Letters to Pip~

My daughter Reid Layne "Pip", was born with Down syndrome & that plus a few early complications in her little life took us by surprise...Surprise has now turned to hope & inspiration & I am amazed at how many lives she has already touched...

You can read about how our journey started HERE, the miracle we had along the way HERE, some scary moments HERE & HERE, who she is HERE & how she's already changed my life's direction & in turn the blog's HERE...

I wanted there to somehow be a way when she was older to know how very much she inspired people...I wanted her to be able to read a letter from others knowing how much she was loved...I wanted her to hear someone else's words & know she changed their lives...I wanted there to be a way for her to be able to see the happiness & hope she shared & know how very special she is because of it...

These letters are for her...I believe when she is older she will cherish them like nothing else...So, if my darling Pip has inspired you in anyway please leave a comment & if you want to write her a letter, please email met@happysoulproject.com & be part of this beautiful journey with us...

Dear PiP: These letters of Inspiration, Hope & Love are all for you...I know you’re going to change the world & here is just an example of the lives you’ve already touched...Amazing really...I love you sweet girl...

My Beautiful Reid,
I've decided to do your letters a little differently...Like your brother you will still have handwritten letters your entire life from your dad & I, but the more I think about how you've already touched so many people's lives the more I wanted a way for you to see that...Therefore, your letters on the blog will be from all those that love you, that you've inspired, that you've given hope to & made believe in miracles...

You are a little over a month old & tomorrow you are facing a major surgery- I need you to be strong baby girl...Just the thought of letting you go into the doctors hands kills me & I will be pacing & praying until your back in my arms tomorrow...You have already defeated the odds, amazed the doctors & showed others what a little love, hope & faith can do...I believe you will be doing that your entire life & I am beyond lucky to not only watch you do that but hold your hand throughout...
Reid Layne you've already changed me in so many ways...I know you are meant to be mine & I need you in my life...So, let's get through tomorrow sweet girl & then enjoy the life, your dad, Noal, you & I are blessed to have together..
I love you more than I even thought was possible & can't wait to see how you change the world...So happy you are mine...
Love Mum 


Just to note, your dad took awhile to get on board this idea- But, because he is going to love you like nobody else does on this planet- His letter needed to go first...We are lucky to have him & I know you're going to adore him like I do...Here is just a small piece of his love for you baby girl...

Love Mum

I must start this with an apology – When it comes to my family and the feelings and emotions that I have towards them my instinct has been one of privacy.  When your Mom shared with me this idea I backed away from making my private thoughts and wishes for you public ones.  I have come to learn that although this is a creative outlet for her, it comes from a place of pure love and is something only she could do.  This love for her children, in my mind, has not only inspired but has challenged people to look at their own family in a different way.  I love how brave she is – you will undoubtedly get that trait from her.

As you will find out I can be stubborn at times, but after some careful reflection this truly is something special.  I feel as though I need to be a part of it.  So I am sorry for being late to the dance, but when you dance as well as I do you can afford to let punctuality slide – you can ask your mother about that.

I think I have always been one of those guys who thought they had a good handle on life and the lessons it can teach you.  I carried on this way until the day your mother told me your brother was on his way.  For me it was a sobering moment that exposed me to an uncertainty mixed with pride and happiness.  My insecurities went from an ultimate high when I first held him back to normal within a month or two – that’s right it didn’t take me very long to think I knew it all….Again. 
When I found out that you were on the way, a day I like to call Shock n Awe, I found myself composed and calm.  It was nothing I hadn’t been through before….piece of cake right?
When we brought your brother home I remember my mind racing about all the things I would teach him over the course of his life.  When you came home with us the only thought that I can remember was thinking about all the things you would teach me.  This is a theme that has continued and something that I look forward to daily.  I can’t wait to see your interpretation of our world as you grow, I am sure it will continually change the way I think about things – as much if not more than you being in my life already has.
You will probably hear a lot of words like benchmark, spectrum, and milestone but I want you to keep this one thought close to you.  You will never care about where you are unless you remember how you got there.  Struggle, determination, and resilience build character and you, sweet thing, are full of just that.  I will always be right beside you to hold your hand or give you a boost in the event that you need it….but I know you’ll do just fine.
As you can tell by these letters your mother is a pretty special person – you will hear no different from me…..well maybe once in a while…usually when she is smothering everyone with “We should take a picture”.  She is easily the most beautiful person I know, this blog is only a small window into the size of her heart and just look at how many people she has touched.  The three of us are lucky to have her and she will be your biggest cheerleader throughout life.  If you get just half of her smile you will be one amazing lady.
I look forward to our journey……
I love you,
To Our Precious Grandbaby Reid
We were so excited to have another grandbaby...this time
a little girl. You were the best Christmas present that we
ever received. Little Reid you are such a beautiful baby and
the first time we saw you we were both holding you and
Grandpa told you we would always love and be there for
you and you gave us both the biggest smile..just like you
understood. You have the most amazing Mommy and Daddy
that will always love and take good care of you and you also
have the best big brother Noal who will fill your days with fun
and teach you lots of new things. We are so happy that God
picked an adorable little angel to be in our family. We love
you so very much...Grandpa & Grandma xo xo

