Luca Blue Silva at WindReach Farm
noahganhao.com

Living it up with Down

Welcome to the world Luca Blue! You are going to rock that extra chromosome. July 14, 2007 changed my life forever. So many mixed emotions from happy to sad to angry to hopeless. Hopelessness because at that moment everything I hoped for my son, for my family, for our lives together seemed to have died. My life wasn’t going to be how I imagined it. It was going to be different, but different isn’t bad, it’s good. God doesn’t make mistakes, he blessed me with the son I was always meant to have.

Luca has down syndrome. If you were to search “What is Down Syndrome?” a slew of links would appear, providing medical definitions, lists of traits and what most would think is everything you could know. If you search “What is a human?”, you will also find scientific definitions and lists of characteristics. Despite falling into both of these categories, Luca, like all other people cannot be summed up into one textbook definition. At age twelve, Luca loves horses, dogs, swimming and playdates with friends. His sense of adventure is unmatched, which especially shines when we travel. Luca is funny, silly, kind and loving. He’s also stubborn and there are days he drives me crazy—he’s a kid.

The sentiment put forth by most people who meet Luca is “what a special gift” we have—and he really is special. He is special to us…because we are his parents. The reality is (and I hate to disappoint you) he isn’t a magical unicorn that poops rainbows. He’s a kid who can do anything he puts his mind to, just like he’s peers who were born with the 46 standard chromosomes.

Our journey has been one with many challenges but with every challenge comes determination and with determination comes accomplishments. This of course sounds very cliché (because it is) but it’s true for us and it’s true for every single parent. Some aspects of our lives are more difficult, like sticking to a routine—wakeup, lunch, snack and bed are all on a schedule which means we have to plan our days carefully. Other things are wonderful like Luca’s sense of innocence. It’s heartwarming to watch him reach out to strangers with a simple smile, a handshake and a hug—quite frankly, the world could use a little more of this (yes, another cliché).

Being a mother has changed my life forever. Through the good and the bad I have learned real life lessons that have helped me grow as a person. Lessons in love, acceptance, patience, understanding and kindness that I have taken from Luca because he is the most special child in the world…and believe me, he is funnier, kinder, brighter and cuter than any other child—not because he has Down Syndrome, but because I, his totally biased loving mother told you.

Photos taken at WindReach Farm—a registered charity specially designed to enrich the needs of individuals of all ages with disabilities and/or special needs. The farm provides them opportunities to enjoy experiences in farming, nature, outdoor recreation and other activities.

windreachfarm.org

 

WORDS: FERNANDA SILVA
PHOTOS: NOAH GANHÃO

Luca Blue Silva at WindReach Farm
Luca Blue Silva at WindReach Farm
horse at WindReach Farm
Luca Blue Silva at WindReach Farm
horse at WindReach Farm
horse at WindReach Farm
WindReach Farm
Luca Blue Silva at WindReach Farm
Luca Blue Silva at WindReach Farm

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