Mom’s Daughters Inspire Her to Write Children’s Book About Down Syndrome
Maria Jordan MacKeigan has two daughters: Ana Maria, 8, and Jordan Grace, 2, who has Down syndrome. After trying to explain to her older daughter what life with the genetic disorder might be like, MacKeigan realized she wanted to share their family’s story — and a message about inclusion — with a larger audience. So she wrote the book, “A Princess Wish,” which follows the story of an older princess who hopes for a little sister, and she released it on Jordan Grace’s 2nd birthday.
“It’s a story about wishes coming true in ways we don’t imagine,” MacKeigan told The Mighty. “My oldest begged us for a sister. When her wish came true she was given a sister with an extra chromosome. Her reaction was that her sister was indeed perfect.”
MacKeigan,who lives in Mill Woods, Alberta, admitted she was scared when she first received Jordan Grace’s diagnosis. “I feared she wouldn’t be accepted,” MacKeigan told The Mighty. “I feared she would be ignored. I feared she may not have friends.” She then made it her mission to show others just how important inclusion and awareness are.
Some of her oldest daughter’s friends have asked about Down syndrome and what makes Jordan Grace different. “My answer to them is always the same,” MacKeigan said. “Jordan Grace will be able to do anything she wants to do at her very own pace.”
MacKeigan used an app to manipulate photos of her daughters so they appeared as if they were stenciled, reported the Edmonton Examiner. It took her about five months to finish the book, which she self-published on Amazon.
“My message to parents is to not limit our children. We should expect more for each child no matter what their race, color or ability,” MacKeigan told The Mighty. “‘A Princess Wish’ was written for all little ones. I want it to be a conversation starter for parents and their children. If children grow up with a mindset that it’s OK to be different, that we can all learn something from each individual no matter what they look like, I think the playground would be a safer place for all.”
All images courtesy of Maria Jordan MacKeigan