Sweet Reid,
When you are reading this you will already know... You are a special, beautiful, wonderful girl. Your life will have its challenges, but it will also be filled with some of the most amazing people. Your dad Craig is so caring and compassionate. The first time I saw him hold you, I could tell that you were truly his little girl. And your mum... well, she will make you her world. She will be your rock and your shelter. I know that her passion and her love will truly make your life special. Your mom and I have such a special relationship, and I know your big brother Noal will have with you. He already shows so much care towards you, that I know the both of you will be close.
As for me, I am your BEST uncle!! I will be in your life and always here for you. I already love you so much, and know that you will make a huge impact on so many lives.
Love Uncle Air

To my darling niece, Reid,
For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to be an Aunt.
My Aunt Linda used to save me from the school bus when—everyday—my oversized backpack would get me stuck between the seats. My Aunt Orrene brought me to Storybook Gardens whenever I visited—it was the most magical place on Earth. My Aunt Carolyn always incorporated my name into the songs she would sing me, and most of the time, it was one of the only words she’d remember.
My Aunts are some of my favourite people in the whole world. They made me feel special—like I was the most important thing simply because I existed. I want to be the kind of Aunt that saves my niece from school bus induced mortification, encourages her imagination and sings her name because it’s important enough to sing.
But most importantly, Reid, I want to be the kind of Aunt who makes you feel special just because you exist.
There will be some things in your life that are more challenging than any of us had wanted for you. Sometimes now—so soon into your life—it is easy to spend time worrying about those challenges, and wishing with all my heart I could take them away. But then I held you for the first time—I saw your lovely face—and knew that you were the most beautiful little girl in the world. How lucky you are, to have the family that you do…a mom, dad and brother who will make sure that, every day, you know it, too.
When I was a little girl, my big brother—your father—was my very favourite person. Sure, he chased me around the dining room table just to make me scream, and he tried to pull my toes off, but he was still my hero. To be perfectly honest, he continues to hold that spot in my heart to this day… (but don’t tell him that!) And your big brother will be just as wonderful to you as mine was to me. (Toe pulling and all, I’m sure). In fact, even just over a month into your life, I can already see that he is.
Your mom has a spark in her that everyone envies—a brightness, a happiness—that, by the time you’re reading this letter, I’m sure she will have passed on to you, just as she has already passed it to Noal. This will undoubtedly give you a special kind of strength to tackle this world head on.
You have so many people around you—including me—who love you and cherish you, who are ready to stand up and fight for you, who want to share everything they know about this world with you, protect you from it, and allow you to thrive.
You are the best thing that could have ever happened to us, little Reid, and we will never, ever let you forget it.
Love Auntie Ash
PS. I would like to take this time to apologize in advance for all of the books I will buy you instead of toys, and for the days when I will make it my sole mission to make you love Harry Potter. It will be done out of love. Promise!

My dear sweet Reid:
The first thing I want you to know my love is something I told your father when he was seven years old. You sweetie, can be anyone or anything you want to be.  It may take a lot of work and a lot of determination but anything is possible.  The world is yours. Reid, I am your Grandma “G”.  And I love you to the moon and back.  I want to be the “G’ that you can always come to, talk to when you think the “enemy” is against you….and that will happen, (parents are like that).  I never had the Grandparents I wanted…..the ones that loved you unconditionally, that spoiled you, that thought you were the best there ever was.  That is what I want for you and of course your brother Noal.  I will be the one that loves you….just because……..

Don’t misunderstand me my love, I will set you straight if need be (ask your dad) but I want to be the person you feel you can tell anything to.  I want you to know that I will be there for you whenever you need me to be.
As you will come to understand my love, is that your Grandpa has gone to heaven.  I want you to know that he would have been your biggest advocate…..and he still is.  He was an amazing man, and would have loved you dearly.  I believe he is watching over you from heaven and will give you strength and wisdom.  Your daddy is a lot like him. 
Life, my sweet princess, is a combination of ups and downs, but we learn to grow with every obstacle that is put in front of us.  There will be some failures and some accomplishments.  You need to learn to roll with this.   My best accomplishment is your Daddy and your Auntie Ashley…… they make me so proud I could burst.
Reid, I have spent every day since you were born, waking each morning, stumbling out to my computer to see if there is a new picture of you…….when there is, then is it’s a good day for me.  I love to start my day seeing pictures of you and your brother……….distance between us makes it difficult, but your mother is amazing at what she is doing……and each day I feel that I am with you……watching you grow.
I so look forward to being a big part of your life.  I love you Reid…..to the moon and back.

