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

Have you ever created something? Anything? Painted on a canvas maybe? Built a house? Sewn a quilt? Planted a garden? All these things take careful thought and planning, they aren’t just thrown together or just spontaneously combust into existence. Colors, paint brushes, canvas size, and easel are carefully chosen by the artist to ensure that what they’ve imagined comes to life on that blank canvas. Every every stroke, angle, and pressure of the brush is ON PURPOSE enabling them to create the beautiful unique thing that they have envisioned (go ahead zoom in, can you find the signature?). Every color is mixed just so, and each sweep of the brush hairs brings the Creator one step closer to completion.

DID YOU KNOW that what some may view as ‘mistakes’ are actually made ON PURPOSE by the Creator of the Masterpiece? There’s a term for this in Japan..it’s called, “wabi-sabi”. They say that, “Deliberate imperfections is a necessary ingredient of art.” The ‘flaws’ willfully put there by the Artist as a testament of how ‘shortcomings’ are a natural part of humanity. However, more often than not, the purposefully placed ‘fault’ is unanticipated and questioned and ridiculed by onlookers instead of being viewed as ‘beautiful’ simply because it’s “different” than the expectations they had set for it. YET they are still the most admired works of Art in the world!

While there are various names for this so-called, “Imperfect Art” used by artist around the globe, in our world, it’s called Trisomy 21. These individuals aren’t a ‘mistake’, they are Masterpieces. Look closely and you’ll see the Creator’s signature on all of them. God is never surprised by extra chromosomes. How could He be? He’s the One who put them there. And before He put them there, He imagined them long before the first breath was taken. How incredible is it that we are ON PURPOSE, our ‘flaws’ and all? And wanna know a secret…we’re still not finished yet;) #MasterpieceInProgress#LivingArt#LookWithYourEyesSeeWithYourHeart

“Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.” 1 John 3:2

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”-Psalm 139:13-16 For we are God’s Masterpiece….” Ephesians 2:10

That was the question that came from the curious voice of a 10 year old little girl at a new all inclusive playground that just opened near us. It was the grand opening day and we had been excited for months. My sweet Hannah Grace, who just happens to have Down Syndrome (pictured above) couldn’t contain the happiness as she approached the bright beautiful twisty twirly slides, swings and all the new fun things to explore.

We made it over to the zip line which we quickly learned is a favorite of all the kids, so we had to wait in line. As we awaited our turn, I noticed a little girl who kept staring at Hannah with confusion as if she were trying to figure something out. I saw it on her face that she was about to say something, and sure enough, she blurted out…”What happened to her face…What’s wrong with it?” “I’m not trying to be mean” she said, “I was just wondering why it looks like that?” As often as I encountered questions similar to this from other kids, it still somehow catches me off guard. The little girl wasn’t trying to be rude, she was in all honesty just being a curious kid.

So I leaned forward and smiled at the little girl and proceeded to tell her that nothing “happened” to her face, and that she just had one more chromosome than she had and how that made her features look a little different than everyone else’s. As I was explaining a little bit about what it’s like to have Down Syndrome, several other kids made their way over to us and wanted to listen in and ask questions too. Of course I had to whip out her pictures on my phone and they all just beamed at the sight of her. One of the older girls (around 14/15) told Hannah how beautiful she was and another little girl commented on how funny she was.

One of the little girls in particular was incredibly sweet to Hannah and took her by the hand and played with her the whole rest of the time. She even shared her new big wheels toy she got for her birthday on the car track and pushed her around for a good 30 minutes since Hannah wasn’t able to push the petals to make it go. I asked that little girl where her Mama was who had actually been watching a few feet behind us the whole time, and went over to explain to her what was going on and I thanked her for raising her daughter to be kind to others. As we watched our daughters play together I got teary eyed as I saw how much happiness the kindness of one little girl brought to my daughter that day.

There were other questions from other kids that day like, “Why do you have to help her with that?” and, “Why won’t she answer me?”. I use those questions as an opportunity to educate and advocate. That playground will be filled with kids of varying abilities and kids with all kinds of questions. It may be just a playground to Hannah Grace, but to me it’s a classroom full of kids with their hands raised. So keep those questions coming, we love making new friends.

But if you want to know the REAL answer to the question, “What happened to her face?” I would argue that she was indeed kissed by Angels…

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” Psalm 139:13-16

Hate is a choice, but so is kindness. Please always choose to be kind. Not all kids have visible physical traits related to there different abilities like my daughter does, please also be aware of that when you see behaviors that may be a little different than the ‘norm’.

Look with your eyes. See with your heart. -Paperdolls Photography

If you enjoyed this story, then you will love reading “Dear Future Best Friend“, but grab the tissues.

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






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




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