Happy To Be Special was born at 9:12 am on March 4th, 2015, the day my third child was born. Joy soon turned into questions and confusion. Still in the operating room, I intercepted the lab technician and demanded to know why they needed a better sample of cord blood. Although we were in the same room, they failed to inform us of their suspension of Down Syndrome. I remember the feeling of devastation, sorrow, and loss. I watched my beautiful baby sleep so sweetly all day. Like most young children of African descent, he lacked the typical features of Down Syndrome; he was lucky to have been diagnosed this early in life.
So, I took a stand that night in the hospital. I finished my internet crash course on Down Syndrome with the search for “Down Syndrome success stories”. Oh My! I am so glad that I did. I found so many success stories of people who ran their own restaurants, spoke multiple languages, and some were piano prodigies. I laughed as I realized that compared to these folks, I was the one with disabilities. It became clear to me that the success of my newborn child can only be determined by my resolve, and my ability to give him a normal life like I did with his older brother and sister. Involved parents typically raise successful children, disability diagnosis or not. Down Syndrome no longer threatened to be a death sentence. Well, four days later I learned that he had a congenital heart defect.
Suddenly, Down Syndrome was a piece of cake compared to that. In hindsight, I wasted a lot of tears. Fortunately for us, the heart condition was surgically corrected. It was the most difficult period in my life but my son lived and the struggle was all worth it.
Today, I have a happy-go-lucky, headstrong, oh-so-affectionate, #woke seven-year-old powerhouse. Ezra brings so much extra joy to our lives with his extra chromosome. His existence has made us focus more on what’s important in life: relationships and happiness, not accolades and keeping up with the Joneses.
With Happy To Be Special, I want to empower us to look past our diagnosis, look beyond our shortcomings. Put on spectacles to see the true joy and triumph in our homes as the chosen few. We are the few that are chosen to care for children that would normally be hidden in the shadows or even thrown away.
I acknowledge that everyone’s journey is different, and we all have unique challenges. Therefore, I hope to motivate us with my story of daily challenges and triumphs, insights from my experiences as a mom, and my education as a Pharmacist and Life & Health Coach.
We will learn to walk the road less traveled, think outside the box and any other phrases that fit this analogy. We will triumph despite our adversities, and we will finish with happiness and true joy.
My Focus at Happy To Be Special are:
Highlight the Benefits of Using Toys & Manipulatives: Great Tools for Teaching children and adults with Special Needs.
Teach about non-traditional sources of income that allow you to care for your own child: Self-employment, low capital small business ideas, craft development, In-Home Supportive Services caregivers & more.
Offer Life & Health Coaching: Get Empowered to Triumph over adversity and Thrive!
Our Current Projects:
Happy To Be Special will use a portion of its proceeds towards donating much needed Toys and Manipulatives to children with Down Syndrome and Special Needs across the USA. This exciting initiative is called "Special Kids Play & Learn". Read more about it on our Projects page. Thank You for your Support.
Our Blog will share stories, poetry, insights, struggles, challenges, and triumphs on our Down Syndrome and Special Needs journey. By sharing, we hope to encourage, support, and uplift the Down Syndrome and Special Needs community, especially those who are overwhelmed by its unique challenges. Know that you are not alone.
We are a community, and we are here to support the undying efforts and love for our family and friends with Down Syndrome and Special Needs. And in return, the world is a better place!
Honestly, Down Syndrome and Special Needs has made my life so much better! And I wish you the same or better!
Happy To Be Special was created by Dr. Chidi.