Dearest Reid
It’s G’Dave.  Now that in itself requires explanation. When your “G” and I met again after not seeing each other for over 32 years, it was tremendously exciting getting to know one another again but it also came with challenges associated with our recent past experiences, sadness and loss not being the least of them.
You see your Grandpa Wayne left this world the year before and truly, sadly, before he would have a chance to meet you and Noal.  Although I didn’t have the pleasure of knowing him, from stories told he was a very travelled, well read and learned man who would have instilled in you the joy of learning the History’s of the world.  Political and otherwise!!  Not to mention his pearls of wisdom wrapped up in sayings too numerous to mention.  I’m certainly not qualified to summarize him since I didn’t know him.  But as the one who will be honoured to “play his part”, I feel that it’s important for you to know that I proudly embrace his legacy.  I cannot replace him and would never try.  It’s impossible.  And he will not be forgotten. 
Since I have been given the blessing and gift of stepping up into that role, what I can teach you are what I love most in life and number one is music.  Playing it, listening to it, singing it, writing it.  I can’t stand a quiet room.  Your “G” and Aunt Ashley can attest to that!  Your Mother calls my favourite type “White Rock”.  I prefer “Classic Rock” myself and whenever possible played very loud!!!  Maybe that’s why I’m deaf.  :o)  Anyway we won’t tell your mother when we listen to Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple and so forth.  Shhhhhhhhhh!!
What I know you’re going to teach me is to look at the world through your eyes.  Unquestioning trust, faith, compassion, confidence, humility, determination, love……  I look very much forward to the revelation of it all.
Oh yeah….G’Dave.  I needed something for you to call me.  I lived in the Ottawa Valley for over 22 years and the first thing you hear and say there when you meet somebody is “G’day”.  So since my name is Dave I thought that could work.  The “G” implying Grand but not actually saying so and yet giving it an acceptable nuance.  What’d ya think?  As my mother would have said, “Oh David, you’re so clever!!”
Unfortunately sweet girl, our relationship is going to be a long distance one for the foreseeable future and maybe for most of your life.  But fortunately modern technology keeps us close in many other ways so I won’t miss a moment of your growing up.  When we are together, it will be magical and memorable and will hold us til next time.  So it was with me and my grandparents.  But at least I got to go to Ireland every year!!
Be brave, be strong little lady and know you have me to lean on anytime for anything.
All my love.
Dearest Reid,
In the summer of 2012 your mommy, big brother Noal and grandma came to Calgary for a visit.
Your mommy had something very exciting to share ~ she was expecting you and she had a special cake made to announce her wonderful news. I had a feeling that you would be an adorable baby girl and I started loving you that day.

I was so delighted to finally meet you when you were a month old. You were so beautiful and sweet and I loved just holding you.

Your mommy loves you so much and she will always make sure your life is full and fun. I watched while your daddy held you in his arms so lovingly ~ you will always be daddy's girl. Noal will be such a wonderful big brother ~ someone to play with and to get in trouble with as well.

You are a special gift to our family Reid. May you always know how precious you are to us and always feel loved and cherished. I know that you will make this world a better place just by being in it ~ you will be an inspiration and will help people be more aware of things that are important like kindness and love.

I have a very special relationship with your mommy and I know that you and I will have a very special bond as well. You are my beautiful, loving great niece and I am so proud of you. Wish we lived closer so that we could see you and your family more often.

May your life be filled with joy, love, laughter and many blessings.

lots of love always and forever,

your tia xoxo
"Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you." Dr. Seuss
~ Reid Layne ~
With you at an age, ready to read this, I figure it only proper for me to introduce myself first. See, I would love to believe that you know me very well, see me daily and are extremely comfortable with Auntie Muls ( I will explain later)...however, I have this feeling that you may know me rather through your mum, and possibly a few visits each year :( .. that does not change how much I love you. You see, your mum and I share an extremely rare and special bond....and although I don't see Noal or you often, I hold you both very close to my heart.
So I know you know me by now, Melisa Fines, maiden name Mulcaster...aka “Muls” to your Ma....she has a nickname for everyone, as I am quite certain you are aware of, at this point in your life! As well, i'm spelling “mum” as your mom does....i figure you are used to reading it this way because she refuses to spell it correctly ;) Your mum and I met when we were working at a restaurant named Moxie's. We were in our early twenties..and I know were brought together for a reason in this life....I so hope for you that you find a friendship like the one your mum and I share, it's incredible....but that's a whole separate letter....For this, my first letter to you, I thought about what I wanted to say...and I decided to just give you a couple of tips about life. But, even as I write this ~ I know without a doubt, you will be the one teaching me, how to live a ~ happy life ~

There isn't much I can say, that your parents haven't already told you...you have the best parents...(did you know, that I played a pretty large part in them meeting? True story)....and I know it is because of them, that you are who you are today :) They are remarkable people...Your mum is the kind of person who, if you have met her once or have known her forever...you will never forget her...she has taken on a truly inspiring outlook on life, and it is contagious through the words she writes and experiences she shares..
I'm certain you have heard this advice before, but here is some advice I could think of, for you to carry around in your happy little soul...

~You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them 
~Try to be a rainbow in someone's cloud 
~Make every effort to change things you do not like. If you cannot make a change, change the way you have been thinking. You might find a new solution 
~ Don't sweat the small stuff 
~ Be you – always 
~ Treat others as you would want to be treated 
~ Always see the silver lining 
~ Appreciate the life you have been given each and every day, give thanks 
~ Believe in yourself...you can do anything you want, if you believe in yourself ~

And the best advice i could give to you, is to watch and listen to your mum...She is an amazing woman andyou will learn everything you need to know through her. There are moments in life that are going to be super tough...so tough that sometimes, you will feel as if you can't see past it. When these moments happen, talk to her. You may not always see eye to eye, but I promise you she has your best interest at heart and that protective mama bear only wants what is best for you...always
I don't want to overwhelm you so I will leave it at that for now. I have a tendency to ramble on, especially in the “teaching” department..ask your mum or dad one day to tell you the “Yours in Education” story..geesh. Just know I am here for you anytime, should you ever feel you need me.

