A Special Day for a Special Boy – The Kick Start of Trisomy 21 Project

The First Year: Baby K | Kota Kemuning & Lake Gardens | Malaysia
10 January 2013
Happy Chinese New Year 2013 from Our ALP Team!
9 February 2013

I woke up this morning and read a comment on Mummy K’s wall that today is Little Adam’s second birthday celebration. Now you may wonder why is that so special? So let me try tell you a little story. Please bear with me if it becomes too lengthy but I’ll try to make it short & sweet. 😉

Last year, a fellow friend of ours got pregnant much to our anticipation. Almost 5 months down the road later, during a usual visit to the doctor brought back some disturbing news. We were told that there are chances that the baby may have Down Syndrome. Mummy & daddy were worried. They were feeling very lost, almost in a panic state. So we had a talk with them. During this period, I was having a mixed feeling too. I mean… I was (and still am) against terminating the pregnancy but at the same time I was very worried about how this baby with Down Syndrome will affect the life of our dear friends.

So being me, I went on a research frenzy. I called out for help on Facebook and I Google-d about Down Syndrome. We’re in luck. My call for help on Facebook received a great number of replies and I slowly gathered all the information I can get to help our friends handle their situation better. So after a few more consultation with other doctors (and tests as well), our friends were told the percentage of their baby having Down Syndrome is pretty low, much to their relief. We’re really glad that they didn’t consider abortion and they’re willing to have this child with or without Down Syndrome. 😀

During this period, Mummy K was one of the people that responded to my call for help on Facebook. It turns out that she has a son with Down Syndrome! So we continued communicating and she shared with me about her family life when Little A came into their lives. 🙂 I got enlightened. A small voice started to appear from deep inside me. Slowly it became clear to me what I would like to do for 2013! 😀

Every year I will take on a personal project to help the community around me or the world. 😉 Yes… very ambitious but I believe that while I am capable, I should try to help others as much as I can. As I’ve been helped countless of times during my low times and because of all the kind souls (strangers, friends and families) that had helped me throughout my life brought me to where I am now. I am thankful to them. Will always be in debt to their kindness.

So… I believe it’s God’s way of telling me that this is the latest personal project I should take on… to help create better awareness & acceptance to the people & children with Down Syndrome through my work. I want to show as many people as possible that having a child with Down Syndrome isn’t that bad after all! It’s not a sickness. It doesn’t mean it’s a curse for suffering for a family.

Instead… it’s beautiful! Life can still be happy and beautiful with this special child. In fact, life will be extra special when one is blessed with this child. 😀 Yes life can be challenging, but heck, isn’t “normal” life challenging in its own way? 😉 All it takes are acceptance & unconditional love, strong family bond as well as availability of resources to make one’s life easier & better for everyone.

I continued chatting with Mummy K and I’m really glad that her family is willing to participate in my project! I will do a portrait session for her little boy without any charges incurred on them. In return, the photos (and video) taken will be used for this project awareness on Down Syndrome.

My plan is to hopefully publish a documentary book which will be available in all book stores, eateries & educational outlets for FREE! This book will share some beautiful moments and stories of families with Down Syndrome to our community, and eventually worldwide. 🙂

Gosh… I sound overly ambitious aren’t I? Well… it has to start somewhere. It’s been quite a challenge so far, what with my continuous tight schedule with family & work. I hope to be able to find help & sponsors to fund this project. Honestly speaking, I’ve not been able to do more on this yet but I know I gotta start somewhere. So I’ve started some portrait sessions with a few families, with the help of a good friend who is my favorite videographer, Eddie Lee of Eddie Lee’s Moving Pictures. Both of us will pay a visit to the participating families and conduct a brief portrait session and video interview after which the plan is to share their stories here on ALP’s blog, and hopefully we will advance to the production of the book AND a video!

So… to kick start our Trisomy 21 Project, here we’d like to introduce to you a sweet sweet little boy named Adam! A little something about this sweet little boy. 😉

Age at the time of shoot: 18 months
Favorite People: Daddy
Favorite Food: Mummy’s breastmilk, sweet potato and spinach
Favorite Activity: Anything musical related
Favorite Animal: Rabbit
Favorite Toy: LeapFrog Fridge Wash & Go Magnetic Vehicle Set
Favorite Book: Bunny My Honey by Anita Jeram

The first time we met, Little Adam gave me one of his cheekiest smile ever! His parents shared with us that he’s such a clever little boy, capable of out-witting his trainers at Kiwanis Down Syndrome Foundation Centre. On several occasion when he didn’t feel like doing the activities with them, he’d play pretend sick or sleeping! Such an amazing cheeky boy!

Without further ado, here are some of the beautiful moments we’ve managed to capture that day with Adam and his family.

Baby Adam (Petaling Jaya, 2012)

With his doting parents.

Baby Adam (Petaling Jaya, 2012)

His most favorite person in the world… Daddy!

Baby Adam (Petaling Jaya, 2012)

Sweet kisses from his dearest mummy. He loves to bend backwards like this while playing with his parents. 😀

Baby Adam (Petaling Jaya, 2012)

Being cheeky with his grandma who together with his parents, helps take care of him.

Baby Adam (Petaling Jaya, 2012)

Mummy can never get enough of him!

Baby Adam (Petaling Jaya, 2012)

Reading his favorite book with daddy & mummy!

Baby Adam (Petaling Jaya, 2012)

Such a happy boy!

Baby Adam (Petaling Jaya, 2012)

My most favorite moment from that day!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SWEET ADAM!

(More images of Little Adam can be seen here: Little Adam’s Online Album)

So here’s the beginning of a journey for me with these wonderful special people. If by any chance any of you readers out there think you can help with this project, please feel free to email to me at [email protected] with the subject “Trisomy 21 Project”. We will be more than happy & thankful for your support & contribution. 😀

Till then, the ALP Team would like to wish everyone celebrating the coming Chinese New Year a “Gong Xi Fa Cai, Wan Xi Ru Yi”! Will try to blog again soon.

Much love,
Asther