I want to start by saying that I’m a nobody. And by that, I mean that my name isn’t in neon lights anywhere, nor am I famous for any type of vampire saga or alien v/s human love story . If that’s the Stephanie you were searching for, you’ve most certainly stumbled across the wrong one. The Stephanie you’ve found was born in nowhere Scottsboro, AL and has a touch of a Southern accent, (and by “a touch”, I mean that I say words like “y’all, and “fixin” way too much). I hate high heels, and if not for those “no shoes, no service” signs, I’d likely rarely ever wear shoes at all. I have a coffee addiction (as do most writers, or so I hear), as well as a strong dependency on chocolate (still tryin to figure out somethin to blame that one on). So you’ve probably noticed by reading that first paragraph alone, that I didn’t have my content written by some third party copywriter. I figure there’s no need for someone to narrate a fancy bio that makes me sound like some Ivy League poster child that isn’t really me AT ALL. It would likely be incredibly boring and read something like this, “Stephanie is a published author and her work has been seen in…blah, blah, blah”. So I decided that I would just be myself and let y’all get to know the real me instead of having some stranger that I don’t know, try to write about someone he doesn’t know, in order to get a bunch of people that nobody knows, to learn about the person that only I know best… ME (that one kinda hurts your brain a little bit doesn’t it?). Anyway, on April 30th, 2014, my entire life changed. On that day, love became something tangible…On that day, I gave birth to my beautiful baby girl, Hannah Grace. She was born with Down Syndrome as well as two holes in her heart (if you’ve noticed my color scheme for the site, it’s done in DS awareness colors). One has closed, but the other is still very large. If it doesn’t close on its own, she will have to have open heart surgery when she’s a year old. I am sharing our story via Hannah’s blog, “The Inconvenient Life blog”, as well as her video with the same title. This is written from Hannah’s perspective. We are praying that our story will help others who are facing similar struggles. Please follow us and help share our story. My ultimate goal here is to make you cry… If you don’t cry, then I haven’t done my job. Now, as strange as that may sound, I promise that it’s actually a very good thing. And thus far, I haven’t had a dry-eyed client yet. I live for those reactions. Nothing is more fulfilling than turning a story into a work of art and showing that person how beautiful their life is. Then, to watch them realize it for themselves while looking at you through tear dimmed eyes, knowing that you thought them to be important enough to show them what a blessing they are in such special way…that moment is priceless. I’ve been writing since I was eleven years old. I used to write little inspirational poems in magic marker and put them under the windshield wipers of cars in grocery store parking lots hoping to make someones day. Writing is the talent God has given me and the only thing that gives me that warm fuzzy feeling inside (well, that and every time my little Hannah Grace smiles at me). So I’ve completely rebranded my business. What I do is very individual based and one-of-a-kind, which is what makes it so unique. This type of gift is the kind you receive knowing there’s not another like it anywhere in this world…how could there be? There’s only one you. This is what I was put on this earth to do, and I’m so grateful for this gift He’s entrusted me with. So that’s my story in a nutshell, and I can’t wait to create something beautiful from yours… God Bless Y’all Stephanie Donahoe

Today is the day my amazing, Hannah Grace. And I say, “day” because technically it’s 1:35 in the morning at the time I begin to write this because your Mommy is restless in anticipation of one of the many moments I’ve dreamed of since the literal day you were born. I was totally going to get you a card for today, but ya know, they just don’t sell the 10-page ones that I needed to say what I wanted to say, haha so I’m makin’ my own;) So here I sit with happy pride-filled tears thinking about all of the things you’ve worked so very hard to accomplish since you took your first breath. You’ve overcome so much even when the odds were against you. You came into this world 2 weeks early and haven’t slowed down since; always doing things in your own time and teaching me to slow down and enjoy this journey we call life.

I will read this to you in a few hours, but I want you to read it when you’re older too and know that I am, and always will be so very proud of you not just for your hard work in all the things you do precious girl, but for WHO YOU ARE. I also want you to feel proud of yourself for the person Jesus made you to be. And please know that I see you. I saw you then, I see you now, and I will always see YOU. You are not invisible. I see you working extra hard every day to the very best of your abilities. You are the hardest working person I know, not to mention, the most determined. I will always be in the background cheering you on. Likely the loudest clapping; most ugly crying one of them all, but still always and forever there for you. I believe in you not just because of your persistence, but because of who your Creator is, and we both know what a perfectionist He is because of course to me, you’re His greatest masterpiece:)

I look at you all the time asking myself why God chose me to be your Mom… ‘How can something this wonderful really be mine?’ I feel like God has given me this extraordinary gift (turns out, that’s exactly what He did). A gift that I get to love and experience every single day. That gift, my beautiful world-changer, is YOU. You’re a lot like the sunrise in a way…always so bright, full of life, incredibly beautiful, and ready to take on a new day, shining just as bright and colorful as the day before with some kind of new joyful beauty to display. You certainly are ‘my sunshine, my only sunshine…’.