Love you,
Aunt Muls
"You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes.You can steer yourself, any direction, you choose." Dr.Seuss

To lovely sweet baby Reid,
Where to begin....well your mum and I have a "unique" story to tell when it comes to our friendship! See we met before I was even born! The story is that when your grandma was in the hospital and gave birth to your mum, my mom was her nurse! She was just pregnant with me and so they put your mum up to my moms belly and said "meet your friend" or so this is the story your mum and I believe :). Anyways we were best friends growing up and pretty inseparable in high school! You couldn't have Tara without Laura nor could you have Laura without Tara :). I loved having your mum as my Best Friend! We truly have a special bond of 31 years of friendship! Most people can't say that! My hope for you is that you will find that kind of friendship in life and cherish it.
So your mum loves to call me Laurs so that would make me your Auntie Laurs and she asked me to write you a letter and of course I was honored. I wanted to tell you how much you are loved and what a great and amazing life you will lead! I believe that you are Very special and will achieve more than anyone ever expects of you in life! I so look forward to having a chance to get to know you and influence you in your life and I know you will definitely influence mine and many others in your life path. I know God gave you the perfect parents for the job and an amazing big brother who will always protect you! I believe you will experience more love in your life than most of us could dream of! Looking forward to watching you grow up into a beautiful person and I promise to be here for you and your mum whenever needed!

Love Always,

Auntie Laurs xoxoxo
Hi Sweet Baby Reid,
I am your Aunty Focks…Yes your mommy gave me that nickname back when we were teenagers. We saw the movie Meet the Parents and the nickname was born! One day we’ll have to watch the movie together (it’s one of my all-time favourites) and you’ll understand.
First of all, I would like to welcome you to the world and let you know how exceptionally blessed you are to have such an amazing family. You are such a precious little girl and have already touched me in so many ways, even though we haven’t even met in person!
The day I found out your mommy was pregnant with you was so exciting and I was so happy for her!! Your mom was extremely thrilled to have her “little diva” on the way.  The day you were born was even more exciting, seeing that first picture of you brought tears of joy to my eyes as you were one of the cutest babies I had ever seen and I was so happy for your family.
Not long after you were born, your mom told me that life had thrown you an early curve ball as they found out that you were born with Down Syndrome and could need a couple of big surgeries in the near future. From that point onward, all I could do was think about you and your family and how hard this must be to deal with. I started praying to God to heal your heart and eyes, believing that you would grow up as a vibrant, happy little girl. I know you are going to have to face some challenges in life, however, I also believe that they will make you become a strong, confident and joyous woman that we will all admire and be so incredibly proud of.
Your mom and I became friends when we were 15. She is one of the most incredible people that I have ever met. She is outgoing, adventurous, kind hearted and the list goes on and on.  There is never a boring moment when she is around as she never fails to find some way to make every situation hilarious.  She welcomes everyone she meets with an open heart which coincides with her two famous words...”No Judging!”  The first couple weeks of your life has really made me see how brave your mom is, she will never admit to it but she is one of the most courageous people I know. What a lucky girl you are to have such a wonderful mom!!
I am also excited for you to meet my baby girl Lauren. I look forward to the friendship that two of you will build and can only hope that you create a bond that will last a lifetime, just like the one that your mother and I have made!
I love you more than you know and I will always be here for you. I am so happy to be a part of your life and am excited to see what the future brings for you.
I would like to end with a quote that I came across; I think we should all try to live this way…….
She believed she could so she did……….
Love your Auntie Focks
Dearest Baby Girl Reid...
From the moment I first heard you'd be joining this world, and all that it has to offer I was filled a sense of mischievous excitement and anticipation. You see....your Mom, one of my dearest friends in this world, and I, have been causing trouble and making some of the sweetest memories I have had, since we were about 8 years old. Today, I'm 19 weeks pregnant with my first baby...one that I know you will be fast friends with. Your Mom and I have always been what I consider to be kindred spirits, It never matters how far apart we are or how much time has passed, we always pick right up where we left off. Those kinds of friendships are rare in this world, and are cherished by those who have experienced them. Your Mom and I have shared so many moments of your journey so far...during the time she carried you for 9 months, the day you were brought into this world, to the first few weeks of your precious life so far...we have smiled, laughed, cried, prayed and believed for miracles in your young life.

Even though we haven't met yet, I know I already know your heart, and it's full of love, and healing and joy, just like your Momma's. Your Dad is a rock...I knew it from the moment we met, that he was perfect for your Mom. And his heart is as big as your Mom's....I couldn't think of two more loving, open, honest and caring parents to raise you in this world. You were chosen for them and they were chosen for you.
Noal, your sweet big brother, will be like my brothers, and your Uncle Eric...protective and supportive, and one of the best friends you have in this world.
I can't wait to see you grow and make your place in this world...and always know you have the love and support of your Aunt Biz whenever you need it...

All my love sweet Reid...

Love Aunt Biz
Welcome to the world sweet Reid!!!

