What GiGi’s Playhouse Has Meant to Us

A cold, snowy January morning brought news that our baby, that little life growing inside, was going to have Down syndrome and that changed everything. We never doubted what to do, and never considered ‘other options.’ We knew, though, that a support system was absolutely essential for when little Miss Abigail Grace was born.

Fast forward two years and we are now living in Cary, North Carolina. We were reaching out to support systems and making sure Abbey had the best foundation upon which to build her life. When we lived in the Northeast, we had heard about GiGi’s Playhouse, but never had the opportunity to explore it.

Now a GiGi’s Playhouse had come to Raleigh. About one mile from our home. We had no idea what to expect, what services they’d offer, or what support Abbey would get. Upon calling to get some more information, I immediately felt a warm connection with the compassionate and friendly voice on the other end of the phone which we later came to know as Caroline Moore, site coordinator.

We brought Abbey over there and immediately noticed the wide open space. Abbey loves to run so this was perfect. There are lots of cool toys to play with, such as books, puzzles, blocks, balls, and so much more that stimulate and promote good mental and physical activity. 

So what has GiGi’s Playhouse meant for us?

It has meant a world of wonder. It has meant exploration. It has meant discovery. It has meant achievement. But most of all, it has meant connection.

We couldn’t get over that this experience is all free from the open play to the programs they offer. When your budget is tight, having a place like this has been such a blessing to us. 

At GiGi’s, it’s all about children with Down syndrome and their families. It’s about learning from those who have gone through the early steps. It’s about sharing experiences and being a support for newcomers to this incredible eye-opening and awe-inspiring experience called Down syndrome.

It’s about one small step that leads to another … then another … and before you realize it, you’ve taken a breathtaking journey filled with wonders you never thought you could even dream about, much less experience firsthand.

GiGi’s Playhouse here in Raleigh has meant connecting, building relationships, learning, and growing, not just for our precious Abbey, but with her. It’s meant that we have somewhere to turn when the days may seem their darkest, when the storms roll in, or to celebrate and lift others up when we couldn’t ask for clearer sunny skies.

We’ve only tapped into the possibilities at GiGi’s Playhouse, but we have to say, without a doubt, we’re so much more hopeful for Abbey’s future -and all kids with Down syndrome- because of it.

Thank you GiGi’s!

Gerald, Diane, & Abbey

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  1. Rosemary W. Campbell on November 30, 2016 at 2:12 pm

    Thank you Diane, Gerald, and Abbey. What inspirational words. You have put the thoughts of so many of us in beaufiful phrases.

    Your Abbey is a star shining bright with all our stars. I love being with you all. You lift me up.

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