Hannah, you are so full of love. And not just any ol’ kind of love. Ohhhhh no, a regular kind just wouldn’t do for you because you’ve got that lil’ something extra kind of love about you that humbly demands others take notice. You my darling, are on a whole other level of awesome that I will never fully comprehend (must be that extra chromosome of yours;). You have this crazy ability to both confound me yet simplify life all in the same millisecond. How do you do that by the way? That’s a super cool mind-blowing kind of trick I need you to teach me someday;)

Today is YOUR day. You will [likely very timidly] walk across the stage and accept your Kindergarten diploma. You might even cry, but hey, I’ll be crying too so you’re in good company;) And, you don’t know this yet but your sweet teacher says you are getting not one, but two special awards! One is for being such a hard worker, aka the ‘Soaring towards success’ Award, and the other comes as no surprise either…you’re getting ‘The Enthusiastic Praiser’ Award “for praising God with so much joy and energy”, she said (apparently you are quite the worshipper in Chapel;) I hope you always have that beautiful, full of joy, in the moment innocent spirt of yours.

But of all the awards you may get in life, let Jesus always be the number one prize you strive for. I am so proud of both your awards, but when you saw me randomly burst into happy tears yesterday, well that’s why. You’ve got your heart and priorities in the right place and you’re only 6 years old. Don’t ever forget that Jesus isn’t just one important thing in your life, but let Him always be THE EVERYthing in your life. If you do that my sweet girl, you will be unstoppable. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13

Always and forever I am your biggest cheerleader, watching and celebrating your every accomplishment. You deserve all the things, all the love, and all joy that comes your way. You are so worthy and I love you so much Hannah Grace, and am so proud of you! Congratulations my life-changing miracle daughter, YOU DID IT! Happy Kindy graduation day!

Love your Mama

Doll Ambassadors are Self Advocates for Paperdolls Photography who tell their stories through portraiture and the beautiful words of their parents. A lot of our children are non-verbal but a single image can speak a million words to the heart and is understood in every language. Each child is unique with various abilities to share with the world. We believe differences are beautiful and that each ability is a gift.

You’ll see featured Ambassadors from all over the U.S. here sharing their extraordinary stories so others can see what a gift these differences really are. You’ll see children with Down Syndrome (like my own sweet daughter), ADHD, Autism, those who have overcome or are still fighting Cancer, Children who have CHD and Prosthetics, and those who are Typically Developing sharing their insight on how having friends with different abilities has impacted their lives and view of the world, and even some diagnosis you’ve probably never even heard of.

We want to UN-teach the negative connotations that surround various diagnosis by giving you the true and real information straight from the source itself instead of a text book version of it. We are all so very proud of our children and the people God created them to be. They were created ON purpose and FOR a purpose. “…Fearfully and wonderfully made”. Many tears fell from the eyes of the parents who wrote these stories for you because they poured their hearts into every word. At our very core, we just want the best for our children just like everybody else and to show the world that we are all more alike than different. These are children, not labels or accidents, but beautiful individuals who have emotions, dreams, likes and sass just like everyone else. Don’t judge someone based on a diagnosis, but instead let them show you what they are capable of. Don’t make assumptions, because if you let them, they might just teach you a little something special;) Enjoy these beautiful faces and share with your friends so they too can have a reason to smile today.

Click Images below to read about each child and their unique abilities. More coming soon!

Ruby Rae-Down Syndrome Ambassador

 

Scarlett-Down Syndrome Ambassador

 

Alexander-Friend to those of all Abilities

 

 

FINN-Hypoplasia Corpus Callosum 

 

Emily & Elizabeth-Sibling Ambassadors 

 

Johnathan Ray- Down Syndrome Ambassador

 

Weston-XYY Syndrome Ambassador

 

EMMA JO-Down Syndrome Ambassador

 

E.J.- Down Syndrome Ambassador

 

ELIZA-LEUKEMIA & DOWN SYNDROME AMBASSADOR

 

Nicholas-ADHD AMBASSADOR

 

Sam-Down Syndrome Ambassador

 

ENOCH-Down Syndrome Ambassador

 

Chloe-Williams Syndrome Ambassador

 

Dawn-Down Syndrome & CHD Ambassador

 

Palyn-Down Syndrome Ambassador

 

Nataley-Down Syndrome Ambassador

 

MOLLY-VACTERL AMBASSADOR

 

Jaxon-Cerebral Palsy Ambassador

 

Clara- Down Syndrome Ambassador

 

SCRHAM SISTERS-Down Syndrome Ambassadors

 

Lila-Down Syndrome Ambassador

 

Coraline-Down Syndrome Ambassador

 

 

Lucas-Gerber Baby2018 DS Ambassador