I can't believe you are finally here and I haven't been able to snuggle you up yet! That's all your mom and dad's fault but we can talk about that another time ;)

I can remember when your mom found out that you were going to be a little girl. I was selfishly very happy because I knew all the fun that was to come for you, Quinn and Avery together. Tea parties, dress up, Barbie's and all the other good stuff that comes with having a little girl. I could see you all togther in the years to come having so much fun together. We'll still get to enjoy all of that but it just won't be as often. You can be sure you already have two little best friends over here. The girls say prayers for you every night, we wanted your little heart to be whole and we got what we asked for! We LOVE to see your pictures and watch you change and grow everyday. We'll be so ready to meet you when the time comes.

You are a lucky little girl my love. So many people are thinking of you and cheering you on. You have been so strong since you were born, you must get that feistyness from your mama and Noal. You're place in all of our lives has already impacted everyone so much and I can't wait to see what else you have to teach us Reid. We already love you so much and can't wait to see you, your big brother and you Mom and Dad.

Thinking of you always,

Auntie Jenn xoxo

Dear Little Reid,
I can still remember the day your mom came over and told me the news she was expecting you! She had a smile from ear to ear and was glowing with excitement. This was such a special time for your mom and I to share. We had gone through are pregnancies with Noal and Charlotte together and now your mom was expecting again just 9 months later! We quickly began to talk about what life would be like with two babies and wondered if you were a boy or a girl!

After your moms ultra- sound of you the news was out!! A little girl would be added to the McCallan family! We were all so excited and your mom name you the little "Diva" which was a perfect fit seeing as your mom is a total diva and your brother Noal was nicknamed "Noalene" for his strong personality.
Your mom and I spent a lot of time together during her pregnancy with you. We would have long talks about what we thought you would be like, what you would look like, if you were going to be strong willed like Noal and if would share the same love for food. Food was another very important part of the time your mom and I spent together. On the days your mom would come over she pretty much had the days menu planned out for us. She has a real passion for food among lots of other things that we all admire. Most days revolved around a big treat shared over coffee.
Towards the end of your mom's pregnancy your family had made the move to Kingston leaving me devastated at the thought of not being just a 5min drive away anymore and the thought of not being able to get together for play dates and lunch dates whenever we wanted. We would talk on the phone daily and she would send me pictures of her growing belly. The last month seemed to pass by so slowly and every time your mom wouldn’t respond to a text or phone call right away I immediately thought this is it she’s having that baby girl!
Finally on December 15th around 4pm I received a picture on my phone of your mom sitting on the hospital bed. You were finally ready to make your big entrance into the wold! We were all so excited and at 8pm you were born!. Pictures soon hit facebook and we were all able to get a glimpse at you, a beautiful baby girl Reid Layne.

Little Reid you have already brought so much joy into the lives of your family and friends. Especially your big brother Noal who absolutely adores you. The relationship and bond the two of you share is already so incredible to see. At only 18months old you can see that Noal has already taken on his big brother role of wanting to protect you. It’s an amazing relationship that the two of you will share throughout your lives.

Always remember Reid that the people who surround you throughout your life will always be there to help and love you no matter the obstacles you may face along the way. You’re an amazing little girl who is loved and adored by so many.
Love your Aunt Donna xoxo

Dear sweet little Reid,

I'm so excited to meet you! By the time you read this I know we'll be good buds. Just a note about your family- You're going to love them...there are so full of laughter, fun, and most of all- love! Your mom came into my life just at the right time and she has meant so much to me- and I know you're going to feel the same way! You've got lots of boys to contend with between your dad, your big brother Noal and of course Deacon, but trust me, they're great. I know you and Noal will have a very special relationship and I'm sure he's really excited about being a big bro. I can't wait to watch you grow and enjoy all that the world has to offer you Reid. You're a gem, I know it- and I haven't even met you yet.

Sarah (or Aunt Birninette)

Dear Reid,

I knew you and I would have a special relationship when your mom told me you were moving to Kingston and I would get to watch you grow up. Now, after having met and held you, I know it will be even more special than I had first imagined. Charlie and I first became friends with your mom and dad when we all lived in what we refer to as 'The Great White North'. We had some really, really fun times together up there, so when your mom told me you guys were moving to Kingston in time for you to be born at the same hospital as Aidan, I was super excited!

I know you already know this bit I'll tell you again. You're super lucky to have the mom and dad that you have. They're such fun, caring, supportive and loving people and they love you and your big brother Noal to pieces! Noal is going to be a great big brother to you, too. He is going to teach you so many amazing things. You will both learn from one another and the family love that your mom and dad will show you will probably be stifling at times but will keep you bonded forever. I can't wait to watch you, Noal and Aidan grow up together and make special memories of your own.

You have your first big hurdle on Friday and I'm scared for your mom and dad. I know you'll be fine. You're one tough little cookie and will amaze the Dr.'s once again! It's your eye surgery. It's bright and early and I know your mom and dad will be pacing the halls just watching the clock. It's really tough watching your babies be sick and having surgery is even tougher. I'll be saying more prayers for you little one. And for your mom and dad too!

I'm honored to be a part of your life Reid and am looking forward to learning from you and being there to support you along the way. You've got my hand to hold whenever you need it!

