still a great distance to go before all children have access to quality resources and education, let alone the simple belief that they can have and accomplish big dreams.
Stories of coffee shops and other ventures that employ those with intellectual disabilities are making the news these days. Sadly, most of those opportunities and success stories are created by parents with the desire and resources to make it happen.
Our hope is that when Lila completes school, those stories are no longer news but commonplace, expected, typical in all communities.
This year, for World Down Syndrome Day, we launched Limitless Purpose – a movement that, for now, calls attention to the fact that there is still much more work to be done to ensure acceptance and inclusion for every child. The inspiration for this project is our own Limitless Lila – a strong, smart, capable little girl who can accomplish big things and dream big dreams.
Our own dream as her parents? That she has the opportunity to be included, to learn and grow, and to become all she is capable of, giving back to her community and the world by sharing her own story to help others who may need a little more help or more time themselves.
We believe – and have seen through Lila – that ALL children are limitless. And we know that’s a message – and a purpose – worth sharing. Become a part of Limitless Purpose today!
How can you help? There are several, simple ways.
–Visit on brand new web site at LimitlessPurpose.org.
—Shop our store for special I am Limitless and ALL Children Are Limitless items.
—Subscribe to our newsletter so you don’t miss an event or post.