SIB­LING SEN­SI­TIV­ITY

Our Canada - - Cause For Applause -

For the Mackeigan fam­ily, it was love at first sight af­ter the birth of Jor­dan Grace; nev­er­the­less, Maria, no doubt draw­ing upon her nat­u­ral ma­ter­nal in­stincts, wor­ried how best to ex­plain Jor­dan Grace’s con­di­tion to her el­dest daugh­ter, Ana Maria, who was six years old at the time of Jor­dan Grace’s birth. When she ten­ta­tively broached the sub­ject, telling Ana Maria that her baby sis­ter was “a bit dif­fer­ent,” she was met with a to­tally un­ex­pected re­ply: “So what, Mommy?”

The in­nate sense that Jor­dan Grace would grow up to be her own per­son fu­elled the fam­ily dy­namic from that point on­wards. To help reaf­firm the sib­ling re­la­tion­ship and to bet­ter un­der­stand Down syn­drome them­selves– and share their find­ings with oth­ers–maria be­gan work­ing on a self-pub­lished chil­dren’s book with her two daugh­ters. Two years in the mak­ing, the book is now com­plete. In A Princess Wish, a princess hopes for a sis­ter, and one day her wish comes true. When the younger sis­ter is born, she has al­mond-shaped eyes and a crease in her right hand, both com­mon traits of Down syn­drome. The book high­lights the strong bond that forms be­tween the two sis­ters and un­der­scores the im­por­tance of ac­cept­ing dif­fer­ences in oth­ers.

“I want chil­dren to grow up know­ing that dif­fer­ent is okay, and dif­fer­ent is good,” says Maria, who hopes the book will ap­peal to all

types of fam­i­lies.

A Princess Wish is avail­able on Ama­zon and Creates­pace.

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