Much love,

Aunt Sam
Beautiful Reid;
As I hold your sweetness and gaze into your sparkling eyes my heart is overwhelmed. Your precious little nose, cute mouth and little tongue that insists on poking out are so amazing. You have been on the earth for a few short weeks and yet the impact you have had already is huge.

The love between your mom and dad is inspiring. The way they affirm one another and are willing to hold each other up is a great reminder to me. Your mom is a pretty strong lady. The heart ache and questions she has had to face with some of the uncertainty since your arrival has only made her stronger. I know that she will continue to be your greatest support and strongest rock through any of the challenges you may face in the future.
Your little brother Noal – cute thing he is – he’s a little bit of a momma’s boy…and you may or may not have taken up a little bit of you mommy’s time. In the moment I am sure he is not happy, but the love he has for you is evident. When I steal your sweetness and hold it he barely takes his eyes off of me. He is already taking on the role of the protective older brother. He will be a boy who knows how to protect and love and encourage like no other. You will bring that out in him.

And sweet Reid – the world can be a hard place. You are already facing obstacles that many of us will never encounter. But the love that you are being surrounded with is immeasureable. The number of people who are reaching out and sharing your story will also be the ones to create your support network.

I am so happy that God has placed your family back in my life (and around the corner!). I know that you will grow each of us differently. You will teach us patience and compassion, empathy and tenderness. You will teach us to smile even when the world seems dark. I pray that you will be patient with each of us as we learn to grow in those characteristics.

You are a blessing and God knew exactly what He was doing when He formed you. So never be afraid to reach out to us, to use our strength and our love to help you face the day. You are so loved. You are going to rock that extra chromosome.


Welcome to the world sweet little Reid! We are a few of your mommy, daddy and big brother Noal’s friends from the great white north (as your momma likes to call it!) We miss you all so much and can’t wait to meet you in person for the first time.

At only a couple months old you have touched our lives in the biggest way. You are a true inspiration and such a brave little mouse. We think about you and love you so much and have been following along your already amazing journey.

You keep changing the world, Reid.

Love Shelly, John and Kohen Zubyck.
Ps. You can thank us for the day your ning ning’s tasted like chocolate covered pistachios.

My Precious Baby Girl...
Listen up Buttercup- You my darling in 4.5 mths have given me more heartache & fear than any other time in my life...In the same breath you’ve given me more hope& strength than I could ever imagine having...

When you had your eye surgery at 6 weeks old, I thought that would be it- I somehow mustered up the strength to get through that with you, thinking that would be all you would have to endure...When I found out the hole in your heart then needed to be repaired & you were in heart failure, I can’t even begin to describe how devastated I was...You had already proven to me & to everyone what a sassy little fighter you were but for some reason fixing a heart just seemed so scary...
Since then we’ve been on quite the path to beef you up & make you big & strong...I’ve tried my very hardest the last 2 months to do anything & everything I could to help get us to today- I just didn’t realize it would be here so fast- I’m proud of you baby girl for putting on some pounds & defeating the odds...You amaze me with how determined you are in life...That my darling may be a trait you inherited from me- I’m a stubborn little ox according to your father...I like to think of it as a good thing...I mostly get what I want...And listen up Pip, I want you to kick this heart surgery’s bloody arse...Literally...You show those docs what a stubborn, determined, strong little mouse you are...
I need you Pip, now more than ever- You’ve changed my world, my heart & our little family...We aren’t complete without you now...
Your big brother loves you so much & really missed you when you were in the hospital before- So, he’s wanting you to get better & home soon so he can play with you again...He’s been trying to wear an eye patch so he can be “like Reee”...He loves you & is already so protective of you...When we pick him up from daycare & other little kids gather around you, he proudly tells them that’s “my Reeee”&protectively puts his arms around you...
Now, your dad, he’s a softy- always has been when it comes to me & Noal...But, you sweet Reid have somehow gotten so deep in his heart- He's mesmerized by you...He loves you so much & is in awe of your strength...You have one proud papa there baby girl...He’s just as scared as I am but he literally is my rock & I’m certain I couldn’t have done any of this without him by my side...The way he looks at you Pip, ahh just gets me every time...So much love...You are so his baby girl...
So, here we are Reid Layne- tomorrow we go to CHEO& the next day you have heart surgery...I will be right beside you the entire time...I will anxiously be waiting to hold you, sing to you, tell you I love you & get on with being your mumma...
Be strong my darling one more time...Okay? I need you to- For me – For Daddy- For Noal & even for Deac...Not to mention the thousands of people you inspire- Let’s show them how truly strong you are...
I love you so very, very much...Don't be scared- You got this- And we'll be right there when you wake up...Be prepared for days of snugs & kisses, cause you're getting them....
Love mum
Beautiful Reid,
I can't tell you how much you have changed the world already. Your momma has shared your story and from what I can see it is literally reaching people from a multitude of countries. What I can tell you is how much you have changed my world. I have seen you overcome some adversity already and know that I will continue to see you overcome. I have been beyond blessed to be able to take you out and show you off (and claim you as my own!). Being able to snuggle with you and chat with your mom has been the highlight of some of my weeks - and the fact that you don't judge your mom and I as we eat 2 creme brulee!!!As I think now of what your little body is going to go through I am struggling for words. When I would sneak up to visit you in the hospital when all this came to light, my heart would just ache to see you fighting to breath - all I wanted to do was squeeze you hard enough so you didn't have to hurt anymore. But you, little Pip, showed this world some serious strength. You fought back with every inch of your little body. You need to summon up that strength again and then some.I will be praying endlessly for you and your family and will be here to support anyway that I can. I can't wait to snuggle you again - but more then that, I can't wait for the day when I can take you on mini dates. I have years ahead of me to spoil you, so you need to get through this surgery so we can make plans!

