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In honor of Down Syndrome Awareness Day, Meet our friend Jonah!

Happy Down Syndrome Awareness Day! Today is all about spreading awareness and showing love and support to individuals with Down Syndrome.  So don't forget to give someone you know a big hug today!

And guess what makes this day even more special? Our awesome friends Jonah and his mom Kirsti! They've been kind enough to share their journey with us, so let's celebrate by reading our blog and getting to know them better. 💕

Tell us a little bit about yourself and Jonah!

"Jonah and I live in Ohio. Jonah went through some changes during his teenage years, which set him back a bit more mentally. The doctors said it is not uncommon for individuals with Downs to undergo these changes during adolescence. Now, he is 23 and he is involved in a wonderful day enter called Good Hands. He has many friends there and the staff do a lot of great things with Jonah every day.

In his spare time, Jonah loves music, Mickey Mouse, The Wiggles, Pooh, and he loves to swing, go bowling, and, of course, snuggle Noahand Emma! He especially loves their eyes and loves to hold them. Jonah also has quite a sense of humor. Although his verbal skills are low. He loves to crack jokes in his own way and he laughs at his jokes. He is so cute!"

Can you tell us about your experience with Down Syndrome and some of the joys you’ve encountered in this journey?

"When I found out Jonah had Down’s syndrome (after he was born) I was sad for 2 weeks. But then I got over it and I’m so glad I did! My experience with Down’s syndrome has been a road of love, not only from Jonah (mainly) but from the people all around him. This world may have a lot of bad things at times, but one thing that society has actually improved upon is their outlook, reactions, and acceptance of people with special needs. Nearly everyone that Jonah comes across, is very loving and kind to him.

One of the biggest joys that I have experienced knowing Jonah, is his pure, innocent, love! He doesn’t lie and he doesn’t have ONE mean bone in his body. He is almost always happy! The only time he cries is when he isn’t feeling well. Jonah has affected my life only for the better. I’m not just saying that because I’m his mom. If you have Jonah in your life, you have a pocket of unchanging sunshine and love." 

What do you wish more people knew about Down Syndrome?

"I  wish all people who do not know the love of God, could see God's love within these sweet souls. That they would know that that is how God is, full of love, kindness, and never changing."

What advice would you give to parents or caregivers of children with Down syndrome?

My advice would be to help them be as independent as possible. They like to feel needed, loved, and helpful in this world. Also, for them to know that a person with Down’s syndrome will be their friend for life! Their love never changes.

How has your community supported you and Jonah in your journey with Down syndrome?

"The community has been great with Jonah. People in the community that we see at the store, church, a restaurant... most of them strangers... are VERY kind to him—and that makes me very thankful and happy! 😊 There are many things available for people with special needs here in south-west Ohio. We live in a farming community, but there are special camps available during the summer, which Jonah loves! There are also many day centers from which to choose."

Can you share any tips for parents or caregivers of children with Down syndrome?

"My tip would be that your child MAY change during the teen years, but not to be afraid, because it will all work out. As far as resources, it depends on the area in which you live. We live in the country and we have quite a bit available. So if you live in the city, there is sure to be a plethora of activities and support for those with Down’s syndrome and their families."

Anything else you or Jonah would like to share with us? 😊

"Jonah has had a few people in his family go away from his life. However, he has always had his mommy and his grandma forever! He has a wonderful step dad and 2 teenage brothers who are very good with him. He loves animals of all kinds! He loves to go to the zoo and is especially interested in the monkeys and the penguins. He loves dogs, cats, ferrets….etc. However, he is afraid of flying birds. Even the chickens, he will walk around them…..but if they start following him, he will take off running! Haha!"

Meet Jonah's Favorite Paradise Galleries Dolls! 💗

Baby Noah

This extraordinary little boy is outfitted in a long-sleeved off-white shirt with a custom imprint. His favorite blue denim overalls feature an embroidered smiling puppy on his front pocket. For trips outside, he has his striped cap and socks to keep those little toes warm. 

Bring home Noah!

Baby Emma

Just like those two plumeria flower clips on her head, Emma is as bright as the sun with her warm smile and smiling brown almond-shaped eyes! She wears an orange gauze onesie with ruffled sleeves and two, flower shaped pearlescent white buttons on the front, white ballet flats with bows, and a doll diaper. 

Bring home Emma!