In January this year (on the very day Jess was to give birth to her daughter) in a Mommalikeyou feature, I introduced you to Jess Roberts. A Momma to Luke and Holly, she has spearheaded a phenomenal campaign to celebrate Down Syndrome Awareness Month this October and prove that Luke, just like any other kid born with Down Syndrome, is no different and has the ability to be whoever he wants to be. Here’s a little bit about the #JUSTLIKEUSKIDS campaign, and movement, that Jess has launched today:
When Jon and I found out that Luke would be born with Down Syndrome we made a pact. That pact was to never be embarrassed about our son. We promised to one another that we would CELEBRATE Luke always, that we would EMBRACE who he was and that we would shout at the top of our lungs to the world just how PROUD we are that we get to call Luke ours. It was a silly pact and looking back one in which in hind sight we never have had to revisit and remind ourselves of. It just happens. We are just THAT proud of who we have created.
I had a dream. An epiphany if you would like.
That dream involved us shouting from the rooftops about our son’s worth, it involved us showcasing the beauty of our son and it involved showcasing this in a meaningful way. And as that dream grew more and more vivid, I saw more children. More parents and more siblings.
I reached out to the families who have had a direct impact on Jon and my journey. Families who have guided us, cried with us, rejoiced with us and who all feel the same amount of passion, the same amount of love and the same amount of pride in their children.
And so the concept for the #JUSTLIKEUSKIDS campaign was born – a photo shoot of our beautiful children, dressed in beautiful local clothing brands, shot in a beautiful local setting and shot by one of our best local photographers.
My dream with the #JUSTLIKEUSKIDS is to start a movement. A movement whereby us as a family, us as a community, us as a nation and indeed us as global citizens stand up, with a collective voice and say YES. YES to kindness, YES to inclusivity, to awareness, to love. YES to not only embracing differences but to celebrating them. YES to dreams, dreams so big that they scare the hell out of us. YES to the future and YES to our children being able to be whatever they want to be.
I’m so excited to see where we can go with the this campaign – thank you, Jess, for letting me be a small part of this – to read Jess’s full blog post click here! I can’t wait to see what you have in store for us all – please follow along by following the hashtag #JUSTLIKEUSKIDS, and checking in on Learning from Luke on the blog, on Facebook and on Instagram.
All beautiful images have been captured by the supremely talented Derryn Schmidt.