You are one loved little peanut.
Love Auntie Joc
Dear Sweet Baby Reid,

Although we haven't actually met yet I feel so close to you and so inspired by you! You are a fighter at core! I truly believe that you get your strength from your mama because she's one of the Strongest women I know, and always has been!!!!!!!

As you head in for heart surgery on Thursday I will be praying, and praying hard for you, your parents, and the Dr's. I will be praying that God would guide the Dr's hands through this surgery and all will run smoothly as planned!

In the short 4 1/2 months you've been on this earth you have touched more people than you can ever imagine! Your strength and courage have been overwhelming and I know you've made your mum and dad proud!!

You are a fighter!!! I can't wait to hear all about how smoothly the surgery went!

Love you sooooo much Reid, and your mum, dad and brother Noal too!

Love Auntie Laurs....xoxo

~Sweetest Reid~

Hi baby girl, It’s your Auntie Muls here...I wanted to take this chance to write this letter to you for several reasons : First of all, it was soooo nice to finally meet you and snuggle and just enjoy being with your mom and brother :) It was long overdue and I can't tell you enough how smitten I am with your happy little soul...as for your brother, well I nearly took him home in my suitcase.  He is going to make you laugh, and entertain you for life.
It was something else to be able to witness first hand the McCallan household in full swing, your parents are amazing and  work together like  the dynamic duo , Batman and Robin :) You are one lucky little girl to have such a great team in your corner in this thing called “Life”.
I know you and I had some great little chats while I was there, but I wanted to make sure you remember what we were talking about ;)
~ You are going to CONQUER this heart surgery- no question about it. You've got Cassidy in you, and that alone has some serious fiestiness! (just ask your dad)
~ Stay as strong as you are, now and always...you have already been through so much in your tiny little life...you've got mountains to move, so let's be done with this chapter and move onto the next..
~ Try not to stress that momma bear of yours out too much, she acts like she has got it all together, but she's going through a lot and won't ever let you see...show her, you've got this
... We talked about many more things, but I won't give up all our secrets ...
I wish beyond anything that you didn't have to go through this..that somehow I could snap my fingers and it would all go away...however, God has other plans...so here it is...I'm going to stay positive and leave it up to the Big Guy upstairs.  I know for certain that he has big plans for you .
You’re going to touch so many more hearts in this next little while Reid Layne, you will have every doctor and nurse wrapped around your finger.  However, it's your heart that needs the touch of healing hands. Fight through this and get better. 
I can't be there for your ma, and it kills me, so pretty please, go in and “kick this heart surgery's arse”.  Can't wait to watch you nap again...you know,where you throw your neck  back as far as it can go, open your mouth , and snooooze ...like only you can.  
I love you beyond little girl..

Always and forever,
Auntie Muls

PS. I made you a little sweater, with your mum's blog logo on it... sport this post-op for me will ya? You are honestly the most happiest and content little soul and your mum couldn't have picked a better name for her blog...

Dear Reid,
Just want you to know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. You already know that you have a very special mommy( I don't know your daddy or brother but they sound pretty special too). Whenever I need extra prayers I ask my mom as she has been praying a long time so I will get her to pray for you too. I'm sure that all the people that will be looking after you in the hospital are the very best as it takes extra special people to take care of babies.
Stay strong sweet girl. XO
Liz Robazza
Dear Beautiful Reid,
It’s your Auntie Ash here to apologize for waiting until now—as you wait to head into surgery—to write you a second letter. The thing is Reid, I’m a little bit like your father in that I like to keep my feelings to myself, especially when those feelings scare me. We’ve known for less than a week that your heart surgery is today and I need to admit that I haven’t let myself think about it for too long at a time. When I’m scared, I shut down. I choose to distract myself, and push the scary, terrifying thoughts away. I soften the sharp edges of that fear with a joke, or with a positive smile and an “Everything is going to be just fine.” It’s been a trait of mine for as long as I can remember and, if I’m being honest with myself, a bit of a flaw. The past four months, sweet Reid, you have taught every single one of us what it means to be brave. Because you don’t have a choice, do you? Whereas I can choose to push down my fears of the hole in you heart, the tube in your stomach, or the patch on your eye…you live with every one of these things every second. You can’t deal with it later; you can’t wait until it all catches up to you. You need to be brave now. In this moment, and in every moment since the day you were born. You have taught me how… So now I need to do it, too. I will be thinking of you every single second through your surgery and sending all the love and positive energy I can possibly muster… I already know how much strength you have, but if you could be strong for just a little while longer, then the rest of us can take it from there. Thank you for everything you have already taught me, Reid. I can’t wait for you to teach me more.
I love you so much, and I can’t wait to be able to see you again. Soon <3
Auntie Ash
{NOTE: Reid's Aunt Ash also wrote up a beautiful post on her blog- Yuo can find it HERE....And her friend Keely wrote Reid some-kind-of-Harry-Potter letter that you can find HERE- I don't get it at all Keely, but Ashley loves it & I love that you wrote it for her & Reid}

