321 Days of Acceptance | Amina Grace
Today we have a very special little lady to introduce you to, Amina Grace. Amina’s mom is going to share with us today the impact and legacy this hardworking, smart and inspiring young lady had on all who knew her.
I would like to share with you the reason I am so passionate about the mission of acceptance and GiGi’s Playhouse. It’s because of our precious our daughter Amina Grace. When Amina was born, we were told she had Down syndrome, the doctors and nurses told us how sorry they were to give us this news. We didn’t know what to expect of our child or our lives.
Despite all the worry from the doctors, Amina was a delightful child and we began our journey with hearts full of hope. She laughed easily, had a free spirit and enjoyed even simple things. Amina worked hard to do basic tasks that many of us take for granted…walking, talking, even eating. Despite things being hard Amina took on new challenges with gusto – she swang from the bars and mastered the beam in gymnastics, she learned to ride a bike, swim and could dance with the best of them.
By watching Amina, we learned it’s not about how quickly one can master something but that if you have the patience to stick with it, eventually you will get it done.
As Amina started to grow we wanted to find a place where she could thrive, a place where they would see the best in her…a place where she had value and could reach her full potential.
We found GiGi’s Playhouse. These Playhouses are a place for families to celebrate their child and benefit from no cost, purposeful & progressive programs that bring joy, confidence and improvement.
Amina learned to read through the Literacy program and loved attending events at the Playhouse. She was really blossoming. In addition to going to GiGi’s Playhouse, Amina had other therapies to support her development…speech therapy, physical therapy and occupational therapy. Progress was slow but steady. Many of the therapy sessions were not easy but Amina took them in stride and worked hard. Having a disability can be hard, but hard things aren’t always bad. In fact, they often come with incredible blessings – Amina’s life is proof of that.
Our family’s life was wonderful – we spent lots of time together and had found a peaceful rhythm. I loved being Amina’s mom. On September 17, 2014, due to a mistake at the hospital Amina suddenly and tragically passed away. Unbelievably I watched my child die.
Losing Amina Grace took me to my knees but if I’ve ever been sure of anything, it is this: Amina was sent here to this Earth to work through us to inspire others. To change people. To open people’s hearts to endless possibilities.
I am living for both of us now. I will never see her graduate from kindergarten, join girl scouts, go to prom or learn to drive. The sadness is overwhelming some days. But I vowed to honor her life and make it my mission for people to see the possibilities in those with Down syndrome. I want them to see what I saw in Amina.
I learned many things from losing Amina. I learned there is space in the human heart for joy and pain, peace and anger, hope and sadness to all reside. I learned I can keep her spirit alive by seeking out joy and replace sorrow with kindness and compassion for those who need it the most. I learned that starting the speech & language program at GiGi’s Playhouse in her name brings me peace. I learned life is precious.
I learned that love is stronger than death.
Thank you, Maura, for sharing Amina with us today, thank you for working so hard to do the work she inspired in you. Amina Grace has a strong legacy and all at GiGi’s Playhouse will work right alongside you to make her proud.
If you would like to learn more about the Amina Grace Speech and Language Program & the locations who will be offering it please visit us HERE.