Beautiful Conditions Instagram
Nine days after Ava was diagnosed with Williams Syndrome, I started Beautiful Conditions on Instagram. I initially tried to follow other Williams Syndrome Moms, but I didn't find too many at first. You could say it was my first clue in knowing that my daughter's condition was rare. Anyways...I didn't dwell too much on it and moved on to follow different types of special needs moms. I quickly found that even though our child's diagnosis was different, we all still had a lot in common with each other.
I started this Instagram account for me. I needed to understand my new role in life as quickly as possible. I felt the need to understand other special needs mothers' mindsets. I needed to learn from them. I needed to understand their prospectives on life, on their children, on everything. I simply needed to be them! Because, let's face it. Hearing the news that your child isn't what you imagined them to be, isn't easy at first. By "finding my tribe" as they say, I hoped that I would come to more easily accept Ava's diagnosis and more quickly adapt to my new role as a "special needs mom."
I didn't know how my Instagram Account would be in the beginning. At first it was just a personal journal, but that didn't last long, because I didn't want strangers (or even close friends) to know everything I was thinking. I've never been a big social media person to be honest, at least I didn't think I shared to the level that others did. I was always guarded and didn't want the outside world to know very much about my personal life. It was a big struggle at first; trying to figure out how I'd "spread awareness" when I really wasn't wanting to post myself, but I knew if I wanted to raise awareness for Ava, and for Williams Syndrome; that I'd have to get use to it.
My way of not posting about Ava, turned into spreading awareness about others. When I'd get valuable and helpful information from other special needs moms, it seemed silly not to share it. Everyone had such good points and great advice - I wanted everyone to read it! And so it worked out perfectly because I could share about Ava when I wanted to, but then share stories about other families as I'd gather it from them. In essence, my private nature led to helping others spread awareness. A win-win!
The stories went from "advice for new special needs moms" to quickly covering all kinds of topics. From Birth Stories, to Diagnosis Stories, to Top 10 Fun Facts. People started sharing all sorts of wonderful information with me - and with my new followers. Beautiful Conditions has a lot of special needs moms following it, but there are a few curious non-special needs moms following us too...which are some of the people I want to affect the most! No matter who you are, you'll learn something from one of these kids, or from one of their parents who help tell their story. Their stories have so much depth to them, because these kids have so much depth to them. When you read them, you hear their hearts speaking...
So that is how Beautiful Conditions came to be...a little planned, a little by accident - and it's definitely become a life of it's own...which I LOVE! I'm so honored to interact and "meet" people from all around the world, from all different cultures, with all different religious beliefs - who all make me deeply realize just how alike the human race is. I just love it! I've never felt so connected with the World than I do now in life; and it makes me want to connect with even more people! It fills a gap in my life, that I didn't realize I had. And through all of this, in these past few months, I finally realized my purpose, mission and what I am meant to do in life! My life was just waiting for Ava to be born!
I hope to keep Beautiful Conditions as it's own Instagram Page, just as it is now, without cluttering it up with posts about my e-commerce store: Outshine Labels. I don't want my stores' marketing and promotions to take away from the power that Beautiful Conditions is. Of course; there might be some overlap from time to time, but when that happens, I will be sure to only post if it's for everyone's benefit! To me, Beautiful Conditions is perfect in every way, shape and form, just the way it is!
In summary, Beautiful Conditions is devoted to sharing the real stories and real lives of special needs individuals and families, who clearly "outshine their label." It is my hope that you will be moved beyond measure as you read these inspiring posts, written by real parents who pour their hearts out, and share incredible stories of hope, compassion, kindness, love, and everything in between. Their raw and sometimes fragile feelings about life as a special needs parent; about their children who make our world a more beautiful place; will leave you feeling inspired, happy, motivated, and connected in our busy world.
I truly hope you follow along on Instagram, or through our matching Facebook Page - and ideally both! And by all means, spread the word! Let's connect and learn from each other! Let's spread knowledge and grow love! Let's embrace the BEAUTY of our diverse world, and learn about all of those who are "differently abled." I can promise you that you'll truly discover that though we are all unique and different - we're still all very much alike too. When you start to open up your heart to the world, you will feel much more complete as a person. At least I do; and I hope you join the movement with me!