Dear Sweet Pip,
Because of your smiling little face I didn't shed as many tears when my little Urijah was diagnosed with Down Syndrome 4 months ago, because of your smiling face I had hope and joy knowing how wonderful and precious his life is going to be.
Love Megan Taylor

You will be 1-yos soon. You are a very beautiful little girl. It’s our pleasure to get to know about you. If your mom didn’t write about your doctor appointments, you look very healthy to me. So, please keep staying strong and healthy!!! We are looking forward to seeing you grow bigger and stronger!!! God bless you and your family.

Love Sabrina Wilson 

Hey Pip,

I started following your mom's blog around the time of your heart surgery.  From what I have read so far, I know you are a fighter and a little rock star to have gone through so many challenges at a young age. I have a little girl named Lorelai who has Downs syndrome and is a heart baby like you. She will turn one year old just two days after you. Just reading about you let me know that everything was going to be ok; that if you could do it so could Lorelai. When I found the Happy Soul Project, I was feeling kind of lost and afraid.  Even though I've never met her, your mom has inspired me to stop stressing and just enjoy life through her stories, pics, and sense of humor about it all. You and Lorelai will most likely have more challenges in the years ahead, but just remember, you can do anything you want to do and be anything you want to be!


Leah Miller

Dear Pip,
Happy celebration of your first trip around the sun.  You are an incredibly special girl.  You can melt any strangers heart and I can safely say that everyone who sees your smile instantly falls in love with you.  You have been through a lot in your first year and in the process have touched numerous hearts around the world.  Keep being your brilliant little self.  You have a huge cheering section who know you are going to do great things.  Continue to inspire people the way that only you can.

Dear Pip,

I went to high school with your momma, and I found out that I was pregnant with my first baby right around the same time you were born.  Then as my pregnancy progressed I had some complications and ended up in the hospital for 2 months. I was scared and worried for my baby, and in such a bad dark place some days. But I would go online and look at the pictures of you that your momma posted, and they would always bring a smile to my face! Your beautiful smiles would brighten my day and always reminded me to be happy and look on the bright side of things.  You and your brave momma both helped me through some rough days, and gave me the strength to be brave too! 

Love, Heather Kennedy

Happy 1st Birthday baby girl. I don't know you personally, but I know you enough to tell you just how beautiful you are. Your sweet innocence lights your face, just as much as your strength and determination does. I came to know of you and your beautiful family by reading your mommy's blog- Happy Soul Project. The name is a perfect match. I have a little boy who will be 8 months old soon. He has Down Syndrome too...and just like you are the light in your family's world, he is the light of mine too. Pippy---I hope that your light will always shine as bright as it can. Never let anyone take that from you. I pray that laughter will always be a big part of your life, as much as it it now. You are an inspiration to so many people, and don't even know that yet, but you will in due time. Keep living life little angel, because you are doing so good at it now...nothing should ever change that. Just know that you are loved by many, but that love will never measure to the love of your beautiful mommy, daddy and big brother Noal. Their life is blessed by your ever shining light.

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. - James 1:17
I cannot even put into words the energy that comes from you. You are an amazing little boy and the best big brother ever. Pip will learn a lot from you and you will learn a lot from Pip. I know you will be there to protect her and to take her by the hand and always assure her that all will be okay. Noal, keep watch over Pippy and teach her the ropes, for she will one day look back on all of that and smile. I know I do not know you personally, either, but I see the beauty in your little spirit! I pray for many more blessings in your life Noal---as you already have many. Keep smiling sunshine, life is too beautiful not too. Keep bringing that handsome little face into all of our lives for you, too, warm our hearts!  Pippy looks up to you and admires you. There's nothing better than that. Noal, you rock! Always remember that!

Thanks Tara, for allowing so many of us the opportunity to share in this and your lives. You truly are an inspiration to many. God bless you always, as he already has :)
Sheryl Smith

Dear Reid (Pip),
After reading your finalist boar
d on indie 88.1 I have been voting for you every day! I am Angela R another finalist right beside you on the computer. When reading I couldn't help but to read more and more about you and your family Pip I am “different” too! When I was younger me and my twin sister had to wear eye patches just like you! Big people always used to stop us when mum took us out to play. Mum doesn’t talk much about it now but tells us that people always used to stop her and tell her how cute we both were. My mum just like yours loves you so much because you are YOU! Now that I am big, people still say I am different because I love my girlfriend. I love her so much and she loves me! See Pip everyone is different in their own way and being different does not mean it is bad. I think it actually means the opposite. People are curious and might not know how to ask your mum how very special you are, SO I think this super, gigantic, big billboard for all your friends to see is a building block for your happy soul project and to tell them all! (What makes you different, is what makes you beautiful )I hope someday me and my girlfriend and sister can be friends with you! AND see you on TV when you are on Ellen! She is my favourite!!!!! She is so nice and funny. Good luck Pip!

Your friend,
Ange XXX ( BIG loooooooonnngggg hugs!!!)