If you don't have a child or a family member or even a friend who has special needs or a medical disability, you may wonder why ads like these are such a big deal. Well, for one, it is a sign of how far we are coming as a society when we embrace all individuals and not just "typical" kids and adults. It also provides such a sense of belonging. Isn't that really what we all ultimately want? To belong. To fit in. I spend almost 99% of my time and thought on helping to build awareness and acceptance for differences, but I have to confess, there are times when it is just nice to feel as though we belong. That our babies and children are included. That while we celebrate our obvious differences, deep down we know that all humans are different and that is what makes us all so beautiful. When you go to a birthday party, or a play group, or church-- many times you go and know that your child will be the only one who is noticeably different. Sometimes I worry about it and sometimes I don't. The worry comes and go. Sometimes you just want to fit in. Is this the right way to feel? I don't know. I'm just being totally honest and my point is-- seeing an advertisement for a major retailer that has a child with Down syndrome in it gives me that warm, fuzzy, "we belong" feeling that I have to admit-- I sometimes crave for me and my children.
Enjoy meeting Noah!