Children Special Needs

THE LUCKY GIRL

Lucky. We can all apply this word to our lives in one sense or another, but for me, the definition has radically changed recently. I am a junior in college, majoring in occupational therapy. I have always had a heart for helping others, but it wasn’t until last year that I found the true avenue for my passions. It started when I followed a family on Instagram who had adopted three kids, two of which have Down syndrome. I felt naturally drawn to this family and knew in some way, I was meant to be a part of their lives. One day, the mom, Heather, posted an ad for an internship opportunity. For me, I knew it was from God. I immediately applied and earned the position. Each week, I assisted Heather with her activities and got to hang out with her kids. I had always been drawn to the joy and love of people with Down syndrome, but this family was my first personal introduction to kids with Down syndrome that were treated as competent and who were allowed to experience a whole range of normal emotions. The way Heather treats people has truly impacted my life, and shaped how I want to treat people. I absolutely believe it was a “God thing”. God used this opportunity to teach me how much every person has to offer and how to view people as Children of God first. Heather has a strong faith, and talks about how her life isn’t what she thought it would be but it is so much better than she could have ever imagined. She uses the phrase “The Lucky Few” to shift the narrative on marginalized groups in society. I think we often forget that in the Bible, Jesus chose to live his life surrounded by outcasts, and we all have a duty to one another as part of God’s family. It’s important to engage with people who are marginalized and experience injustice. Through my experience with this family and the Down syndrome community, I have learned the importance of advocacy, faith, and shifting perspectives in order to view and care for people differently. Luck isn’t random. Luck is the feeling of belonging, of success, a celebration of our uniqueness. When we truly care for one another, we are all lucky.

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