Being different means being unique, and parents Julie and Dan McConnel know how to accept and cherish uniqueness in a way that steals hearts around the world.
When they learned they were going to be a mom and a dad again, they were over the moon. Holding their bundle of joy in their hands was something they were eagerly looking forward to. But God is great, and he gave these two amazing people two reasons to love life; they were about to welcome twin boys.
What’s most, he gave them two sweet little angels with an extra chromosome. This made their sons Milo and Charlie truly exceptional, because fraternal twins with Down syndrome are said to be 1-in-14 million cases.
Having kids with this condition could be challenging, and Julie and Dan were aware of that so they pondered over the thought of giving them up for adoption especially because they already had four children. But now, seeing the sweet boys grow, they are glad they decided to take the journey which now resembles the sweetest and most colorful adventure. Their boys are loved not only by their family, but people from all around the country, as they are true internet sensation.
These parents were perfectly aware of all the stigmas attached to people with Down Syndrome. However, the reality is that these people only share similar facial features, but their character and personality are completely different. And Charlie and Milo’s mom and dad were determined to show that to the world. How they do it? Using social media. And they do it amazingly.
“My hope is to attract families that are receiving a diagnosis of Down syndrome for their child because that can be really scary. I hope that people will find us, and see that this is what life can be like,” Julie told WTSP 10 News.
“It can be fun, it’s full of love, it’s not scary. We have no regrets, and there is so much joy in our lives, and I hope that people will see that.”
The McConnels are doing their best to educate other parents of children with Down’s of all the challenges that may come along the way and how to cope with them in the best way possible.
“It takes them a little longer to meet milestones, but when they meet goals we celebrate like no other parents alive,” she said. “We throw a party and we’re so excited for them when they accomplish those things.”
“It’s big to show everyone else that we are here, and there are all these kids in our community, and we hope that they will see us and remember us and that things will continue to change in our communities with lots of acceptance,” Dan said.
“We’re standing on the shoulders of other parents that have paved the way for all these things to happen and it’s an exciting time to have a child with Down syndrome,” Julie added. “I want to see them grow up and do whatever they want to do.”
We do hope these amazing parents would succeed in their attention to raise awareness about the children with Down’s, so people would finally understand they are no different than any other kid in the way they bring joy to their families.
So forget about the stares, and don’t ever say sorry to a parent when you learn they have a kid with this syndrome, because honestly, there is nothing to be sorry about.
These parents’ story may convince other parents to-be who are considering giving their babies with Down’s for adoption to change their mind.