Happy Soul Project's First Choir Member

While my daughter Pip happens to have Down syndrome, Happy Soul Project is not necessarily just about that. Yes, in my own way it's about bringing awareness to it and hoping to change perspectives and such. But it truly is about celebrating differences whatever they may be...Pip's just happens to be Down syndrome...

That being said I am only one voice and while it truly amazes me that anyone has been helped in anyway by my words, having some backup singers would be kinda cool. 

So in opening up Happy Soul Project to other voices - it will be just that- A beautiful choir of stories that all sing the same song of celebrating the beauty in differences...Whether that's Down syndrome or not...

That being said meet our first new member Jamie Freeman & her adorable little boy Benny...When Jamie wrote this, it not only had me in tears seeing the impact my little Pip had on her but I loved the fact that she is helping others, and her & Benny are changing lives...Just amazing...

Tara from Happy Soul Project has asked me to guest blog and I couldn't be more honored!!! So, in honor of Pip and the Happy Soul Project, here is my story about how one beautiful little girl brought back my smile. 

In November 2012, my husband and I FINALLY became pregnant with our first child. We had been trying for years, to no avail. We were ecstatic. We didn't even wait to tell everyone, like they usually say you should. We were in love with this little man even before we knew he was indeed a little man and not a little lady. I don't think I stopped smiling from the moment those two little blue lines showed up until my 4 month appointment at the OB. That's when the smiles stopped.

At that appointment my OB informed us that my results came back as high risk for Down Syndrome on my Quad Screen. The next few weeks were filled with level 2 ultrasounds, blood tests, fears, and lots of crying. We were terrified. Finally, we got the final results back of the MaterniT21 test, and found out that there was a 99% chance Benjamin had Down Syndrome. 

The next two days are a blur. My husband left work without saying a word to anyone he was leaving. I crawled in bed and sobbed uncontrollably.I am embarrassed of the thoughts that were going through my head. I didn't know anything about Down Syndrome. My husband came home and crawled in bed with me. We cried together til we finally fell asleep. 

The next few months were nothing but doctor's appointments and anxiety. I started hearing all the horrible medical problems associated with Down Syndrome that the doctor's said Ben would have. Every day I was more exhausted than the next. All I wanted was a beautiful little baby. I wanted to show him off. I wanted people to coo over him, and instantly fall in love with him. With all the horrible information I was being given, I felt like I was going to have this sick child that nobody would love but me. The picture in my mind was nothing like the perfect child I had imagined dressing up and taking pictures of. It was nothing like the child I imagined at all - This is so hard to type right now, because I don't think I've ever admitted that to myself or anyone else. 

Around 8-9 months pregnant, I decided to look up pictures of babies with Down Syndrome. I just needed to see them. I needed to know. Enter Pip...

One of the first pictures that came up when I searched the Down Syndrome hashtag in Instagram was of Pip's smiling face. I will NEVER forget that first picture. She was wearing nothing but her diaper, with the biggest, most precious smile I had ever seen on her beautiful little face. She wasn't a baby with down syndrome.  She was a gorgeous, smiling little light that instantly brought me to tears! I am crying now just typing this. 

I felt better and ashamed all at the same time. I was ashamed that I thought Down Syndrome would define Ben. I was ashamed that I thought it would make him less than anything. I was ashamed that I thought having a baby with Down Syndrome was anything less than beautiful. I looked at Pip and my favorite emotion of laughter through tears came pouring out of me like never before.  I instantly began cyber-stalking Happy Soul Project. Every picture I looked at made me me feel stronger and stronger. Every smile on Pip made me realize how amazingly lucky I was to have been blessed with a child that has even an ounce of the beauty Pip has in her. Pip made my smiles come back...

The day I had Ben wasn't a sad day. It was the best day of my life! I was ready for my baby boy! I was excited to bring him into the world and COULD NOT WAIT to show him off! He was and still is the most beautiful thing I have ever laid eyes on.  There was no fear, there was just love. 

Not only was I excited for him because of Pip's pictures, but I was also ready for him because of the information I read in Happy Soul Project. Reading about Tara's struggles with Pip helped me prepare myself for what was to come with Ben. I knew I could handle it because I gained strength and knowledge from Tara's stories. Yes, I can get information on Down Syndrome from a lot of sites; however hearing about it from a fellow mama that has been there before me is much more helpful that a bunch of statistics. It just helps your soul...

Today, I have started my own blog titled "Ben Through It All". I know how much Pip and Happy Soul Project helped me, and I want to do that for someone else. Getting that diagnosis is so difficult, but I thank God every day for that first picture of Pip.

Tara, thank you. You have no idea how much what you do can heal someone else. Your words and your pictures saved me from spiraling into a very dark place. You gave me hope, and that, my friend, is something not just anyone can give. I can't wait til the day Benny gets to work some of his charm on sweet Pip. 

God help him if Noal is around... 

Jamie Freeman


  1. Anonymous16.3.14

    Whoa! Firstly, what a beautiful little boy you have!! He is gorgeous! Thanks for sharing your story as Tara's first official choir member!! I can absolutely relate to a lot of the feelings you had although our stories started differently. Keep showing off that beautiful boy!!!

  2. I love the whole story. I can relate. I am a PROUD MOM of a 17 year young man with downs. I relate identically in many ways. God bless the children of the world whoever and however they are. Acceptance for everyone.

  3. Anonymous16.3.14

    Amazing how such a small little girl with a huge smile can change someone's perspective on life.

  4. Anonymous16.3.14

    Thank you for sharing your story. I am happy to hear that Tara and her family have and are helping you. Happy Soul Project is amazing. I am so happy for you. Enjoy your sweet little boy.

  5. Absolutely beautiful. Ben--you are a gorgeous little boy and so blessed to have sweet parents. Thank you for sharing your story. Changing the world, one by one...that's what I know our stories are doing. I am thankful that you came across Pip's picture...God's plan always has a purpose!

  6. As a momma who has been there- that just makes my heart happy to read. Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful story :) Ben is helping others already- we are changing perceptions and making the world a better place!

  7. Thank You so much for all your kind comments!