Best of All- Maddie

Best of All- Maddie

Thank you, Josh, for your beautiful reflection on World Down Syndrome Day.
“I look at Maddie, do I see Down syndrome? Yes, she and so many others wear their diagnosis everyday for the world to see. But what we see on the surface doesn’t define her.
What we see doesn’t limit her. What we see has nothing to do with who she is. It’s just the cover of her book.
Her laughter, her hugs, her determination, her sass, and yes, even her stubbornness and struggles are what define Maddie. The way she waves and blows kisses at everyone she sees, the way she throws her sippy cup and looks right at us because she knows she’s not supposed to, the way she has fought through 2 heart surgeries and what seems like one hundred other procedures, and the way she follows her brother around the house, mimicking everything he does (for better or worse). Those are Maddie. Those are what really tell her story. Not what’s just on the cover.
That is no different than any of us. We all have gifts, we all have weak spots, we all struggle and fail from time to time, and we all succeed at one time or another as well. But all of us are so much more than what is on the cover of our book.
When I look at Maddie I see a strong, smart, beautiful, funny, energetic, sometimes demanding, always loving, and incredibly determined little girl.
I also see… a daughter, a sister, a cousin, a niece, a granddaughter, and a friend.
So do I see Down syndrome? Yes, I definitely see it and I’m glad I do. Because Down syndrome should be seen, it should be celebrated, it should be better understood, and those with it should be accepted and equal. It is so much more than what you see…
Today on #worlddownsyndromeday I ask you to SEE them for who they are, not what their diagnosis or society says they are. We’re all so much more than what you see on the surface.”

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