Look for Chase on Our Playhouse Welcome Windows…his mother’s story

Hi, my name is Alisha and my son’s name is Chase. I’d like to share with you a little about my son, our life since he’s blessed it and what GiGi’s Playhouse Tampa means to me. When my son was delivered, I will never forget what my doctor told me. I declined further testing during my pregnancy so it would be at birth when I knew for sure of his diagnosis. I asked her “does he have it?” She looked at me with a huge smile and said “he is perfect”. Without really answering my question, I was sent to recovery and had to wait a few hours before I was able to meet my son.

When I first laid eyes on him, it was like the fears of Down syndrome suddenly became nonexistent and in that moment, all of my worries during pregnancy, all of my insecurities about our future, everything just paused and what I saw was just Chase, a little 4 pound, full head of dark hair, beautiful little baby boy. I was thankful he was finally here, and that was mine because I knew I would love him immensely. My daughter was just 18 months old at the time Chase was born so I felt like it shouldn’t be too hard to adjust to another little one in the house, but this time our journey was just a little different. The first few months were full of appointments, full of learning.

Chase started therapy almost immediately and that is were I was introduced to GiGi’s Playhouse Tampa. I had the pleasure of speaking with Nicki the same night I inquired about them online. Finally I felt like I had found a group who really got us and people who could offer me the type of support I really needed. They became my family. Chase had some health issues that required some frequent hospital trips, and a surgery when he was 8 months old.

Not once did I ever feel alone. From visits in the hospital, to sincere phone calls and text messages, to meeting and planning events for the Playhouse and everything in between, I had just found a community of people who I knew, that I (and Chase) needed to keep in our lives. Being a part of a community so strong, so selfless, so empowering, gives me so much hope and joy for my son’s future. Meeting families who genuinely care about you, about your kids, about your well being, is more than I could of ever imagined I would gain by just filling out a contact me form from a website. The comfort that I have knowing my son will always have a “home away from home” brings me more peace than I ever could of hoped for.

Today, Chase is almost 2 years old. He is such a loving, strong, adventurous little boy. He steals many hearts, gives the biggest and tightest hugs, he works hard so hard on his milestones and he makes your soul beam with happiness. He is what I like to call “my little peace of heaven” and continues to amaze me every single day. He has humbled me, taught me to slow down and enjoy things a little bit longer. He has shown me a type of trust and faith within myself that I never knew existed.

Knowing that while at GiGi’s Playhouse Tampa, Chase will make great friends, excel and build skills to better him throughout his life, is an exciting and rewarding experience any mother could wish for their child. There’s really no better place I could ask to have my son apart of.

Thank you to those members of GiGi’s Playhouse Tampa for all you do for our Down syndrome community here in Tampa and for your outpouring support and friendship. We are so excited to watch the incredible opportunities that unfold and to witness our children to amazing things!

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