Remembering back 7 years ago, I recall being asked many times during my first pregnancy; "Do you know what you are having, a boy or a girl?” My response (as so many others have answered this question) was: "It doesn’t matter as long as the baby is healthy." As long as the baby is healthy... did not happen for my firstborn. What we did receive was a devastating diagnosis and an unknown future.
There are many questions that were swirling in my head during those days, almost like a tornado twister. All I wanted to do was pick them from the air and find someone to give me answers, someone who could show me a glimpse of her future. But no one could answer them, then or now. I admit that some I am still afraid to ask out loud, ones I only ponder in the dark moments. Maybe I really don’t want to know the answers.
One of these questions: Will she ever be able to be independent and a productive member of society? Will she be able to take care of herself financially when the day comes that her parents are no longer by her side?
Following the birth of a child, parents are not usually preoccupied with what their child will be when they grow up. But when a child that has a diagnosed problem, we are forced to think about their quality of life. In fact, that's all we think about. My question…What can she be?
"It is in our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light” - Aristotle Onassis
So I think...I brainstorm... I wonder - What is the best way for my Olivia to build a nest egg to secure this future that has so many questions. A financial future free of a burden that may end up falling on the shoulders of her younger sister.
Olivia is beautiful, full of life and a soul exploding with happiness. This is what we need to show the world. Hmmm….Modeling? Yes, let’s show the world that children of all abilities can be involved with advertising. Let’s include all of God’s children.
When I searched and came across a campaign already in existence, I knew that Olivia could be involved with this positive promotion of special-needs children. Our current involvement is with Katie Driscoll’s campaign: Changing the Face of Beauty. This is a creative movement of parents to integrate individuals with disabilities into mass media advertising. It’s an inclusion of all kids with all abilities.
I then came across a post looking for 16 girls of all abilities and backgrounds, I applied. This casting call was hosted by the Mighty Acorn Foundation. Their mission is to restore hearts, ignite dreams, and empower the future of children across the world.
I am honored that Olivia was chosen to participate in this movement. This is what takes us on our road trip across three states. Unlike the adventurous, free-spirit feeling of road trips back in my college days, our road-trips now usually consist of visits to doctors and specialists in the field of Cortical Visual Impairment. This time, though, it is one filled with excitement and anticipation. One that we are very proud to be associated with.
Mighty Acorn Foundation and Changing the Face of Beauty are coming together to ignite dreams and empower futures of little girls by showing what is possible when children of all abilities and backgrounds are included in advertising imagery.
Follow Olivia and other special children this week on
Mighty Acorn Foundation: Facebook
Our adventure continues in the Windy City,